Quick links to periodicals

Local Periodicals

Local High School Publications

National or International Publications

Local Periodicals

Washington Area Spark

The Montgomery Spark, The Montgomery County Spark, The Washington Area Spark and its successor publication On The Move published from 1971-75. Beginning as a radical student newspaper at Montgomery College, it morphed into a “movement” newspaper, then to a working class-based paper and finally as a publication dominated by the Revolutionary Union.

Historical Washington Area Spark (complete set)

Vol. 1 No. 1 – October 5, 1971

Vol. 1 No. 2 – October 25, 1971

Vol. 1 No. 3 – November 19, 1971

Vol. 1 No. 4 – December 10, 1971

Vol. 1 No. 5 – February 29, 1972

Vol. 1 No. 6 – April 15, 1972

Vol. 2 No. 1 – September 6, 1972

Vol. 2 No. 2 – October 4, 1972

Vol. 2 No. 3 – October 31, 1972

Vol. 2 No. 4 – November 19, 1972

Vol. 2 No. 5 – December 20, 1972

Vol. 2 No. 6 – January 20, 1973

Vol. 2 No. 7 – February 21, 1973

Vol. 2 No. 8 – March 14, 1973

Vol. 2 No. 9 – May 11, 1973

Vol. 2 No. 10 – June 12, 1973

Vol. 2 No. 11 – July 11, 1973

Vol. 2 No. 12 – August 17, 1973

Vol. 3 No. 1 – October 11, 1973

Vol. 3 No. 2 – November 24, 1973

On The Move–successor to Washington Area Spark (complete set):

Vol. 1 No. 1 – April-May, 1974

Vol. 1 No. 2 – August, 1974

Vol. 1, No. 3, November, 1974

Vol. 1 No. 4 – December, 1974

Vol. 1 No. 5 – January, 1975

Other local alternative periodicals


The Metro Workers Rank and File Action Caucus was formed in the wake of the 1978 cost-of-living wildcat strike that paralyzed bus service and the embryonic subway service for a week in July 1978. At least two caucuses arose out of the strike. One was influenced by the Progressive Labor Party and the other was the Action Caucus.

Vol. 1 No. 1 – Sept. 5, 1978

Vol.1. No. 2 – Oct. 1978

Vol. 1 No. 3 – Nov. 1978

Vol. 1 No. 4 – Jan. 1979

Vol. 1 No. 5 – Jun. 1979

Vol. 1 No. 6 – Aug. 1979

AFSCME in Action

The first issue of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1072’s AFSCME in Action newsletter from September 1973.

The union represented about 1300 University of Maryland College Park campus workers but did not have collective bargaining rights at that time.

The issue covers campus layoffs, racial discrimination, a rival employee association, the union picnic, safety, a call to impeach Nixon and other issues.

Vol. 1 No. 1 – Sep. 1973

B.E.F. News

Two of the first issues of the B.E.F. News published June 25, 1932 and July 9, 1932 by the Bonus Expeditionary Force-BEF-or Bonus Army are published for the estimated 50,000 people that made up their encampments around the Washington, D.C.

Vol. 1 No. 1 – June 25, 1932

Vol. 1 No. 3 – July 9 1932

Finally Got the News

Published by the Washington, D.C. African Liberation Support Committee. This issue reflects the group’s turn toward the working class and Marxism-Leninism.

Vol. 1 No. 5 – May 1974

Metro C.A.R.

Metro C.A.R. was published by a rank-and-file caucus at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) that existed for a number of years from approximately 1978 to 1996. It published periodic newsletters and flyers. We currently have one issue published after a wildcat strike by workers in July 1978

No volume or issue number – Aug. 1978 ca.

Red Earth

The last issue of Washington, D.C.-based Red Earth alternative newspaper published as a mini-manual of urban guerilla warfare circa June 1970. The politics of the paper are closely aligned with the Weathermen (later Weather Underground).

Included is a statement from the Weathermen after the bombing of the New York City police headquarters that occurred on June 9, 1970.

The 20-page tabloid also covers arms, logistics, tactics, 7 sins that a guerrilla can commit, popular support and recruitment.

The paper was apparently laid-out as a 16-page paper, but expanded to 20 pages with the inclusion of an unnumbered 4-page insert in the center of the tabloid.

No Volume or Issue number – June 1970

Third World

Third World was an independent Washington, D.C. area periodical tabloid dedicated to black liberation that began publishing in September 1969 and continued through the early 1970s.

The paper concentrated on news of black liberation, pan-Africanism and providing news stories and interviews related to black political thought. It also published poems, photographs and other artwork and reviewed performances of black artists.

The paper was financed through both sales (25 cents per copy) and advertisements, although donations played a major role. 

Distributions was through both street sellers who were usually children who kept a portion of the sales money, subscriptions and through retail outlets. The paper’s goal was 24 issues per year, but it does not seem like that frequency was met.

Vol. 2 No. 1 – Oct. 1970

Vol. 2 No. 6 – Apr. 1971

University of Maryland SDS Spark

The University of Maryland College Park Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) published a newsletter 1967-68 that inspired the later Montgomery College Spark, some of whom had attended UMD SDS meetings.

In August 1967, the UMD SDS began publishing a daily edition of a newsletter named Spark directed toward the delegates to a National Student Association (NSA) convention that was being held on campus shortly after the revelations that NSA had been partially funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

We currently have one issue:

Aug. 23, 1967

Thereafter, the Spark became a semi-regular SDS publication on campus. We have four issues:

Sept. 1967 ca.

Nov. 28, 1967

Jan. 15, 1968

May 7, 1968

In addition, the UMD SDS published an internal newsletter called Snark. We have two issues:

Vol. 2 No. 1 – Jan. 24, 1968

Vol. 2 No. 2 – Mar. 1, 1968

An internal organizing letter from Gregory Dunkel that served the same purpose as Snark:

August 26, 1968

University of Maryland Route One Gazette

After the Students for Democratic Society splintered in the Fall of 1969 and the student strike of 1970, left-wing UMD students formed the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM) to take the place of SDS. It lasted through the school year of 1970-71. They published The Radical Guide to the University of Maryland and the Route One Gazette:

Vol. 2 No. 1 – Winter 1971

Voice from the Mother Country

A staff split at the Quicksilver Times alternative newspaper resulted in about half the staff leaving to publish one issue of Voice from the Mother Country in April 1970. They took over the Quicksilver offices at 1932 17th Street NW that later in the year became the Community Center of the Black Panther Party.

The start-up paper was effectively ended by an FBI raid on May 7, 1970 that was ostensibly looking for former DC Regional SDS leader Cathy Wilkerson who at the time was a fugitive member of the Weather Underground Organization. Two of the staff members of the Voice were arrested on weapons charges.

Vol. 1 No. 1 – April 1970 – Note pages 3 and 4 are damaged

Local high school publications


A newsletter named “Truth” by and for high school students is produced in connection with the University of Maryland Students for a Democratic Society chapter in October 1967.

The newsletter had little local high school news but instead covered political topics.

It would be the first of a number of attempts to do outreach to high schools in the greater Washington, D.C. area by SDS

Vol. 1 No. 1 – October 1967


The only issue published of a Springbrook High School student-produced newsletter where students signed their names to the articles and challenged the administration to discipline them.

Spark contributors Robert “Bob” Simpson and Craig Simpson are among the authors. Articles critique high school suppression of expression, the dress code, the 1968 elections, school presentation of drug information and a call for a student bill of rights.

The newsletter was published with assistance of the Washington Free Community. Springbrook H. S. is located in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Vol. 1 No. 1 – January 12, 1969


Resistance was produced by and for greater Washington, D.C. area high school students with the assistance of members of the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM)—a successor organization to the Students for Democratic Society on the College Park campus.

Articles cover the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention, reports from Northwestern, Blair and Oxen Hill High Schools, a critique of the Montgomery County student smoking policy, an essay on discrimination and sexism against high school women, an anti-ROTC article, and draft counseling.

Vol. 1 No. 2 – October 1970

National or International Periodicals:

Charter Bulletin

Charter Bulletin was the newsletter of the Civil Rights Congress (1946-56), a nationwide organization that had 60 chapters and 10,000 members at its peak.

It took up the high profile racial justice cases of the Martinsville 7, Rosa Lee Ingram, the Trenton 6 and Willie McGee. It helped lead the fight for a federal anti-lynching law and a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission.

It laid charges of genocide against black people in the United States at the United Nations.

The CRC defended the U.S. Communist Party and attacks on civil liberties. It was declared a subversive organization by the U.S. government in 1947 and many of its leaders were jailed during the Red Scare.

Vol. 2 No. 2 – Jan. 8, 1951

Fight Back

Fight Back was the monthly publication of the Attica Brigade (later Revolutionary Student Brigade) and organization affiliated with the Revolutionary Union and later the Revolutionary Communist Party.

The Attica Brigade was based among college students and at its peak had dozens of chapters across the country. It was part of the New Communist Movement that arose in the early 1970s.

Vol. 1 No. 3 – Dec.-Jan. 1974

Vol. 1 No. 4 – Feb. 1974

Finally Got the News

Published by the national African Liberation Support Committee based in Washington, D.C. Similar to the local ALSC, this newsletter also reflects a turn toward the working class and Marxism-Leninism.

Vol. 1 No. 2 – December 1974

I Am We

The Committee for Justice for Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party based in Oakland, Ca. published a national newsletter, I Am We.

By this time, the Black Panther Party was pulling most of its remaining cadre in cities across the country to its base in Oakland, Ca.

Vol. 1 No. 3 – May/June 1975

Poll Tax Repealer

The Poll Tax Repealer was the national newsletter of the National Committee to Abolish the Poll Tax.

The national campaign against the poll tax began in the early 1940s and continued through the end of the decade. The campaign had some success at the local level as some states repealed their poll tax, including Georgia in 1945.

The civil rights movement wasn’t successful at ending the tax until the 24thAmendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1964. Poll taxes in state elections were outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966

Vol. 2 No. 2 – March 1943

Vol. 4 No. 1 – April 1945

Vol. 4 No. 3 – May 4, 1945

Vol. 4 No. 5 – June 1, 1945

Vol. 4 No. 6 – June 15, 1945

Vol. 4 No. 6 – First July issue, 1945

Vol. 4 No. 9 – Second August issue, 1945

Vol. 4 No. 11 – Second September issue, 1945

Vol. 4 No 12 – First October issue, 1945

Vol. 4 No 14 – First November Issue, 1945

Vol. 4 No. 15 – Second November issue, 1945

Vol. 4 No. 16 – December, 1945

Vol. 5 (No number) – August, 1946

SDS Bulletin

The national internal newsletter of the Students for Democratic Society published in the early years of the group’s existence. 

Vol. 3 No. 5 – February 1965

Unity & Struggle

The national newspaper of the Congress of Afrikan People which had moved from a pan-Africanist perspective toward Marxism-Leninism. The group was led by the poet and black activist Imamu Amiri Baraka.

Vol. 5 No. 5 – May 1976

–return to documents–

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