Away back in 1951, or there about, I started reading the newspaper, Freedom, and more or less from then on continued to read the paper. I also wrote a couple of pieces for my favourite paper. Of course it was never perfect, but since 1886 it was a voice of reasoned anarchism, it was always there when others faltered and failed. I was utterly gutted when it folded and just couldn't understand why. The final statement in the piece "Transforming Freedom" by Andy Meinke still rings in my head, as the sort of statement one would have expected from some fascist group that closed down the paper Freedom, "---Kropotkin might have started it but we fucking finished it".
An article from a couple of months ago, by Christopher Draper in Northern Voices, throws some light on the demise of that long standing flickering light of Freedom:
Christopher DraperFREEDOM the world’s oldest anarchist newspaper is no more. Founded in London in October 1886, for over a century FREEDOM was universally recognised as the most thoughtful, open-minded, newspaper of the British anarchist movement. In October 2014 this unique institution, having survived police raids, violent attacks and two world wars, was declared dead by its editorial collective. FREEDOM blamed its demise on the combined effects of declining interest in print media and insufficient support from the anarchist movement. The truth is rather different. FREEDOM was destroyed by three young men deficient in knowledge and authoritarian in practice and one old man who knew better yet encouraged these miscreants to do their worst. T he consequence, though tragic, was utterly avoidable.
FREEDOM was never officially the newspaper of the anarchist movement. It was started in London in 1886 by a small band of anarchists with no formal ties to any other political organisation. As David Goodway observed: 'It was published monthly as a sober and thoughtful journal surviving while other publications appeared and soon folded in the tempestuous and often violent world of contemporary anarchist activism.' Despite initially promoting debate between individualist anarchists and those of a more socialist persuasion FREEDOM soon adopted an explicitly anarchist-communist outlook. Other interpretations of anarchism continued to be expressed and debated within the paper and throughout its long, varied and sometimes interrupted history FREEDOM continued to provide open-minded, unsectarian coverage of anarchist affairs. Although nominally controlled by a self-elected libertarian collective FREEDOM not infrequently relied on key individuals within the group to safeguard the newspaper’s anarchist integrity. When Tom Keell in 1915 acted precipitously to keep the paper out of the hands of Kropotkin’s pro-war faction he was denounced as a dictator by fellow editor George Cores but backed by the wider anarchist movement. Once again in 1928 FREEDOM was kept alive as an irregular bulletin through the dedication of Keell who published it from his home at Whiteway Colony. From 1930 until his death in 1934, John Turner carried the editorial baton and then after a two year gap the paper was revived in a new guise by Vernon (Vero) Richards.Read the full article HERE: