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Vol. 81/No. 41      November 6, 2017

(front page)

‘Don’t vote for either the Democrats or Republicans’

“It seems like what happens now is the party that’s elected doesn’t change anything. Then the other one gets in,” Benito Cruz, one of a group of farmworkers in Santa Rosa, a city in the heart of California wine country that was hit hard by recent wildfires, told Socialist Workers Party members Betsey Stone and Eric Simpson Oct. 22. “Next election, workers shouldn’t vote for either party. That would show our power.”

“We need our own party to get change. The Socialist Workers Party is building a working-class party to fight to take power from the capitalists,” Stone said. The SWP members had been invited to sit down and talk outside the farmworkers’ apartment. “Workers have a lot of potential power. We are a majority. We produce everything, including the wine.”

“What are you hoping to accomplish here?” another worker asked.

“The Militant newspaper and the books are important to get into the hands of workers,” Stone said. “They explain that the cause of our problems is capitalism. That we can do something about it.”

Cruz got a Militant subscription that he said would be shared with other workers.

Reports like this from party branches, and Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, show the open receptivity to the party and its literature in the working class. This is the bedrock of the Socialist Workers Party’s fall circulation campaign, talking to workers on their doorsteps. The nine-week drive is just past the halfway mark, with four more weeks to go.

Concurrently with the effort to boost the reach of the party’s books and the Militant, the SWP is organizing to raise $100,000 to finance its ongoing work.

Sales of five books on special with a subscription are picking up. “We got rolling on our book sales this week, selling eight books, our highest number yet in one week,” Anthony Dutrow writes from Miami. “Four books were sold going door to door. Party member Steve Warshell sold two of the campaign books to participants in a protest caravan sponsored by the Alianza Martiana here to oppose new restrictions imposed by Washington on travel to Cuba by Cuban-Americans.”

The books on special are: Are They Rich Because They're Smart? The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, all by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes; Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters; and “It’s the Poor who Face the Savagery of the US ‘Justice’ System,” by the Cuban Five, five Cuban revolutionaries who were framed up and imprisoned in the U.S. for up to 16 years for defending their revolution.

“We also got our first contribution to the SWP fund from a young worker we met going door to door,” Dutrow reported. He got a copy of The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record, which caught his eye, and said, “I like what you guys are saying” and gave $5 for the fund.

Members and supporters of the party who work at Walmart are helping use the drive to lead the party deeper into the working class. From Los Angeles Bill Arth writes that Rhonda, a co-worker at the Walmart store where he works, told him she has a young relative who was recently incarcerated in Washington state, and that prison authorities have made it hard for the two of them to communicate. She got a copy of “It’s the Poor Who Face the Savagery of the US ‘Justice’ System, saying she wants to understand what was behind their cruelty.

Covers news important to workers
Walmart worker Pat Scott in Federal Way, Washington, told the Militant that one of her co-workers who picked up a subscription told her he likes the paper because it “covers the news that’s important to workers, unlike the TV news.”

Glova Scott in Washington, D.C., described how she and one of her co-workers went together to see a film on the life of Thomas Sankara. Sankara led a revolutionary struggle in Burkina Faso and served as the country’s president from 1983 to 1987. The co-worker renewed her Militant subscription and bought The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record and Sankara’s Women’s Liberation and the African Freedom Struggle.

“I renewed because I miss reading about what is going on in the world,” she told Scott. “The Militant goes out to other cities, other states and other countries and gets the information about what’s happening with the working class.”

“I visited Deontai Young at his house after work Oct. 20 to speak with him and his dad,” said Dan Fein from Chicago. “Young got a subscription a while ago and told me his father often takes the paper to read. His dad had to leave for work shortly after I arrived, but said on his way out that he was interested in reading anything from the party. Deontai and I talked for an hour. He described how the police killed his uncle eight years ago and how they frustrated efforts by his family to get the cop indicted.” He got Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, “It’s the Poor Who Face the Savagery of the US ‘Justice’ System” and Are They Rich Because They’re Smart?

Isabella Graham from Chicago said, “I went to a get-together after work with some co-workers on Thursday at a nearby coffee house. After we talked, they got the Workers Power book and Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible?

Co-workers boost fund drive
“Thursday was payday. My co-worker at the Walmart store where I work made the second $10 installment on her $40 pledge to the party fund,” continued Graham. Earlier in the week, she said, another co-worker got a Militant sub and a different co-worker contributed $10 to the current fund drive saying, ‘This is for you and your party.’”

Contributions to the $100,000 party fund from workers on their doorsteps, from co-workers and co-fighters in union and social protests are an important component of the drive.

Communist League member Joe Young and Steve Penner, a supporter of the League in Canada, report they went door to door talking to workers in Coquitlam on the Lower Mainland, by Vancouver, British Columbia, Oct. 22. Carolle Hall, a single mother looking after a sick child, got a copy of the Militant and asked them to come back when she had the money for a subscription. She was attracted to Are They Rich Because They’re Smart?

“No, they’re rich because they’re hoodlums,” she said.

If you would like to help us get Militant subscriptions from your family, friends and co-workers, and introduce them to the books on special, or make a donation to the party fund, contact the Socialist Workers Party office nearest you listed on page 8.
Related articles:
Contribute, raise funds for Socialist Workers Party Fall Fund
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