The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 74/No. 3      January 25, 2010

SWP supporters up pledges in
response to political openings
(front page)
Responding to the evidence that a new kind of opportunity to expand the reach of propaganda activity and communist campaigning—and to build the Socialist Workers Party—has opened, 87 percent of the 435 contributors to the Supporters Monthly Financial Appeal raised their monthly pledges to the party by 15 percent in December. The success of the effort has led organizers of the appeal to project increasing the number of contributors to 500!

Organizers of the appeal met with each of the 435 contributors in the United States and Canada to discuss the new political openings for the communist movement.

“Contributors really appreciated the time we spent talking politics. They were proud to do what they could with an appreciation of what is possible if the funds are available,” said Natalie Bombaro, an organizer of the effort in Philadelphia.

Over the course of about one month, 380 contributors raised their pledge by 15 percent or more—an increase of $85,000—bringing the annual total to $590,000.

“This is a victory for all contributors and the communist movement, which means the party will not have to cut back or scrimp on any of its plans for financial reasons,” said Dave Prince, a leader of the SWP.

“We will be able to respond to new developments in the class struggle wherever they occur. We’ll be able to take trips and participate in conferences, book fairs, and expand the reach of the Militant. We’ll be able to get books such as the recently published Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power and many others into the hands of a growing number of workers and youth who are expressing an interest in a communist perspective,” Prince said.

Supporters of the SWP are also mapping out plans to convince buyers at bookstores to begin carrying the book, as well as its Spanish edition when it is available in mid-March.

Among the party campaigns that the increased funds will make possible is broad sales of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power at a special discounted price of $10. The SWP has launched a winter/spring propaganda offensive in 2010 to respond to the opening among workers and youth to discuss the perspective of the working class taking power in answer to the growing capitalist crisis. (See article beginning on front page.)  
New receptivity
The special effort to raise supporter contributions by 15 percent was launched at a November 7 public meeting in New York City attended by more than 300 people. At that meeting SWP leaders explained that party members are finding a qualitatively new receptivity to the Militant newspaper and Pathfinder books among workers, youth, and others seeking to understand and fight against the social and political consequences of capitalism’s deepening economic crisis and expanding wars.

During the recently completed fall Militant circulation campaign, 30 subscriptions were bought by union workers at a large packinghouse in South St. Paul, Minnesota. Eighteen workers at a large garment factory in Los Angeles, and another 18 workers at a meatpacking plant near Des Moines, Iowa, also subscribed. Many workers across the country bought subscriptions to the paper after getting a copy of the Militant’s special supplement with the introduction to Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power.

The positive response among workers was coupled with many students in cities across North America and in other countries signing up to regularly receive the paper.

Several examples of how the communist movement leverages its use of propaganda toward the working class worldwide were also pointed to by contributors in raising their pledges. The cumulative sales of communist literature in Iran—more than 40,000 Farsi-language Pathfinder books over the past decade—has helped to highlight what is opening up in the world.

As the effort to win increases for the Supporters Monthly Appeal was under way in late November, participants in the Venezuela International Book Fair reported selling over 400 copies of the Marxist magazine New International, and a 37 percent increase in book sales from the year before.  
Winning new contributors
As a part of the 15 percent raise effort in Pittsburgh, New York, and Newark, New Jersey, four new people were won to making monthly contributions to the Supporters Monthly Appeal.

Organizers of the appeal are convinced that many more will be won as the SWP reaches out to the new possibilities for propaganda activity and communist campaigning. The appeal will now focus efforts on expanding the number from 435 to 500!

Josefina Otero, an organizer of the effort in Pittsburgh, wrote, “Following the resounding success of this most recent 15 percent increase, we should reach out to workers and farmers, students, and others who are looking for political answers. We can increase the number of financial contributors to the party right now in a big way.”

Become a contributor! Anyone interested in joining the ongoing effort to expand the reach of communist politics by making a monthly pledge can contact organizers of the appeal in your area through the numbers listed on page 8.

Don Mackle and Carole Caron are organizers of Supporters Monthly Appeal. Dave Prince and Steve Clark contributed to this article.  
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