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Vol. 81/No. 44      November 27, 2017

(front page)

SWP says, ‘Working class needs to take power’

Going into the final week of the Socialist Workers Party’s fall campaign to expand the reach of its literature and raise $100,000 to meet expenses, party members and supporters are reaching out to workers on their doorsteps, plant gates, at strike picket lines and social protest actions.

In many places, SWP election campaigns helped boost the effort. When Cynthia Jaquith, SWP candidate for mayor of Miami, knocked on Sergio’s door in North Miami the week before the Nov. 7 election, he invited her to sit down and talk.

Sergio came here after his family fled Chile following the 1973 coup there orchestrated by Washington. He worked for decades as a baker in Miami’s hotel industry, and said he was all too familiar with what Jaquith described as the increasing carnage visited on working people by capitalism today.

Where once he had no problem holding down a union job, he said those jobs were now disappearing. He decided to retire and start working part time.

“We need to rebuild the labor movement. Our unions have been seriously eroded by decades of misleadership from the officials, who tell us to rely on electing Democrats, not the independent power of the working class,” Jaquith said. “We are the majority, the ones who produce all the wealth. We need to take political power to transform this society.”

Sergio bought a subscription to the Militant and Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes, one of five books on special offer for subscribers.

The heart of the Militant and book drive by members of the Socialist Workers Party, and the Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, is getting literature into the hands of workers and discussing the communist movement and its perspectives for fighting the disastrous effects of the capitalist rulers’ wars and economic crisis. The campaign runs until Nov. 21, concurrently with an annual drive to raise $100,000 to finance the work of the party.

The other books on special discount with a subscription are The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, also by 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, Cuban revolutionaries who were framed up and imprisoned in the U.S. for up to 16 years for their actions defending their revolution.

“Bravo to the Albany branch of the SWP!” Party Fund Director Chris Hoeppner writes. Sergio Zambrana reports that Albany raised its quota by $750. Along with a raise of $600 from Los Angeles, this takes the pledges over the goal.

“I know you!” Elizabeth Chavarria told Walmart worker Pat Scott after she knocked on Chavarria’s door in Federal Way, Washington, Nov. 13. Scott had joined SWP members knocking on doors near the store where she works, where many recognized her from shopping there.

Chavarria, a restaurant kitchen worker, wanted to know what the paper was all about. She got a copy and asked Scott to come back after payday to discuss getting a subscription and some of the books.

Follow-up is crucial
Bill Arth in Los Angeles reports that a co-worker who got a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power wants to get together for dinner for further discussion.

“One of my co-workers at Walmart signed up for a sub and got the Workers Power book after we talked about the party’s perspective of workers taking political power,” Janice Lynn writes from Atlanta.

“I explained that one of the things she would see in the paper are articles about the Cuban Revolution. She said she had always heard that Castro was evil, but then she had seen a documentary about Cuba that opened her eyes and she’d be interested in those articles,” Lynn says. “I told her we need to follow the example of the Cuban Revolution and do the same thing here.”

Rachele Fruit participated in a team of SWP members from Atlanta and party supporter Samir Hazboun going door to door in Shelbyville, Tennessee, where a white nationalist rally and a counterdemonstration took place Oct. 28.

They met a factory worker and rap artist named Kannon Ragland at his apartment.

“It’s crazy that you are here at my door. For the past year I’ve been getting into a lot of things that are happening in the world and trying to understand them,” Ragland said. “I’ve noticed how social media tries to make it look like there’s more racism than there is.” Ragland said that he and many other African-Americans in the area stayed away from the counterprotest because people in similar actions elsewhere had ended up starting fights.

Ragland got a subscription and three books on special. “I didn’t know that the ending of welfare and the increase in the number of people in prison happened while Clinton was president,” he said. “They always tell you the Democrats are for working people.”

Hazboun told Ragland how much he learned about the Cuban Revolution and its example for working people here by going on the “In the Footsteps of Che” brigade to Cuba in October. “We need to start working now to make sure you can join us on the next brigade coming up in May,” he said.

Meet workers from across the world
“We had some great experiences this weekend,” Annette Kouri writes from Montreal. “We went to a neighborhood where there are many working people who are originally from Iran. We found real interest in the Communist League and its activities and sold three copies of Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? in Farsi, two with subscriptions. We sold two other books in Farsi, including Cuba and the Coming American Revolution.

Katy LeRougetel reports that going door to door in Richmond in Vancover’s Lower Mainland, Communist League members Joe Young and Francois Bradette met Nubia, who is originally from Catalonia. Bradette pointed to the paper’s coverage of labor and political battles around the world, including in Catalonia.

“It is very important to be aware of what different social classes are doing in politics worldwide. We need to come together,” she said. “We are doing all the work and the rich are living it up.”

Nubia doesn’t support independence for Catalonia, but her family back home does. She said it’s up to the people there to decide. She got a subscription and Are They Rich Because They’re Smart?

Nov. 22 is the last day subscriptions and book sales can be reported to the Militant. Contributions to the fund that come in the mail by Nov. 28 will be counted toward the goal. To help in the final push, contact the SWP or Communist League nearest you, listed on page 8.  
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