The Blast (San Francisco). Vol. 1 No. 5. Saturday February 12, 1916.

The Blast (San Francisco). Vol. 1 No. 5. Saturday February 12, 1916.

Contents: The State and the People by Voltairine de Cleyre, The Meaning of Margaret Sanger’s Stand by Reb Raney, The Woman Rebel by Nellie Terry Craig, Forbidden Knowledge, The Madness of Jingoism by A.B., To Work Rebels!, How About Ourselves? by Warren Van Valkenburgh, Direct Action versus Respectability by A.B., The Amalgamated Clothing Workers and the Chicago Strike, Injunctions, Chickens Coming Home to Roost by A.B., The Psychology of War, Meetings and Lectures.

Alexander Berkman’s incendiary-titled ‘The Blast’ began after Berkman left New York City, and his editorial position with Emma Goldman’s ‘Mother Earth’ he had held since his release from prion in 1906, to organize the ‘Anti-Militarist League’ and anarchists circles across the country in opposition to the war and associated repression. Published semi-monthly in San Francisco, California, beginning in January, 1916 with the first issue carrying a cover legendary cartoonist Robert Minor and this statement: ‘Before a garden can bloom, the weeds must be uprooted. Nothing is therefore more important than to destroy. Nothing more necessary and difficult…To destroy the Old and the False is the most vital work. We emphasize it: to blast the bulwarks of slavery and oppression is of primal necessity. It is the beginning of really lasting construction.’ Twenty-nine issues were published, with special attention paid to the war, political prisoners, and the labor movement in California. Berkman was arrested in June, 1917 for encouraging resistance to the draft and The Blast, like so many radical journals of the time, fell to Federal repression. Berkman spent two years in Atlanta Federal Prison before being deported to Russia in 1919.

PDF of full issue:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s