On 10 March, Freedom, the anarchist newspaper, announced that it was moving its content online, complemented by a regular freesheet.
Freedom began life as Freedom: A Journal of Anarchist Socialism in 1886. Later, between 1936 and 1945, it became Spain and the World, Revolt!, and finally War Commentary. In 1945, it returned as an unsubtitled Freedom, as it has remained to this day.
In their statement on ceasing print publication for sale, the volunteer Freedom collective reported that annual losses have been amounting to £3,500, with only 29 shops, social centres and individuals selling the paper, and only 225 paying subscribers. Printers Aldgate Press had helped to keep the paper going with an effective subsidy ‘of nearly £10,000 a year’, according to the collective.
The collective wrote: ‘We had hoped that Freedom would be adopted as THE paper of the anarchist movement. Despite a great deal of goodwill from anarchist groups and individuals over the years, sadly this has not been the case.
‘Although Freedom Press has changed from a political group with a particular point of view to a resource for anarchism as a whole, we have not managed to shake the legacy of the past and get different groups to back it as a collective project. We hope an online version and freesheet will make that possible.’
Freedom Bookshop and Freedom Press (the publishers and book distributors) will continue as before. A special final edition of the paper will be released for the London Anarchist Bookfair in October