The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 39      October 23, 2017

(front page)

‘To unite the working class would be tremendous’

“It’s the working class that basically has all the numbers. If we were to come together the amount of change we could make would be tremendous,” apprentice welder Nicholas Murtagh told Communist League member Katy LeRougetel when he overheard her discussing the Militant and books by leaders of the Socialist Workers Party with his friend Mohamed on his doorstep in Surrey, part of the Lower Mainland in Vancouver, British Columbia. He said he was low on cash and could she come back.

When LeRougetel returned with Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes and the paper, Murtagh said he was happy to see her again and set up an installment plan to pay for them. “This is to hand around to others, too,” he said.

The SWP — and Communist League members in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — are entering week four of a nine-week drive to increase readership of the books and the Militant. The heart of the effort is knocking on workers’ doors in cities large and small, discussing the attacks on working people today as the bosses seek to place the burden of the capitalist economic and political crisis on our backs, and the need for workers to join a revolutionary party and fight for political power. The response is good, and the drive is a little ahead of schedule.

LeRougetel said Communist League members and supporters also visited workers on Vancouver Island for two days, long a center of Canada’s lumber industry. “When we asked a young roofer if he knew anyone who works in the sawmills, he said no,” she wrote. “It really brought home how many of the sawmills have been shuttered. Three people bought books, one decided to subscribe for a whole year, others bought single copies of the Militant, and we got a $10 donation.”

The drive runs concurrently with the SWP’s $100,000 fall party fund to finance the party’s ongoing work. At the end of the third week, contributors have sent in $20,701. Stepped-up efforts are needed to get on schedule to complete the drive in full and on time.

“We sold four copies of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power and three copies of Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? to co-workers where I work,” Jane Herndon writes from Minneapolis. Party members across the country are talking to co-workers about revolutionary literature and opportunities to introduce them to friends and family.

“One of the Workers Power books went to a co-worker who is taking a leave, who also made a modest donation to the party fund,” Herndon said. “She got together with co-workers to say goodbye, and held up the book and a copy of the Militant, telling everybody it was her good fortune and theirs to work with someone who has a workers party that looks to working people throughout the world.

“I plan to have extra books and papers with me when I go back to work, as well as the extremely useful Militant supplement reprinting the introduction to the Workers Power book,” she said. “It’s got a couple big pages of pictures and captions from the book that really help show what it’s about.”

This supplement is available from the Militant for 50 cents.

“Another co-worker who took the Militant and a few party books home to look over said it turned out her father was even more interested than she was,” Herndon said. “He told her the literature spoke to what he has been going through his whole life. Now I’m invited to come out and follow up with both her and her dad.” The books on special are listed below.

SWP and Communist League members are using their election campaigns to boost the drive. Philippe Tessier, Communist League candidate for mayor of Montreal, filed over 200 signatures Sept. 28 to officially certify him for ballot status in the Nov. 5 election.

“I didn`t know there were communists running for office,” retiree Guy Trépanier told Tessier Oct. 5 when he knocked on his apartment door. “That’s a good thing.”

Pointing to the example of the Cuban Revolution, where working people “are building a society organized to satisfy the needs of the producers and not profits for a handful of rich capitalist families,” Tessier explained that building a revolutionary party to lead millions of working people was the only way forward out of the “unending and worsening economic, social and moral crisis of the capitalist system.”

“This is the goal of the Communist League,” Tessier said. Trépanier got a subscription along with the French-language edition of Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? and made a donation to the campaign.

If you’d like to have a party member come out to your home and discuss the SWP and the literature, or to make a contribution to the party fund, contact the party office nearest you, listed on page 8.

SWP fund director Chris Hoeppner and John Steele in Montreal contributed to this article.  
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home