BY LAURA GARZA
From Sydney, Australia, Doug Cooper reports on the plans Militant supporters have mapped out for the nine-day international target blitz - October 28 to November 5 - to win new readers of the socialist press. For starters, food worker Ron Poulsen is leading a two-day team to Canberra, the capital, where Young Socialist member Steve Lawrence will report on his recent visit to Cuba at a lunchtime high school meeting for students from two schools.
They also plan street sales, a visit to the Australian National University campus, discussions with Cuba solidarity activists, and a one-day visit to the industrial city of Newcastle to participate in a benefit showing of the Cuban film Strawberry and Chocolate.
In Sydney, supporters of the socialist press will attend an African National Congress Support Group fund-raiser, a meeting to hear from an East Timorese refugee who has recently sought asylum in Australia along with 17 others, and a conference opposing violence against gays and lesbians.
Goal to get majority on target
These ambitious plans to get new subscribers to the Militant are an example of the pace we need for a real target effort. A similar plan of action in every area where Militant supporters have taken on a goal will be key to coming out of the target days with a majority of areas back on schedule in the eight-week drive.
Goal to get majority on target
There are currently five areas on track at the halfway mark, and we have sold 39 percent of our goal of 1,950 new Militant subscriptions. Weekend mobilizations, with four- to five-hour sales teams, and weekday target evenings, with all hands on deck to hit the streets, attend political events, and go door-to-door, will make it possible to come out of the target days with the momentum to wrap up the drive in full and on time.
The visit of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro to the United States for the first time since 1979 captured the interest of many working people. In Manhattan David Rosenfeld reports the heightened interest in Cuba inspired socialist workers to spend long days out in the streets introducing the paper that most consistently covers the political discussions in Cuba, reprints speeches by Fidel Castro and other revolutionary leaders, and takes a stand against the U.S. embargo of the island.
Dozens of single copies and several introductory Militant subscriptions were sold at the October 21 demonstration of 3,000 in New York by supporters who joined the march from Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Cuba yes, the `Militant' yes
On Sunday Militant supporters from New York and New Jersey mobilized to hit the streets with literature tables and bring revolutionary literature to Harlem, where crowds gathered for the appearance of Fidel Castro at a neighborhood church. They also participated in pickets in defense of Cuba at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations Sunday through Tuesday. Late Monday evening they joined a predominantly Dominican crowd that gathered to show their support for Castro outside a restaurant where he was meeting with people invited by a Puerto Rican business group. Hours and hours out on the streets got the Manhattan supporters on schedule for the drive.
Cuba yes, the `Militant' yes
Discussions on Cuba were also the focus of a team that went from Salt Lake City to Denver and sold six Militant and one Perspectiva Mundial sub and three issues of New International at a campus and at an October 20 action against the U.S. embargo of Cuba.
New subscribers who sign up during the target days can also take advantage of a special offer to get the two issues of the Militant with the coverage of the actions held throughout the world in October in defense of Cuba. In an upcoming issue we will feature the speech Castro gave in Harlem. Many of the readers who appreciate the coverage of Cuba will also want to join in the campaign to help finance the Militant by raising $125,000 to help keep the paper publishing.
In many cities the sales of subscriptions to Perspectiva Mundial have exceeded expectations, we have sold over half our goal of 525 already. In New York supporters of the socialist press raised their goal from 40 to 60.
Mary Nell Bockman wrote in to say Boston had gotten on target for the first time in the drive after the October 21 demonstration. "We took up the challenge from Brooklyn on Sunday sales and had our first organized effort yesterday," she reports. "Four salespeople mixed and matched a street table and door to door team and sold 1 subscription and 13 single copies. The subscription was to a young Irish worker who bought a single at an Irish music festival four weeks ago and loved it (his words)."
In Los Angeles Pat Nixon reported socialist workers and youth moved up the chart by getting the Militant around to a lot of places, including visiting three campuses and participating in a rally of 3,000 to support affirmative action at UCLA. At a meeting for Mexican human rights activist Rosario Ibarra de Piedra attended by more than 200, four people became subscribers to both the Militant and Perspectiva Mundial.
Four subscriptions were sold at a youth speak-out on affirmative action at the Militant Labor Forum, and others were sold at a meeting of the Black Women's Political Caucus, and at a report on a Cuba trip for members of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers union.
Rail workers from Los Angeles and Chicago organized a visit to Mexico to meet with rail and other workers there and exchange experiences in fighting the bosses and to introduce the socialist publications. In Miami a team is planned to join with Militant supporters in Puerto Rico to win more new readers on the island.
News on the results of the target week, and reports on special teams, can be faxed in to our offices anytime. Subscriptions and reports on sales of New International must be in by Tuesday at 5 p.m. to be included in the chart.
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