The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 75/No. 22      June 6, 2011

(front page)
Int’l efforts help keep
subscription drive on pace
Militant/Dan Fein
Militant Army volunteer Sara Lobman, right, sells subscription in Maspeth, Queens, New York, to Andrew Los, active duty marine who served in Afghanistan and is on his way to Japan.

Militant Army volunteers in the United Kingdom are giving a boost to the international campaign to sell more than 2,000 subscriptions to the paper. Members of the Communist League in London upped their quota for a second time, from 90 to 100. In Manchester, socialists raised the goal from 25 to 35. And volunteers in Canada increased theirs to 70.

A bus driver in Manchester recently bought a subscription from a door-to-door team. “At first he said he wasn’t interested in politics,” wrote Dag Tirsén. “But he went on to say he expects ‘major fightbacks’ in coming years if the increasingly grim future many workers face doesn’t turn around.”

The response in working-class communities in Manchester, where the Communist League recently set up an organizing committee, encouraged Militant supporters there to go for the higher goal.

As readers may have noted in last week’s issue, efforts by Militant Army volunteers outside the United States—who were well ahead of schedule—helped lift the scoreboard several percentage points. This week is no different—London is already at 85 percent, New Zealand at 80, and Australia at 75. Time for another raise?

There are two more weeks in the door-to-door effort to win new readers. So far 1,433 subscriptions have been sold, just slightly ahead of schedule.

Plans to go over the top in the campaign include teams selling subscriptions in cities and towns in early June, as Militant Army volunteers head to an international socialist conference in Oberlin, Ohio. So far, socialist workers from Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have signed on.

Four books about the working-class struggle to conquer political power are being offered along with subscriptions. These are The Changing Face of U.S. Politics; Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power; and The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning, all by Jack Barnes; and Is Socialist Revolution in the U.S. Possible? by Mary-Alice Waters.

The Militant gets numerous reports about workers’ responsiveness to the revolutionary perspectives written about in the paper. Many caught in the vise of the capitalist crisis—its wars, joblessness, debt burdens, and attacks on social and political rights—are more inclined now to take a look at a newspaper published in the interests of working people.

Sara Lobman from New York writes, “Rudy Gush, a retired worker who has had ‘more jobs than I can say,’ bought a subscription from a door-to-door team in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, last week.

“At first he said he’d just buy a single,” Lobman reported. “‘Five years ago if you’d come here with that paper, I’d have thrown you off the steps and told you if you don’t like it in America, go somewhere else.’ Gush said. ‘But here I am talking with you about revolution.’”

In the end Gush bought a subscription and took two blank sub cards in case any of his friends want to get the paper.

A number of areas report that the Militant Army is expanding—a major goal of the subscription campaign. Not only do we want new readers, but also recruits from workers and young people who find the paper useful and want to introduce it to coworkers, neighbors, and friends.

Arlene Rubinstein from Los Angeles writes, “Efren Quitana, pictured in the May 23 issue, has become an effective member of the Militant Army. Through his efforts showing the paper to coworkers, we have three new subscribers.

“Efren set up a lunchtime get-together with his coworker José, who in turn brought his friend Pedro, to talk about the Militant with a couple of us from the Socialist Workers Party. José said he has been trying to understand the economic crisis and appreciated discussing it with workers who have a communist outlook. Both he and Pedro subscribed.

“They told others back at work about the paper,” Rubinstein said. “Allen, another coworker, showed up at the Militant Labor Forum the next week due to their efforts and picked up a sub.”

John Naubert from Seattle writes, “Patricia Flores, who got a subscription in Yakima, Washington, asked us for extra cards to sign up more readers.

“Patricia and a friend of hers, who is also a Militant subscriber,” Naubert says, “are fighting against Secure Communities”—a program under which fingerprints of every person booked by local cops are sent to the FBI and forwarded to federal immigration authorities to be checked against their databases.

The two women “want the articles the Militant has recently written about these antiworker laws to help arm themselves to better argue for the rights of immigrants,” Naubert said.


Finally, in response to the Militant Army article last week, we received this note from Chris Rayson, a rail worker in the Seattle area.

“You can tell Joe Swanson, whose note about ‘High Green, High Ball’ appeared last week, that the term is still used and for the same reasons.

“The Socialist Workers Party’s confidence in workers and farmers is well placed. I find it wide open to talk politics with anybody. Coworkers have had much experience over the last few years that is beginning to cut through the myths and illusions.”
Related articles:
Spring 'Militant' subscription campaign: week 4 of 6 (chart)  
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