Approximately 20 protesters gathered near the Link newspaper office yesterday holding signs and chanting for the resignation of editor-in-chief Justin Giovannetti. The protest lasted less than 10 minutes before being broken up by security.
None of the protesters were willing to give their names or speak on the record about why they were calling for his resignation. An individual standing back from the group who claimed he himself wasn’t protesting but that he knew those behind it said that the protesters were upset about what they called the “slander” of CSU councillors in Link stories lately. He claimed that the protesters believe the slander was done in the interest of helping a potential campaign by councillor Lex Gill, who they say is in a relationship with Giovannetti.
Speaking after the protest, Giovannetti would not confirm or deny the relationship, saying it’s “none of their business.” He reiterated that if anyone had concerns about the Link, they could send letters or address the editors themselves by email or phone.
Giovannetti also said “It’s definitely strange that the same day that the CSU refuses to comment [to the Link] on the resignation of their fourth VP that there’s this protest and that they’re standing outside of it,” and insinuated in a tweet that the protest could have been an attempt to draw attention away from the CSU’s political issues.
Members of the CSU executive were seen watching the protest, and Giovannetti said they claimed to have heard it from their office one floor above, something he claimed is not realistic.
An email sent to the Concordian late Monday evening signed only by “Your Concordia Students” read “Students are not paying a fee to finance a political party; we want the Link to be independent and representative. We want the Link to live up to the prominent reputation that it has established. The protest was not against freedom of speech, it was against an editor who is tarnishing the reputation and credibility of one our school’s reputable social sources. Petitions are being signed.”
– With reporting from Sarah “Sweetie” Deshaies