The drive is centered around regular door-to-door sales in working-class neighborhoods, with special attention to those where a significant proportion are African-American.
During the last couple of weeks, many readers discussed their experiences in the drive and the growing interest in communist ideas among working people today, fed by the crisis of capitalism.
The local quotas printed on the front page are a result of these discussions. Boston, Chicago and New York are still considering theirs.
A total of nine new areas have joined the campaign so far: Claysville, Pa.; Greensboro, N.C.; Longview, Wash.; New Orleans; Omaha, Neb.; Redding, Calif.; Rio Grande Valley, Texas; Tampa, Fla.; and Yakima, Wash.
For the first time the Militant is adding a “Prisoners” entry to a subscription chart. There are currently 60 who subscribe to the Militant—double the number a year ago. And we know that many are showing the paper around and use it in political discussions and study groups with fellow prisoners.
The Militant Prisoners’ Fund makes it possible for inmates, often with help from friends or family, to order subscriptions at a reduced rate of $6 for every six months. Half-year subscriptions are also offered free of charge for those who have no means to pay. (See box on page 11.)
While our readers behind bars have no means to adopt a goal, the Militant is looking toward winning at least five new subscribers by the end of the drive, either in prison or sold by our readers behind bars to working people outside. We got two such subscriptions since the announcement of the campaign. To all readers behind bars: it’s up to you to make sure we reach our goal!
“I’m really glad I subscribed,” Russell Grandstrand said. “I’ve never seen a paper like it. You get a real inside view of labor and what is going on in the world. I show it to other locked-out workers.”
Grandstrand is one of 1,300 workers in five plants locked out by American Crystal Sugar 15 months ago after they rejected a concession contract from the company. He used to work at the plant in Drayton, N.D., and has been reading the paper for about six months.
More than one year after bosses imposed the lockout, the sugar workers rejected two additional company offers and only 2 percent have crossed the picket line. According to Frank Forrestal from Minneapolis, there are currently 28 Militant subscribers in the Red River Valley—the region of northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota where American Crystal’s five main plants are located.
Forrestal also joined last week with Cameron Slick, a union hotel bellman, going door to door in the Holland neighborhood of northeast Minneapolis. “We talked to many immigrants, a park worker, a collector and a restaurant server among others,” Slick wrote. “With one exception, the neighbors were receptive to our voice and the paper.” They sold two subscriptions and are planning to continue going house to house in the same area.
Robert Beal, a rangeland erosion laborer from Yakima, Wash., said that Militant readers in that area have decided to increase to 10 their initial goal of five subscriptions after they hit six.
One of the new subscribers is Estanislado Vargas, one of Beal’s coworkers. Vargas is also a student at Central Washington University and lives in Ellensburg, Wash.
In addition to getting a subscription to the Militant, Vargas bought The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning; Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power; and The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, Why They Should Be Free—three of four books offered at reduced prices with a subscription. (See ad on this page.)
“I would be honored to help get this paper out. It covers all aspects of the world that you don’t get in regular papers,” Stalin Harrison said when he was visited by Militant distributor Edwin Fruit in his barber shop in Seattle. Harrison is a long-term reader. He decided to take some subscription blanks and five copies of the Militant to show to customers and friends.
Please send me your reports, comments, quotes and photos by 9 a.m. EST every Monday.
You can order a weekly bundle of the paper or subscriptions blanks at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 244-4899.
Fall ‘Militant’ subscription campaign Oct. 13 – Dec. 16 (week 2) (chart)
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