Our friend John Rudge has compiled the definitive guide to IS and SWP youth publications, which you will find on Ian Birchall’s site.
We will draw heavily on John’s work as we present scans from our collection…
In 1960 the Socialist Review Group launched the paper Rebel “For Socialist Youth Against The Bomb”. This ran for nine issues, of which we have three, before effecting a merger with Rally, the RSL (Grantite) youth paper, and some other local papers to produce a new paper Young Guard.
REBEL 1st series
We have discussed Young Guard elsewhere but can now add a few more issues to our collection, including issue 1 from September 1961.
Young Guard was in direct competition with the Healyite paper Keep Left and ran for five years, despite the withdrawal of the former Rally faction in 1963. We have 21 of the 40 or so issues of Young Guard.
Although the demise of Young Guard is attributed to the decline of the Young Socialists as an active force, it seems that within a few months of YG shutting up shop there was a renewed need for a youth paper and Rebel series two was launched in September 1966.
This incarnation lasted for seven issues, of which we have nos 1 and 2.
REBEL 2nd series
Whilst we have to wait another four years until Rebel makes another appearence, the Manchester branches of IS (under the influence of the Trotskyist Tendency / Workers Fight) produced a successful, duplicated paper under that name.
We have four issues of the Manchester Rebel.
REBEL duplicated series
The first issue of the new national Rebel was published in November 1971 as a four page tabloid. This then became an 8 pager and ran for 8 issues until April 1973.
If the later 1970s Socialist Worker was referred to as the Punk Paper then this version of Rebel, with its psychedelic design and articles on the politics of dope, is surely the Hippie Paper.
We have five of these although the numbering is somewhat confusing. The second, third and fourth issues are Feb March, April May and June July 1972 respectively.
This is then followed by “issue 4”! We also have issue 6 which must therefore be called issue 7!!
REBEL 3rd series
Finally we come to the later 1970s paper Fight which ran from 1976 – 1978 as the paper of the Socialist Worker Youth Movement.
It is unclear how many issues of Fight were produced. So far we have only one, from May 1977.