Freedom (newspaper)

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Freedom logo.JPG
Cover of Freedom showing the new design.
Type Monthly newspaper
Format A4
Owner(s) Freedom Press
Publisher Freedom Press
Founded 1886
Political alignment Anarchist
Language English
Ceased publication 2014 (in print)
Headquarters 84b Whitechapel High Street, London
Sister newspapers Freedom Bulletin
Spain and the World
War Commentary
ISSN 0016-0504
Website Freedom Press

Freedom is a London-based anarchist newspaper published monthly by Freedom Press.

The paper was started in 1886 by volunteers including Peter Kropotkin and Charlotte Wilson and continues to 2014 as an unpaid project. Originally, the subtitle was "A Journal of Anarchist Socialism." The title was changed to "A Journal of Anarchist Communism" in June 1889. Today it is unlabelled.

The newspaper's mission statement is stated in every issue and summarises the writers' view of anarchism:

"Anarchists work towards a society of mutual aid and voluntary co-operation. We reject all government and economic repression. This newspaper, published continuously since 1936, exists to explain anarchism more widely and show that only in an anarchist society can human freedom thrive."


September 1897.

The paper has historically featured news from the peace and labour movements and events, as well as listing planned events and protests. Staying true to Kropotkin's principle of mutual aid, the paper regularly features reviews of other anarchist and libertarian publications, such as Organise! and Direct Action as well as other local and international newsletters and journals.

It regularly features Donald Rooum's Wildcat cartoon strip as well as Rooum's articles, and has Svartfrosk and Louis Further as regular columnists. In recent years it has heavily focussed on pensions and the NHS, and on investigative articles over a wide range of topics.

In 2006, the paper gained a colour front for the first time in its history. Along with a number of gradual changes in the content and structure of the paper and organisational changes at Freedom Press, Freedom got a re-design in January 2008. While remaining a fortnightly newspaper, it doubled the number of pages to 16 and reduced to A4 in size, introducing a basic theory section, dedicated business and public sector pages and an increased story count.[1] In late 2011 it switched from fortnightly to monthly publication, increasing its length to 24 pages. It cost £2 per issue.

Freedom Paper Editors

(Note: Non-comprehensive list)

2014 Print Closure

On 1 March 2014, Freedom announced the closure of its print edition.[6] The final print edition of 2014 announced, "Kropotkin might have started it but we f****** finished it!" [7] Online issues are set to continue alongside an irregular printed freesheet. The legitimacy of this decision to end publication has ever since been hotly contested.[8][unreliable source?]

Related publications

Spain and the World was an anarchist publication founded in 1936 by Vernon Richards[9] with former Freedom writers, which had effectively ceased publication in 1932. The intention was to provide an English-language publication to support Spanish anarchists who were at that time achieving a measure of political influence through the anarchist trade union Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and other organisations. Spain and the World had several notable contributors, including Emma Goldman, Herbert Read, Ethel Mannin and John Cowper Powys.[10]

Between the end of the Spanish Civil War and the outbreak of the Second World War, the fortnightly Spain and the World briefly became Revolt! in 1939, before adopting the title War Commentary. In 1945 War Commentary resumed the title of Freedom.

In 1944, Richards, his wife Marie-Louise Berneri and two others associated with the paper – Philip Sansom and John Hewetson – were charged with conspiring to cause disaffection among members of the armed forces. Despite a defence campaign backed by the likes of George Orwell, Michael Tippett, T. S. Eliot, and Benjamin Britten, Vernon, Sansom and Hewetson were convicted and served nine months in jail.[11]

Related pages


  1. Rob Ray's blog includes an analysis of story counts in the anarchist press: [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rooum, Donald (Summer 2008). "A short history of Freedom Press" (PDF). Information for Social Change (27). Retrieved 8 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Freedom news paper changes". Retrieved 11 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Ray, Rob. "Freedom..." Retrieved 11 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Bone, Ian. "Freedom's Got Talent". Retrieved 11 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "FREEDOM" October 2014, editorial article, signed "Andy Meinke" (nb no asterisks were employed in the original which was explicit).
  8. "Private Eye" magazine - issues 1404, 1405 (October & November 2015) and "Northern Voices Magazine" website.
  9. Vernon Richards biography
  10. George Woodcock, Anarchism:A History p.383.
  11. Colin Ward's article on Vernon Richards in the UK Guardian 

Further reading

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External links