The Revolutionary Paper

There’s a long tradition of revolutionary movements
creating their own presses, through which to spread their
ideas and organize their movement.

During the French Revolution of 1789-99, Jean-Paul
Marat, a famous supporter of the Jacobin Club, founded
the paper the L’Ami du Peuple (“The Friend of the People”)
to argue in favor of continuing the revolutionary struggle.
It quickly became the best-selling paper in Paris.
Lenin and the revolutionaries of Russia published the
newspapers Iskra (“The Spark”), Pravda (“The Truth) and
many more to lay the political and organizational foundations
for the Russian revolutionary movement. The Italian
revolutionary Antonio Gramsci co-founded the paper
L’Ordine Nuovo (“The New Order”) in 1919.

The United States also has its own history of revolutionary
newspapers. William Lloyd Garrison’s paper The Liberator,
for instance, explicitly called for the abolition of slavery.
The former slave Frederick Douglass was a supporter of
The Liberator, and he began publishing his own papers,
including The North Star, which not only organized for the
rights of Blacks, but also the rights of women.
In 1967, the Black Panther Party started its newspaper
The Black Panther. It had a nationwide paper circulation of
250,000 a week.

Does the revolutionary newspaper have a place in today’s
movements – at a time when many commercial newspapers
are struggling to find an audience? Come to this
meeting and hear an argument for the continued relevance
of the revolutionary paper today.