The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 75/No. 19      May 16, 2011

(front page / a letter to our readers)
Hit by capitalist crisis, workers
are receptive to the ‘Militant’
Militant/Rachele Fruit
Militant supporter George Williams shows paper to Victoria Robinson at relief station in Pratt City, Alabama, April 30.

At demonstrations across the United States on May 1, hundreds bought subscriptions to the Militant newspaper. In coming weeks socialist workers will be following through on this interest in the perspectives on U.S. and world politics presented in the Militant by concentrating on door-to-door sales in communities where workers live.

Battered by the world economic crisis that has deepened over the past three years, millions of workers are reacting against the havoc wreaked on our lives and livelihoods by the capitalist system—unemployment, rising food and gasoline prices, onerous debt and foreclosures, cuts in health benefits and pensions, union busting, and much more. Growing numbers of workers are becoming more responsive politically to the radical, working-class outlook advanced in the pages of the Militant to address this crisis and the expanding U.S. wars that accompany it.

The Militant is in the second week of a six-week international subscription campaign to win more than 2,000 new readers and renewals. We invite our readers to join us in this effort. In the first 10 days of the campaign, 535 have subscribed.

Branches of the Socialist Workers Party in the United States and of Communist Leagues in four countries have adopted subscription quotas for the drive. Following discussion of workers’ growing political responsiveness to the Militant about half of SWP branches increased their initial goals.

These increases brought the combined local quotas a bit over the international goal of 2,000 subscriptions. Discussions of the political openings in the remaining branches would put the communist movement on course to surpass the international goal.

Many who sign up as regular Militant readers are also picking up copies of one or more of the books being offered at a special price with a subscription.

In the Midwest, where socialist workers have campaigned extensively with the Militant at union rallies defending public workers, door-to-door sales make it possible to get a picture of what a broader layer of working people are going through and thinking.

“In Winneconne, Wisconsin, we were invited to visit with a retired construction worker and his wife, a teacher, who had gotten a subscription at a rally in Madison,” explains Tony Lane from the Twin Cities. “He renewed his subscription and also got The Changing Face of U.S. Politics. He wanted us to know how much he values the Militant and to discuss what working people can do now to find further ways to fight.”

At the May Day rally in Madison, Joel Greeno, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and subscriber, spoke with Laura Anderson, a factory worker and distributor of the paper from Chicago. Greeno told Anderson he appreciated the Militant article last week explaining why it was a sign of weakness for some union supporters to have tried to shout down Republican Party politician Sarah Palin at an April rally at the Wisconsin Statehouse. Many farmers he talks to are Republicans, Greeno said, but they are beginning to question everything as a result of the capitalist crisis. He stressed how important it is to have space open for discussion and debate.

Two high school students joined a May Day weekend door-to-door team in Lincoln, Nebraska. Talking about this new experience, Max Bontrager said, “One woman told us she doesn’t watch the news because it only offers problems, but what people saw in the Militant was solutions and ways to communicate.” The team sold two subscriptions.

Teams of socialist workers from different cities are hooking up, like the one from New York and Philadelphia that sold 15 subscriptions in Hightstown, New Jersey, on May Day. As in other areas, the team not only joined the rally but spent a few hours taking the paper door to door in a nearby working-class neighborhood. Like elsewhere, among the workers interested in having political discussion and who bought subscriptions were those calling themselves Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, independents, conservatives, liberals, and more.

Cecelia Moriarity in Seattle told the Militant she now makes sure to always have a copy of the paper with her. “I was at the grocery store and someone started up a conversation with me about the weather. Before long we were talking about politics, and I said, ‘I’ve got a paper you’d like.’ He pulled out $5 and got a subscription.”

We encourage Militant readers to be part of this effort to get the paper out as broadly as possible. Order a bundle to sell from our New York address on page 2. Sign up your coworkers, neighbors, and friends. Join one of the teams organized in cities and towns across the country by contacting distributors listed on page 8.

Help us burst through the top of the goal to sign up well over 2,000 readers to a newsweekly “published in the interests of working people.”

In Solidarity,

Paul Mailhot
Circulation Director
Related articles:
Spring 'Militant' subscription campaign (chart)  
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