Monday, September 26, 2011

Calling all socialists/communists: SELL your newspapers, don't give them away


While I know not everyone will read The Militant, I think it is incumbent upon everyone affiliated in some way to a revolutionary socialist organization which does produce a regular paper to ACKNOWLEDGE what the Militant is saying: there is profound political space to win readers and subscribers, and we all need to lead with that. Meeting people at events and having great political discussions with them does not help advance rebuilding our movement if these contacts are not POLITICALLY convinced to subscribe. And I don't mean just giving papers away and making up the difference out of our own pockets, either!

....Since June communist workers and others in the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and U.K have signed up nearly 1,000 new and renewing subscribers, continuing a trend from earlier in the year. This includes some 200 readers in coal and other mining areas, as well as about 100 locked-out sugar workers in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota.

"This weekend we sold another six subscriptions to locked-out workers in the valley," Frank Forrestal reports. "One to a Chicano worker in Hillsboro, N.D.; three at the plant in East Grand Forks, Minn.; one on the picket line in Drayton, N.D."

Those visiting the picket lines can bring that experience to bear in helping to build solidarity among workers and in the unions when they get home. The Militant is a unique tool to win others to back this and other struggles.

"I'd recommend the Militant to anyone looking for fair and equal treatment, trying to keep a union in good standing, or organizing labor to stand up and fight for our rights," said subscriber Brian Wilson, a locked-out Armstrong worker and member of United Steelworkers Local 285/441 in Marietta, Pennsylvania. Armstrong World Industries, a floor and ceiling manufacturer, locked out some 260 workers July 17. Six have bought Militant subscriptions since then.

The past two weeks 12 people in Longview, Wash., have become subscribers. Workers there are standing up to EGT Development Corp., which won't honor an agreement with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union at its new terminal at the port. Eight copies of Teamster Rebellion by Farrell Dobbs have been sold.

"The future is labor and the working class," said ILWU Local 21 member Jason Lundquist. "Citizens have to have history and a labor voice to be strong." He bought a subscription and all four volumes of the Teamster series by Dobbs.

Six participants at the Coalition of Labor Union Women convention in Orlando, Fla., got subscriptions September 7-10. Ten were sold at the Brooklyn Book Fair in New York.

In her letter to SWP branches, LaMont said the drive in New York will be part of "redeeming the national party effort to get on the ballot in the Ninth Congressional District" by organizing "a special effort in Queens and Brooklyn." More than 7,000 signatures were collected to put SWP candidate Chris Hoeppner on the ballot for the special September 13 election there.

Republican Robert Turner defeated Democrat David Weprin in that district, which had been represented by Democrats since 1922.

Those results have been portrayed in the bourgeois press as evidence, in part, of growing racist attitudes among workers who are Caucasian. Writing in the National Review, Michael Rosen said the vote is a sign of a loss of Democratic support "especially among working-class whites alienated by the president's elite status, wealth, and yes, racial-ethnic background."

The Democrat lost, said the Daily Beast, because the 9th C.D. "is not a liberal enclave. It includes the neighborhood where the fictional Archie Bunker once lived—a misshapen district largely populated by what was once known in crude political science terms as 'white ethnics.'"  

Workers of all backgrounds
"We'll go and talk to workers from all backgrounds, including Irish and Italian," said LaMont, "and find out if the capitalist pundits' opinions, echoed by the liberals and petty bourgeois left, that the Republican victory … shows a resurgence of racism among 'working-class whites' is right. We don't think it is."

Five books that help workers learn more about the class struggle and the SWP's fighting history remain on special discount with subscriptions (see ad on page 4). Selling subscriptions and books together "is at the heart of what we're doing and will be a measure of our success," LaMont said.

Class-conscious workers and others can make this campaign your own. Help get the Militant and books on working-class politics into the hands of coworkers, friends, and relatives. To join the effort, contact distributors of the paper listed on page 8.

Together with the subscription drive, the SWP is organizing an eight-week $100,000 fall Party-Building Fund. We encourage readers to contribute to this fund to support the party's political work.  



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