The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 78/No. 19      May 19, 2014

Militant takes working-class
politics, fights to doorsteps
(front page)
“On workers’ doorsteps we’ve been talking a lot about the importance of developments in Ukraine, how miners and other workers are struggling to defend the political space they’ve won by throwing off Russian domination, and what the stakes are for workers around the world. Workers appreciate this,” Pamela Holmes said by phone from London May 3. “They also recognize themselves when the Militant describes how any ‘economic recovery’ has zoomed past the working class.”

“What you’re doing is terrific,” Sadig Werah told Militant supporters when they knocked on his door in Edmonton, north London. “I have never had anyone come to my door with a newspaper that talks about how working people can unite.”

Werah was one of 388 readers who signed up last week as part of the Militant’s international drive to win 1,800 subscribers. Taking the socialist newsweekly and Pathfinder Press books on revolutionary politics broadly to working people in cities and rural areas opens a discussion on the big issues in world politics today.

Fourteen of the 83 subscribers won in London are renewals, a result of systematically following up on expiring subscriptions. Getting back promptly to those who bought a single issue has also led to several signing up.

A team of Militant supporters from Chicago and Des Moines, Iowa, spent two days in Harrisburg, a town of 9,000 in a coal-mining area in southern Illinois, reported Alyson Kennedy from Chicago May 5.

A number were following events in Ukraine and were interested to learn that miners and other workers had played an important role in the mobilizations that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, Kennedy said. People also wanted to talk about the deteriorating conditions in the mines and elsewhere, and what could be done to take this on. The team sold eight subscriptions, 13 singles and a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, one of 11 books on special offer with a subscription (see ad below).

“I want to get hired in the mines,” 27-year-old Brandon Ford who is unemployed, told Militant supporters when they met him May 3. “Some people say the government wants to shut down the mines because they’re not safe. But we need jobs.” He said he was friends with a miner who was killed in the nearby Willow Lake mine a year and a half ago.

“Safety depends on who controls conditions on the job,” said Ilona Gersh, Socialist Workers Party candidate for governor of Illinois. “Coal mining, fracking, the railroads are all deadly in the hands of the capitalist owners, who are only interested in making profits. Miners need to organize to get the United Mine Workers union in all the mines and for the power to stop working when conditions are unsafe. Workers control is critical to defend safety for workers and the community.”

Mine portal sale

The team sold May 4 at the portal of the nonunion New Era Mine in Galatia, Illinois. A retired miner bought a subscription and seven miners got single copies. Two of them came out with their dollar ready after they heard about the sale from miners coming into work.

“We’ve had a good response going door to door in the Bayview neighborhood here, where there will be a showing of Antonio Guerrero’s prison paintings at the library tomorrow,” said Joel Britton by phone from San Francisco May 3. A group of women day laborers from the area joined in building the event and four of them subscribed.

I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived is a new Pathfinder book containing the paintings by Guerrero, one of the Cuban Five. Together with Voices From Prison: The Cuban Five, another new book, it is a powerful tool in the fight to free the five Cuban revolutionaries, framed up and jailed by the U.S. government in 1998 (See “Who Are the Cuban Five? on page 7.)

Two days later Britton wrote that the event at the library was very successful.

“We sold six more subscriptions,” he wrote. “Two were renewals, one for six months.”

Britton said supporters have brought along a wider range of books when knocking on doors, and that it has helped political discussions and boosted sales.

Join the effort to expand the Militant’s readership! See page 8 for a distributor near you or contact the Militant at (212) 244-4899.
Related articles:
Spring ‘Militant’ subscription campaign April 5 – May 14 (week 4) (chart)
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