The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 45      December 4, 2017

(front page)

‘Workers need our own party to back all our struggles’

Socialist Workers Party members in a number of areas report that they have met or gone over their quotas in the party’s fall Militant and book drives. We can say with confidence that the effort to expand the reach of the party and its press to 1,500 new readers worldwide has been successful.

In addition, members say they’re poised to go over the top in the $100,000 fund drive to finance the ongoing work of the party. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Militant is being printed a day early — before the final results have all been tallied. A final account and evaluation of the drives will come in the next issue.

Initial reports on the last week’s experiences show that all areas finished the drive on a strong note. At the heart of the effort has been going door to door in working-class areas to discuss the carnage workers face at the hands of the capitalists’ economic and political crisis and introducing the party’s revolutionary
working-class alternative.

SWP members who work in retail continue to help lead the effort.

“Party members organized two teams that went door to door in a neighborhood near a Walmart store in Compton,” Bill Arth writes from Los Angeles. “We sold three Militant subscriptions, two books on special, and got two contributions for the fund. And two of my co-workers gave a total of $25. One of them came back to me later and said she wanted to make an additional
$5 donation.”

Workers’ contributions on their doorsteps and from co-workers have been important parts of the fund drive.

Isabella Graham from Chicago reports that one of her co-workers just paid off her final $10 installment on a $40 pledge. “Workers need a political party that supports their struggles and encourages them to organize themselves,” she told Graham. “You are very committed to this, so I know my contribution is going to a good cause.”

“Donald Freeman and I went to visit with people at another Walmart store, where we used to work,” Graham said. “We met a former co-worker, who had read the Militant back then.”

Freeman talked about what he learned from participating in the recent “In the Footsteps of Che” brigade to Cuba, describing how workers there were transformed in the process and their revolution was an example for working people everywhere.

“We were expecting to help with cleanup after Hurricane Irma battered the island,” Freeman told her. “But they had already done so. So we did volunteer agricultural work instead.”

“I guess it’s time to re-up,” said another former co-worker and subscriber they met.

“One thing we’ve been doing here in Lincoln,” Joe Swanson writes from Nebraska, “is to follow up with subscribers to discuss what they think of the paper and to suggest they consider picking up some of the book offers. So far we’ve sold four books in the last week this way.

“We also think about what other books by party leaders and other revolutionaries are most helpful on political questions tied to events taking place,” he said. “There was a protest here against the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, so we took the two issues of New International with “Our Politics Start With the World” and “The Stewardship of Nature Also Falls to the Working Class” and we sold three of them.”

SWP members from Albany and New York hooked up to campaign door to door in Kingston. An active-duty GI, an artist and a Puerto Rican customer service call center worker got books
and subscriptions.

Alex Huinil and Ved Dookhun took part in a Nov. 18 rally against police brutality in Troy, New York, demanding the police who shot Dahmeek McDonald earlier this year be charged and disciplined. As they protested, they sold three subscriptions and four books. Some participants said they wanted to set up a meeting with Maggie Trowe, SWP candidate for Albany mayor in the recent election, who went on the solidarity brigade to Cuba.

A young worker Dookhun had met recently campaigning door to door in Ravena came to the rally, the first protest he had ever attended. He joined the two SWP members for dinner and discussion, getting a copy of “It’s the Poor Who Face the Savagery of the US ‘Justice’ System”: The Cuban Five Talk About Their Lives Within the US Working Class.

The book about the experiences of the Cuban Five along with Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? and The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record, all by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes, and Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by party leader Mary-Alice Waters, were featured throughout the drive and are still available for purchase.

Two SWP members who work in an area chemical plant knocked on doors in the neighborhoods around the plant last week. A woman got a subscription and three of the books on special, and a Yemeni-born high school student subscribed.

Members of the Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom joined in the international effort to increase readership of the Militant and party books. Katy LeRougetel from Vancouver reports that Joe Young and Lynda Little knocked on the door of a member of the bakery workers union. “I remember that paper! You joined us on our picket lines,” he said. The Militant built solidarity with the fight at Canada Bread in Langley earlier this year. He and his wife decided to get a subscription.

Be sure to check out the final results in the drive in the next issue! To help in the ongoing weekly work of the SWP and Communist Leagues in taking a revolutionary perspective to workers on doorsteps, strike pickets and social protests far and wide, contact the party in your area listed on page 8.
Related articles:
SWP: Deepen the party’s work in the working class
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