The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 74/No. 39      October 18, 2010

Unionists at rally attracted
to book on ‘Workers Power’
(front page)
"They don't want you to know your history. But we are never going back," said Denise Ripley, a public school tutor from Philadelphia, as she was thumbing through the dozens of photographs in the book Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, by Jack Barnes.

"The only way to change things is to educate ourselves and rely on ourselves," she said, commenting on how the Democratic and Republican politicians try to convince working people that all we can do is vote for one of them.

Ripley was one of some 280 people who purchased Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power at the October 2 demonstration in Washington, D.C., called by the AFL-CIO, NAACP, and other organizations around the slogan for jobs, justice, and education. Socialist campaigners also sold 235 subscriptions to the Militant there.

Supporters of the paper around the world are on an eight-week campaign to sell more than 1,800 copies of the book while simultaneously expanding the Militant’s subscription base by 2,100 readers. The Washington, D.C., protest, along with a number of smaller actions around the country, boosted the international sales effort and brought it on course to reach these goals as we enter the fourth week.

Workers’ response to the book at the rally shows the thirst among working people for answers to how we can advance our class interests in the face of the unrelenting economic crisis.

"A friend of mine showed me this book before, so when I came here I saw it and had to get it right away," said Patrick Clarke, from Queens, a union staffer for the 1199SEIU in New York City. He bought two copies—one for himself and one for a friend.

"The main thing I discussed with people is the need for the working class to have our own party, a labor party based on a fighting union movement through which working people can contest in the political arena with the twin parties of the exploiting class," said Omari Musa, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Washington, D.C.

Socialist Workers candidates and their supporters around the country have been promoting Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power as an integral part of their campaigns. Musa said workers at the rally were interested in the book’s point that the working class must conquer state power in order to begin eradicating all forms of exploitation and oppression perpetuated under the capitalist system, and organize society in the interests of the majority.

Socialists from Chicago came to the action on buses organized by the Chicago Teachers Union as well as the NAACP. "We met some people we will for sure be working with in the future," said Alyson Kennedy, SWP candidate for U.S. Senate from Illinois. Kennedy said the campaign was also invited to speak at a high school class.

In New York socialist campaigners met a group of Queens College students who have a socialist club. They invited the SWP candidates to speak at their next meeting.

Mary Martin from Seattle reports that SWP candidates and campaign supporters got a good response at an October 2 demonstration of 300 in that city. They sold seven Workers Power books and 10 subscriptions, "Two workers from a local candy factory and two young people who went to the demonstration came back to the campaign hall after the rally for further discussion on the campaign platform with the candidates and supporters," Martin said.

One proven way to increase book sales is by taking advantage of a special Militant supplement that reprints, in English, Spanish and French, the introduction to Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power. In fact 1,500 more English supplements have just been printed.

"After reading the introduction to the book, I knew I had to have it," said Jason Scott, a young Black heath-care worker from the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. He had bought the supplement the week before from Dan Fein, SWP candidate for New York governor. When Fein called him back to ask how he liked the introduction, Scott insisted he bring him the book as soon as possible. Fein responded without much delay, selling him the book.

The campaign runs until November 9. It's not too late to join in selling the Workers Power book and signing up new readers to the Militant. Join us! Contact a distributor in your area, listed on page 8, to help.
Related articles:
Economic crisis draws workers to D.C. rally
Campaign to sell 'Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and Road to Workers Power' & 'Militant'.  
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