The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 75/No. 38      October 24, 2011

Hunger for solidarity
spurs sales of ‘Militant’
(front page)
Four hundred twenty nine workers and youth signed up for subscriptions to the Militant during the first nine days of a seven-week international campaign to win 2,200 readers! The initial response puts the drive ahead of schedule and reflects growing interest in a socialist paper published in the interests of working people.

The hunger for solidarity and desire among working people to effectively fight the bosses is also reflected in sales of Teamster Rebellion, one of five books on special discount with a subscription. The book by Farrell Dobbs, who was a central leader of the communist movement, recounts the successful strikes and organizing drive in 1934 by Teamsters Local 574 in Minneapolis.

In the Red River Valley, 14 more workers and their supporters battling a lockout by American Crystal Sugar bought subscriptions, bringing the total 135 receiving the Militant in this area each week. On the picket line in Drayton, N.D., two workers bought the entire four-volume Teamster series, which includes Teamster Rebellion, Teamster Power, Teamster Politics and Teamster Bureaucracy.

At a rally in Fargo, N.D., organized by members of the sugar workers’ union and a group of young people putting together an “Occupy Wall Street” movement in the area, socialist workers sold a subscription to a young unemployed worker who told them, “I only have $500 in the bank and if I don’t get a job soon, I’ll be evicted from my apartment. But I would rather starve than take a job as a strikebreaker at Crystal.”

Members of the Socialist Workers Party in Seattle sold 10 subscriptions to members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union engaged in a hard-fought battle against a company attempting to crush their union with the help of the police and courts. Four of these new subscribers bought copies of Teamster Rebellion. Another picked up a copy of Teamster Power.

Young people and workers at Occupy Wall Street actions in New York and similar demonstrations across the country are snatching up the Militant along with books on revolutionary working-class politics. “Our literature table was busy from the moment we set up to well after the event was over,” said Willie Cotton about one such event on the lawn of the Iowa state capitol in Des Moines October 9. “Many were looking for answers to the capitalist crisis and 14 subscriptions were sold that day and at similar events in neighboring towns over the weekend.”

In New York City, 38 subscriptions and 223 single copies have so far been sold at Occupy Wall Street events near Zucotti Park in Lower Manhattan, along with a number of Pathfinder books.

“On Saturday,” wrote Alyson Kennedy from Chicago, “a team of SWP members traveled to Oshkosh, Wis., to talk to members of United Auto Workers Local 578 at the truck assembly plants there. They sold five subscriptions to workers attending the local union meeting that rejected a contract proposal for the second time. (See front page article.) On Sunday, another team sold three subscriptions going door to door in a working-class community near one of the truck plants.”

Kennedy also reported that seven participants in a Chicago demonstration against Washington’s war in Afghanistan bought subscriptions. More than 1,000 people joined the action, including a large contingent of youth and workers from the ongoing Occupy Chicago protest at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

In Atlanta, Janice Lynn and Lisa Potash went back October 7 to speak to the Kraft Foods Nabisco workers at the afternoon shift change. A week earlier workers there had participated in a protest organized by their union against a company plan to outsource their jobs.

“We sold 14 single copies of the Militant,” wrote Lynn. “Many workers were interested in the growing solidarity being won by the locked-out sugar beet workers in the Midwest, as well as by the article on their own protest. Two workers pulled over their cars and signed up for a subscription.” Both had seen the Militant before and one of them also bought a copy of Teamster Rebellion.”

“I’ve been missing the Militant! Come in,” said Marcelo Valencia to members of the Communist League in New Zealand going door to door in Auckland, reported Janet Roth. Valencia, 35, who works as a caregiver for the elderly, explained he used to subscribe but had lost contact when he moved.

“I like the Militant,” Valencia added, “because its comments are real.” He was especially interested in reading news about workers’ struggles in the U.S. He renewed his subscription and bought a copy in Spanish of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by Jack Barnes. Four other subscriptions were sold in the same neighborhood that day.

Since last week, Young Socialists at the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Militant supporter in Bloomington, Ind., have adopted quotas in the drive. In addition, distributors in Houston, New York City and Seattle recently increased their quotas, bringing combined international adopted goals to 2,210!
Related articles:
Fall 'Militant' subscription campaign Oct. 1-Nov. 20 (week 1) (chart)  
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