Doye said a friend of hers comes by each week to borrow the paper when it arrives, asking “Did you get the paper yet?”
“I’ll have to get her to subscribe too, so I can get my papers back,” said Doye, who bought three books on special for subscribers. (See ad on page 3 for the eight books on special with a Militant subscription.)
In the first 10 days of a five-week international campaign to sell at least 1,950 subscriptions along with hundreds of books, supporters of the socialist newsweekly have signed up 408 readers, the great majority by going door to door in working-class neighborhoods.
During this same period, four workers behind bars subscribed to the workers’ paper, prompting us once again to adopt a goal for prisoners as part of the effort. (See chart on front page.)
Doye is not the only Militant reader taking initiatives on her own to help circulate the paper.
“At first, I was going to brush you ladies off,” said Hester Perryman-el, 39, when Betsy Farley and Alyson Kennedy knocked on her door in a high-rise apartment building in Chicago.
“But then I saw ‘The Militant’ on the paper and said, ‘Wait a minute now.’ For me this means sometimes you have to bend the system and not be part of a machine all of the time,” she said.
After signing up, Perryman-el called her neighbor to tell her about the paper. Getting no answer, she bought a subscription for her anyway, sure that she would like it.
“When Terani Puangi renewed her subscription, she said two patients at the Maori health clinic where she works regularly read copies of the paper she brings,” wrote Janet Roth from Auckland, New Zealand. Puangi subscribed when Militant supporters knocked on her door last fall.
Some 3,350 subscriptions and hundreds of books were sold during the fall effort and now many of these subscriptions are expiring. Militant supporters visit these readers to see if they would like to renew, to show them the books on special offer and to talk about how they can help win new readers among friends, neighbors, relatives and coworkers.
When Joanne Lachance checked out an article written by a Militant supporter who came to her door in a working-class neighborhood of Montreal, she asked if Militant writers are professional journalists.
After learning that the articles are written by ordinary workers, she said, “That means I could send an article on the day care workers strike or the actions on unemployment? I like that.”
“The Miami-Dade schools want to contract out our positions to a private company, which wants to take away our benefits and pay flat wages—take it or leave it,” said James, a custodian at a public elementary school in Miami, after seeing the Militant’s coverage on the school bus workers’ fight in New York. He asked that his last name not be used for fear of reprisal at work. He bought a subscription when supporters of the paper came to his door.
“What other jobs are you going to get right now?” asked James, adding that his workload has been increasing because the schools haven’t been replacing workers who retire.
During the course of their recently concluded strike against United Natural Foods Inc., 14 members of Teamsters Local 117 subscribed to the paper, and strikers bought seven books on special offer, John Naubert reported from Seattle.
Katina Matthews met fellow Militant reader Abel Gonzales for the first time as she was campaigning door to door in her neighborhood with Amanda Ulman and Jacquie Henderson, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Texas Senate. Gonzales and Matthews both subscribed to the paper during the fall drive.
“We can’t let them intimidate us. I learned that from my experience organizing unions when I was a little younger,” said Gonzales, who also talked about having to deal with racist violence against anyone considered Mexican when he was growing up in Texas.
Continue sending your reports, comments and photos by 9 a.m. EST every Monday.
And if you want to join the effort to expand the readership of the socialist newsweekly, you can contact a distributor in your area (see Directory), or contact the Militant to order a bundle at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 244-4899.
Winter ‘Militant’ subscription campaign Feb. 9-March 18 (week 1) (chart)
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