The Militant is launching a four-week international drive to sign up as many readers as possible to renew their subscriptions.
The effort—running from Feb. 11 to March 11—will give communist workers an opportunity to talk with and get to know people who subscribed during the subscription campaign last fall. The international goal will be 500, which is 21 percent of the 2,410 subscriptions sold during the fall 2011 drive. New subscriptions for six months or longer will also count toward quotas.
The campaign will help build a March 10 public meeting in New York, where leaders of the Socialist Workers Party will talk about building revolutionary workers' parties through involvement in the growing working-class resistance worldwide.
"I really like the paper," said Dennis Wilebski, a locked-out sugar worker from Drayton, N.D., who recently sent in a check for a three-month renewal. "It covers labor struggles in the West, in Ohio, even in Europe, New Zealand and Australia. They are trying to make us slaves everywhere. People around here really like the paper because it tells the truth about our fight."
Wilebski is one of 1,300 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union who have been locked out by American Crystal Sugar Co. since Aug. 1 for refusing to accept company concessions. They have since led a resolute fight at seven plants across the Red River Valley and in southern Minnesota and Iowa. (See article above.)
"I give my copies of the paper," added Wilebski, "to a friend of mine who works at MCI, a bus company in Pembina, N.D. Their union contract runs out in May and they may have a fight on their hands. He really likes the paper too. When he's done, he gives it back to me and I bring it down to the picket shack in Drayton for others to read."
"The Militant is very informative on what's going on here in this country and in other countries," said Danny Eaton, a member of BCTGM Local 48G, which fought for 10 months through July 2011 against a lockout by Roquette America in Keokuk, Iowa.
Eaton recently renewed for one year. "I also like the articles on Cuba. It's unique in its own way. That's a plus because if you're used to the same old thing and then hear something different that pertains to you and that you can relate to, that's part of the attraction."
"I like reading the Militant because I'm getting better information that I actually believe is true," said Larry Long, also a member of Local 48G. He has been reading The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, Why They Should Be Free, a collection of Militant articles on the U.S. government's frame-up of the Cuban Five revolutionaries. "I like the coverage on labor struggles because that's what brought me to it in the first place."
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have been renewing in Washington state, where the union recently forced EGT Development bosses to agree to hire ILWU labor at its terminal. Two unionists there, one an ILWU member and the other a retired member of the Operating Engineers, recently sent their renewals by mail.
Byron Jacobs, secretary-treasurer of ILWU Local 21, renewed for two years. He said a relative who works at a plant in Longview, Wash., shares copies of his paper with coworkers. Jacobs suggested members of the Socialist Workers Party talk with these workers next time they're in town.
Beverly Bernardo from Montreal said Militant distributors there have sold 13 renewals since they started organizing this work in early January. They have been combining their renewal effort with sales of books on revolutionary working-class politics. Five such books are on special for new and renewing readers, as well as the new book by Pathfinder Press, Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution. (See ads on pages 3 and 6.)
To register efforts already under way in many areas, all renewals or long-term subscriptions sold since Jan. 21 will count toward local goals.
Please send notes and short articles about the renewal effort in your area to the Militant by 8:00 a.m., Tuesday morning, EST.