Scab newspaper in Dublin condemns Anarchism (1913)

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The ToilerDuring the 1913 Dublin Lockout (when the employers tried to crush militant trade unionism by locking out members of the Irish Transport & General Workers Union) bosses and clergy brought out their own propaganda.

The above cutting is from ‘The Toiler’, an employer backed paper set up to counter the influence of ‘The Irish Worker’. It collapsed after 14 weeks.  There was also ‘The Liberator’ which appeared for a few weeks in August 1913.  Both papers claimed to be for ‘respectable’ and ‘moderate trade unionism’ but their only connection with unions was their support for the yellow unions set up by priests like Fr Patrick Flavin’s ‘Workers Union’ in Dun Laoghaire, and the ‘Independent Labour Union’ set up by another priest to break the agricultural labourers strike in north Dublin.  These ‘unions’ had no real existence and disappeared within weeks.


The Blast, Big Jim Larkin and GB Shaw (1917)

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From 1917 we have a message of support (page 6) for Jim Larkin in the San Francisco based anarchist paper, The Blast.  Larkin had just launched the weekly American edition of the Irish Worker.  Also on that page is an article linking the Irish and Indian struggles against British imperialism.  Both pieces were probably written by the editor, Alexander Berkman.  On the preceding page there is an excerpt from a letter from George Bernard Shaw entitled Why I don’t come to America.

Alexander Berkman -The Only Hope of Ireland (1916)


The Blast was a San Francisco based newspaper published by Alexander Berkman in 1916-1917. It’s main focus was on the trade union movement in California, as well as covering national labour events, and educating its readers about anarchism.

It also covered a broad range of topics such as Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, the trial of trade unionists Tom Mooney and Warren Billings for the Preparedness Day bombing, and the growing ferment in Europe.  Margaret Sanger, on trial for giving out information about birth-control, wrote on women’s rights and family planning.

The paper’s anti-militarism was not ignored by the authorities and the paper was shut down in June 1917 when Berkman was jailed for “inducing persons not to register” for the draft.

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This was written in the aftermath of 1916 rising, just three days after the execution of James Connolly.