The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 19      May 15, 2017

(front page)

SWP drive expands reach of ‘Militant,’ Fighting Fund

The heart of the Socialist Workers Party spring campaign to introduce the party, the Militant newspaper and books from Pathfinder Press to working people is discussing with workers on their doorsteps the effects of the capitalist economic and social crisis and Washington’s foreign policy and wars abroad on our jobs and lives. This week party members joined those marching in May Day actions for amnesty for all immigrant workers here and an end to deportations.

SWP members also debated how only the working class can protect and improve the air, land and seas from rapacious destruction by the profit system of capitalism at April 29 “climate marches.”

At the end of week four, the drive is on schedule.

The party-building drive aims to meet and join actions with working people interested in finding a revolutionary course for the working class. The drive runs concurrently with the $112,000 Militant Fighting Fund. This annual fund is essential to raise the money needed to keep the paper coming out (see chart).

Martín Koppel from New York participated in the Eighth Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba April 8-9, in Manila, Philippines. “Conference participants picked up a total of 16 subscriptions and 24 of the Pathfinder books we are offering at special discount as part of the drive,” he said.

Terry Evans reports from New York that he and Candace Wagner met plumber Edward Paladino when they knocked on his door on Staten Island. “Hurricane Sandy devastated this area,” Paladino told them. “I’ve lived here for 30 years, but after the storm was the first time I’ve really seen people pull together. I’m glad I never asked for government relief because I’ve heard that the government is trying to take it back from people who got it.”

Evans and Wagner described how the revolutionary government of Cuba prepared before the same hurricane hit that island and led the mobilization of tens of thousands of working people to protect the population and then repair the damage. Paladino got a subscription to the Militant and a copy of Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege, and Learning Under Capitalism by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes.

The two other books each on special for $5 with purchase of a subscription are The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record, also by Barnes, and Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters.

Edwin Fruit reports that party members had nonstop discussions at the May Day marches and on workers’ doorsteps in both Seattle and Yakima, Washington.

Some 600 workers marched in Yakima, including a number of farmworkers. Seven people signed up for subscriptions to the Militant and three took advantage of the special price on campaign books.

Going door to door in Yakima, Fruit and fellow SWP member Clay Dennison met Robert Cooley, a truck driver concerned about safety conditions on the job. “When we showed him the headline in the Militant calling for amnesty,” Fruit explained, “he said ‘I don’t know about amnesty. I’ve worked all my life and I know poverty. It’s alright if people come and work and obey the laws, but not if people come and take advantage of the system or expect to be taken care of without working.’

“After we talked for awhile, he said, ‘The whole mess was created by the politicians and the employers,’ and decided to try a subscription.”

Solidarity with rail workers
In British Columbia, Katy LeRougetel reports Communist League members organized to go to Vancouver Island and bring solidarity to the workers there following a logging train derailment accident that killed three workers.

“This is a tragedy. This is three lives that just can’t be forgotten, and many more people were affected,” said Brianna Masters, who works as a server in a restaurant in Campbell River and is studying to be an elder care worker. “Those responsible should be held accountable. To me this goes back to the kind of government we have.”

“We have a capitalist government where profits come before human needs and safety,” said LeRougetel. Masters subscribed to the Militant and got a copy of The Clinton’s Anti-Working-Class Record. A total of five subscriptions and four of the books on special were bought by workers in Port McNeil, Nanaimo and Campbell River.

Alex Huinil reports that several hundred demonstrators rallied against deportations outside the Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford April 29. The rally was organized by Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, and area immigrant rights and student groups. Demonstrators carried signs saying, “Here to stay,” and “Yes we can — We need to stay united.”

“We need to go out on the street against deportations. This is why we are here today,” said cleaning worker Aura Duarte, who subscribed to the Militant. “Twenty-eight co-workers decided to come. We have been fighting for higher wages and good benefits and we won a contract six months ago. We need to fight together, no matter where we come from.”

Some workers party members have met during the drive have joined in the effort. For those interested in working with the party, the SWP is organizing an Active Workers Conference June 15-17. For more information, or to join in the party-building drive, contact the SWP party office nearest you, listed on page 8.
Related articles:
Spring Campaign to expand the reach of ‘Militant,’ books (week four) (chart)
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