|Q:||How did enMasse come to be?|
|A:||Well... you'd better take a seat... Where to begin?|
EnMasse came into being after Audra Williams, the moderator of the babble discussion forums at rabble.ca was fired by the Management Committee by e-mail during a series of life crises. Audra was an extremely well-liked moderator and was largely responsible for the creation of babble at the time of the Quebec City protests in 2001 and for its success until April of 2006, when she was summarily fired.
After firing Audra, the Management Committee proceded to adopt an extremely hardnosed attitude towards her and towards outraged members of the community, of which there were many. The Management Committee refused to negotiate and some members of the community began actively spamming the discussion forum in an effort to secure Audra's re-instatement. At the same time as the spamming of the discussion forums, a movement for a "strike" against babble developed, largely led by the babbler with the handle Kevin Laddle. The strikers refused to post to babble until Audra was re-instated.
The "Babble Strike" movement grew and on April 10, 2006, a new discussion forum was created on a server paid for by The JF. This forum was initially known as the Babble Strike Forum (BSF). In the first two days over 150 babblers left to join the BSF. At first the BSF was used as a forum to debate the response to the actions of the rabble.ca Management Committee and to debate the possible future of the BSF as an independent progressive discussion forum.
As it became increasingly clear that the rabble.ca Management Committee would never agree to the re-instatement of Audra or any of the accountability and democracy reforms demanded by the babble strikers, a consensus developed to forge ahead with the creation of a new progressive space on the internet. At that time, the site was re-named "Temporary Left Wing Board" while a decision was made regarding the naming of the site.
On April 28th of 2006, only eighteen days after the site's founding, the name "enMasse," often shortened to EM, was chosen by a significant margin in a vote of the membership.
EM has suffered through growing pains and several unfortunate and painful divisions among the membership leading to the departure of a significant number of members. However, as of September 2006 seems to be on a steady footing and is a thriving and vital community.
Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
Audra Williams, Rabble.ca, Babble, blogs, leftwing blogs, Canada, feminism, socialism, GLBT