Through the drive, members of the Socialist Workers Party, Communist Leagues abroad and other supporters of the Militant will distribute the paper broadly in the working class, with steady weekly sales of the paper and revolutionary books as the focus of their political work. A central component of this effort is systematic selling door to door in working-class neighborhoods, with special attention to areas where Black workers live.
As the chart below shows, initial quotas adopted by distributors of the paper internationally add up to 2,220, just 180 subscriptions shy of the international goal. All distributors should consider whether they are in a position to raise their quotas to close this gap.
In several areas the subscription drive and socialist election campaigns will reinforce each other. (See Socialist Workers candidates join working-class struggles.)
“Members of the Socialist Workers Party in Los Angeles,” writes Arlene Rubinstein, “sold three subscriptions to the Militant and one copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power going door to door in the neighborhood where Kendrec McDade, a 19-year-old Black youth, was killed by a Pasadena cop on March 24.” Militant supporters showed the paper’s coverage on the protests against the lynching of Trayvon Martin.
“One new subscriber,” reports Rubinstein, “told us how he had just been pulled over by the cops—with guns drawn—that morning when he got off work. Another subscriber, originally from Mexico, said, ‘I’m for justice for Trayvon Martin, he’s not the criminal.’ He described how a bunch of cops had come into his home to question his son about a car accident.”
The day before communist workers sold 23 single copies of the Militant and a subscription together with The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning at a regular sale at the port in Wilmington,Calif.
Ellie García sent a note from Los Angeles describing her experience on the job. “In the aerospace plant where I work discussion and debate have broken out around the murder of Trayvon Martin. One worker said that he doesn’t know the facts, others claim Martin was a gang member. Bringing the Militant and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power has been welcomed by Martin’s defenders.
“Last week two workers bought subscriptions with Workers Power books, one bought the book, and one renewed her subscription after glancing at the headline demanding the arrest of Martin’s killer. Eight single copies of the Militant were also picked up,” adds García.
“Of the five subscriptions sold in the Des Moines area last week,” writes Chuck Guerra, “three were going door to door in working-class neighborhoods in Des Moines and Perry, a small town northwest of here with a large meatpacking plant.
“The other two we sold to coworkers on the job, one in combination with the Workers Power book. Another coworker who had renewed his subscription during the recent renewal drive also bought the book in Spanish.”
“I share the Militant because of its focus,” said Kenneth Logan when he renewed his subscription for six months and requested some subscription forms so he can win more readers to the socialist newsweekly. Logan, a farm worker in Strathroy, Ontario, bought a subscription at a January rally in solidarity with locked-out Caterpillar workers in London, Ontario.
“The people in these pages,” he added, “are fighting for our lives. The news covers not just Canada, but the world. There’s a lot of information on the Internet, unsorted, and we don’t know how credible it really is. The Militant is tangible. You can share it with someone and have a conversation about what’s in your hands.”
Logan is a good example of a growing number of workers who see the Militant as their paper, sending in news, photos and letters, renewing their subscriptions for longer periods, and circulating it among their relatives, friends, coworkers and union brothers and sisters.
The spring subscription drive coincides with the annual seven-week Militant Fighting Fund effort to raise $120,000 to cover basic operating expenses such as rent, printing costs and special reporting teams. Asking for contributions to the paper will be a natural part of every subscription team, as the paper is entirely financed by our readers. The second chart below reports initial fund drive goals adopted in some areas. Others are discussing theirs, which will be printed in next week’s issue.
To join the effort to increase the circulation of the socialist newsweekly, contact a distributor listed on page 6 or call the Militant office (see page 2) to get a weekly bundle. To make a contribution to the Militant Fighting Fund, contact a distributor or send a check directly to: The Militant, 306 W. 37th St., 10th floor, New York, NY 10018.
Send reports and photos on experiences selling the Militant to workers door to door and elsewhere by 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, EDT, with comments and quotes from new and renewing subscribers.
These are the column’s meat and potatoes.
Spring Subscription Drive April 14 – June 10 (chart)
Militant Fighting Fund April 14 – June 4 (chart)
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