The drive is being led by trade unionists and others who are joining strikes, organizing drives and social protests. They’re increasing the number of workers who read and use the Militant to strengthen their struggles and learn about and meet others who are part of resistance to attacks from the bosses and the government.
Protests against the Aug. 9 killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri, cop Darren Wilson continued last week. Hundreds of angry residents attended a city council meeting there Sept. 9, demanding a halt to police harassment and the arrest of Wilson. Many held up both hands, a gesture widely used in protests to emphasize that Brown was unarmed when he was killed.
“A couple of us drove from Chicago to Ferguson to learn about the latest developments in the Michael Brown case and to show solidarity with those calling for charges against Wilson,” wrote Dan Fein Sept. 15. “We visited the memorial area where Brown was killed, which continues to be a gathering point for those who want to see the arrest of Wilson.”
“The Militant? I like the sound of that,” Arlene Parker, a retired worker in Ferguson, told them. “I’ve always been a militant. The government is in the hands of the rich. Profits is all that counts for them.” Parker was one of 21 people who subscribed to the paper over the weekend, and she bought a copy of We Are Heirs of the World’s Revolutions by Thomas Sankara, one of nine books specially priced for Militant subscribers.
Quebec municipal workers are organizing a mass rally in Montreal Sept. 20 to protest the provincial Liberal Party government’s proposal to slash pensions. Under the proposed law, the average city worker would pay in $1,950 a year more and receive $1,880 less. Militant readers have joined unionists and others publicizing the protest among co-workers and by knocking on doors in workers’ districts. Next week’s Militant will feature a report on the action.
In Half Moon Bay, California, unionists who help get the Militant around joined more than 100 people Sept. 6 in a protest against the June 3 police killing of Yanira Serrano, 18, in her home. Serrano suffered from schizophrenia. No charges have been brought against the cop who killed her, Deputy Menh Trieu.
Last weekend Gerardo Sánchez and other Militant readers from San Francisco visited the housing development where Serrano lived, and talked with neighbors. “It’s good to get this information out,” Jose Avila Garcia, an agricultural worker, told them as he subscribed. “People need to pay more attention to what’s going on.”
“I like the Militant because it is a bright spot which provides people with enlightened news on the struggles of people around the world,” Rogelio Rigor told Edwin Fruit in Seattle when Fruit knocked on his door. Rigor, an activist in the U.S.-Philippine Solidarity Committee and a high school science teacher, has read the Militant for several years. He is one of a number of subscribers deciding to renew their subscriptions.
Rigor said he is involved with other teachers in efforts to oppose pressure from the school board to give standardized tests to the students.
Restaurant worker Shakari Williams and her friend Darren Brown in College Park, Georgia, regularly read and discuss the issues covered in the Militant and Pathfinder books. When Rachele Fruit stopped by to chat, Williams re-upped for the paper and bought two books at the special rate — The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, both by Jack Barnes.
Candace Wagner, a factory worker in Brooklyn, said that she and other workers who read the Militant joined a “lunch-in” protest of Aviation Safeguards employees at company headquarters in Queens Sept. 10 demanding a decent break room.
Jacquie Henderson and Dennis Richter, two production workers in Omaha, Nebraska, drove to Creston, Iowa, to talk with rail workers about the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway’s proposal to reduce crew size on freight trains to one person. (See article on front page.) Richter worked for many years as a union rail worker. One worker bought a subscription to the Militant and another got a single copy.
The scoreboard lists a quota of 20 subscriptions for prisoners. Eight prisoners have already subscribed or received subscriptions paid for by family or friends, bringing the total number of readers behind bars to 99.
Of the 99 subscribers behind bars, 36 are in Florida and 26 in California. At the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, Calif., where prisoners carried out a hunger strike last year, eight inmates subscribe to the Militant.
We encourage readers behind bars to help the paper build up its readership. The Militant Prisoners’ Fund makes it possible to send prisoners reduced-rate subscriptions.
If you have a story to tell about an organizing drive, union struggle or protest effort, please send it in. And if you would like to help the Militant get around, look up distributors near you listed in the directory on page 6 and give them a call.
Sign up 2,400 subscribers! Sept. 6-Oct. 28
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