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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Radical Newspapers

Seattle was home to a substantial collection of left-wing weekly newspapers during the Depression. Some were associated with radical organizations.

The Labor College published The Vanguard beginning in 1930 and changed its name to the Unemployed Citizen as the Unemployed Citizen's League grew influential in 1931.

The Communist Party published Voice of Action beginning in 1933, folding it in 1936 when the Party joined forces with the Washington Commonwealth Federation (WCF).

The WCF published a long string of newspapers beginning in 1934 with the Commonwealth Builder, which became the Washington Commonwealth in 1935, the Sunday News in 1936, the Washington New Dealer in 1938, and the New World in 1943. The string came to an end in 1948 when the New World folded.

Other newspapers were published by the new unions created during the decade. Notable among them were the Waterfront Worker and Pacific Coast Longshoreman, associated with the International Longshoreman's Association; the Philippine-American Chronicle, associated with the Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers Union; the Timber Worker, that helped launch the International Woodworkers of America; and the Aero Mechanic, belonging to the Boeing local of the International Association of Machinists.

We have detailed reports on many of these newspapers as well as collections of their articles:

The Voice of Action: A Paper for Workers and the Disenfranchised, by Seth Goodkind

The Voice of Action was a radical labor newspaper published in Seattle between 1933 and 1936. This paper traces its never-official links to the politics of the Communist Party and its commitments to workers and the unemployed.

Voice of Action, newspaper report by Christine B. Davies

The Voice of Action was a newspaper for Seattle's radical and labor movements, published between 1933 and 1936.

Vanguard and Unemployed Citizen, newspaper report by Erick Eigner

The Unemployed Citizen's League, a radical organization of unemployed men, put out two newspapers during the Depression Years.

Washington Commonwealth Builder/Washington Commonwealth, newspaper report by Jessica Dunahoo

Read a history of the newspaper of the Washington Commonwealth Federation, a left-labor-communist political coalition that reshaped state politics during the Depression.

Washington New Dealer, newspaper report by Jonathan Stecker

The New Dealer was the final paper, from 1938-1942, of the radical-labor political coalition, the Washington commonwealth Federation.

Philippine-American Chronicle, newspaper report by Rache Stotts-Johnson

The Chronicle was the paper of the Filipino-led cannery workers' union, as well as a source of progressive news for the Filipino and labor communities in Seattle.

Guild Daily, newspaper report by Erika Marquez

The striking employees of the Seattle Post Intelligencer, produced The Guild Daily during the 105 day strike against the Hearst-owned newspaper in 1936.

Timber Worker, newspaper report by Geraldine Carroll and Michael Moe

Born in the midst of the 1935 timber strike, the Timber Worker was the union newspaper of the International Woodworkers of America, based in Aberdeen, WA.

The Pacific Coast Longshoremen, newspaper report by Kristen Ebeling

The Longshoremen began one year after the 1934 longshore strike, as the official newspaper of the International Longshoremen's Association.

Aero Mechanic, newspaper report by Julian Laserna

The voice of Boeing workers in Local 751 of the International Association of Machinists, Aero Mechanic was founded in 1939 and has been published ever since.

Bellingham Labor News, newspaper report by Jordan Van Vleet

Established in 1939, The Bellingham Labor News was the official publication of the Bellingham Central Labor Council.  It was published weekly until 1968 when it merged with other Northwest labor newspapers to become the Northwest Washington Labor News.