The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 18      May 8, 2017

(front page)

Spring drive, ‘Militant’ fund expand reach of
paper, books

The Socialist Workers Party’s spring campaign to introduce the party, the Militant newspaper and books from Pathfinder Press to working people ends its third week with party members reporting on debates and discussions they’re having about Washington’s moves to protect its imperialist interests from Afghanistan to Iraq, Syria, Korea and Venezuela.

SWP members are also building May Day marches across the country against deportations and demanding amnesty for immigrants. And they’re discussing how the stewardship of nature falls to the working class with people interested in the April 29 Climate March in Washington, D.C.

The drive is expanding the reach of the party’s publications and increasing the number of workers involved in its activities. The drive runs concurrently with the Militant Fighting Fund to raise $112,000 to cover the Militant’s operating expenses, trips by worker-correspondents to cover breaking developments in the class struggle and to help subsidize subscriptions to prisoners.

This week the Militant Fighting Fund got a boost when Derek Jeffers reported that a group of workers in France had taken a $450 goal for the fund.

Ruth Robinett described the discussion she and George Chalmers had with Mike Long in northeast Philadelphia. “I don’t think we should be bombing or sending soldiers to any other countries,” he said, referring to Washington’s assaults on Syria and threats against Korea. “They’re people just like us.”

Katy LeRougetel reports Communist League members in Vancouver, British Columbia, met Lili Motaghedi, a student at British Columbia Institute of Technology, when they knocked on her door April 22.

“We explained we’re campaigning against the U.S. military threats and buildup in the Pacific. Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, backs that, and Washington’s bombing of Syria too,” LeRougetel said. “The war against working people abroad is part of the rulers’ war against us here. Working people need our own voice, to speak in our own name.”

They also pointed to the example of Cuba for organizing society on a different basis, not dog-eat-dog capitalism. LeRougetel showed her Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes. Motaghedi raided her piggy bank to pay for a subscription to the Militant and a copy of the book.

Three Pathfinder books are each on special for $5 when you get a Militant subscription — the one Motaghedi got, The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record, also by Barnes, and Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters. They are also available in Spanish and French.

Socialist Workers Party members in Seattle attended a film showing at the University of Washington on the struggle of Hanjin shipyard workers in South Korea. In the discussion period Mary Martin, SWP candidate for Seattle mayor, thanked the film director and shipyard worker Jin Sook Kim for getting this story of working-class struggle out. ”My party calls for U.S. hands off Korea and for a nuclear-free peninsula and we are taking this message to workers’ doorsteps,” she said. The panelists and others thanked her for her comments.

Martin also participated in a candidates’ debate. They were asked to hold up placards with “yes” or “no” to answer questions. When Martin was asked questions that didn’t address the big issues facing working people, she held up her own signs — “U.S. hands off Korea,” “Amnesty for all immigrant workers living in the U.S.,” “All out for May 1,” “Support the silver miners on strike in Idaho,” and more. At the end of the meeting someone dropped a $20 donation in the can on the SWP table.

Martin and other party members went knocking on doors in the White Center neighborhood south of Seattle. One of the three people who got subscriptions was a drywall worker originally from Mexico who also got a copy of the Spanish edition of Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? “See you at the May Day march,” he said.

Joanne Murphy and other SWP members from Washington, D.C., attended an April 9 rally of over 100 Cargill turkey plant workers and their supporters fighting for a union in Harrisonburg, Virginia. They met José Pérez, who picked up a copy of the Militant. They met him again when they went back April 23. Pérez got a subscription and sent an article on the fight to the Militant. (See On the Picket Line column.)

To join the party-building drive or to contribute to the Militant Fighting Fund, contact the SWP or Communist League branch nearest you.

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