Int’l drive ends with a bang— 600+ subscribe in final week!
BY LOUIS MARTIN
In a truly impressive effort during the final week of an international campaign, Militant readers sold 619 subscriptions, bringing the total sold in five weeks to 1,924. Supporters of the paper in a number of areas are organizing victory celebrations.
All but four areas went over their local quotas. Militant supporters also sold hundreds of books on revolutionary working-class politics, mainly going door to door in working-class neighborhoods. (See ad on page 3 for books on special.)
“Tonight, Militant supporters have successfully completed the campaign in New York. We can look forward to continuing the discussions with readers,” Deborah Liatos wrote late March 19 to volunteers who sold 303 subscriptions to workers there.
“You have been talking about things I have been wanting to talk about,” Alexandra Jean told Militant supporters in Montreal when asked why she decided to join the door-to-door effort. A few weeks ago she bought a subscription and four books from a team that knocked on her door.
Until recently Jean was attending pre-university college. She explained she had volunteered for the Red Cross and other charities, “but they weren’t making a difference. I feel like going door to door is worth it. This message is true.”
“Where does this crisis come from?” Louis Conde asked Militant supporters standing at his door in Philadelphia March 16. “It’s like nobody’s steering the car. Or at least, we’re not. We’re the ones paying for this disaster.”
Conde has been a custodial worker with the Philadelphia public school district for more than 20 years. He described recent cuts in wages and working conditions of school workers, as well as the closing of schools. “The schools are set up to fail. They never give us what we need for the students,” Conde said. He got a Militant subscription and bought The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning: The Fraud of Education Reform Under Capitalism.
Mark Wilson in South London subscribed to the paper after Julie Crawford and Jonathan Silberman came to his house for a follow-up visit he requested a week earlier.
Wilson’s mother, who lives in Jamaica, was cured of cataract blindness by Cuban medical volunteers there. “The Cubans did it for free,” Wilson said. “I don’t know much about the Cuban Revolution, but Jamaicans I know prefer to see Cuban doctors.”
John Naubert reported from Seattle that Louis Vega, 54, a disabled army veteran originally from Puerto Rico, renewed his subscription when Militant supporters stopped by his house.
“I like how the paper tackles issues head on,” he said. “I didn’t know anything about the Cuban Five until it was covered in the Militant. They are fighting the covert operations from the U.S.” against the Cuban Revolution. (See box on page 9.) Vega also bought a copy of Cuba and Angola: Fighting for Africa’s Freedom and Our Own.
Naubert also reported that Militant supporters going door to door in Kent, Wash., met Lily Wilson, whose husband was one of the recent strikers at United Natural Food Inc. in Auburn, Wash.
“The Militant is by the people, for the people. We have to come together, everyone is out there for themselves. I want to show this paper to my friends,” Wilson said as she got a subscription.
“Militant supporters in Atlanta sold 35 subscriptions and 17 books in the last eight days,” reported Rachele Fruit.
One of these subscriptions was a renewal to Alfonso Baccay, a building cleaner from the Philippines. Baccay also got a copy of Cuba and Angola. “I like that you can learn the truth about other peoples’ struggles,” he said.
Alyson Kennedy reported that one of the renewals in Chicago last week was from Andre Watson, 30, who drives a forklift in a plant. “The Militant is about building a movement,” he said. “It explains how we are progressing and how the government keeps us oppressed. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
“It is not a race thing,” said Watson, who is African-American. “It doesn’t matter if you are poor Latino, Black or white. They want us to fight each other. If we have a movement in different states, cities and even overseas, we will have a better chance. That’s what we need.”
Jacquie Henderson wrote from Houston that Militant supporters were invited by three construction workers to join a fish fry March 16 to meet their friends, eat freshly caught fish and introduce everyone to the paper and books.
When told that Socialist Workers Party members were planning to run a campaign for mayor and city council in Houston, the new readers volunteered to help launch the campaign. “The campaign was really launched there yesterday,” said Henderson.
Frank Forrestal reports from Minneapolis that Militant supporters picked up four subscriptions, including three renewals, last week from workers in the Red River Valley region of northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota.
“I like the Militant, but would like to see more promotion of unions and how to get unions started,” said Bill Hauck, one of 1,300 workers locked out by American Crystal Sugar since Aug. 1, 2011, who now works at a potato factory.
The Militant got five “Prisoners” subscriptions last week, bringing our total to 20 for the drive. These include three renewals from Los Angeles, which Militant supporter Jesus Landeros organized to get.
One new subscription was bought by an unemployed worker supporters in Miami met going door to door, who wanted it for her jailed godnephew. And a prisoner in Florida requested to receive the paper.
The international effort to expand circulation of the Militant continues. Bundles of the paper can be ordered by contacting the Militant at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 244-4899.