Supporters of the Militant newspaper from Chicago, Detroit, and Des Moines, Iowa, sold 27 copies of the Militant to members of the United Steelworkers of America who were recently on strike against Uniroyal in Indiana. Almost 1,000 strikers gathered at the New Haven High School December 27 to discuss and vote on the contract that ended their two-month walkout.
On his way out of the union meeting, one of the strikers said he would only buy the newspaper if it said the truth about workers' struggles, not what's in the interests of big corporations. After talking with Militant supporters for a few minutes, he bought an issue of the paper and a Pathfinder catalog.
Socialist workers who are active in the United Food and Commercial Workers union decided to see how far over their regular monthly sales goal they could go. Maggie Trowe, who works at the Swift meatpacking plant in Marshalltown, explained, "We met and discussed every week who we were talking to and what political questions were being discussed, as well as ideas on how to get around the plant to meet new people. In doing this, we sold 10 books to co-workers at the Swift plant.
"Co-workers were interested in titles on Marxist economics, Che Guevara's ideas on the transition to socialism, and the question of where revolutionary leadership comes from." Socialist workers in other industrial plants sold an additional seven books during the month. A total of five issues of the Marxist magazine New International in English and Spanish were among the titles sold to industrial workers.
Socialist workers also had success in selling books to young people and workers who came to the bookstore. Three books were sold to young women attending a class on the U.S. war threats against Iraq, and seven at a Militant Labor Forum on the fight against racist and fascist attacks. There's also been an increase in walk-in sales, reinforcing the importance of volunteers keeping the bookstore open with regular hours.
Des Moines, Iowa
Socialist here have organized a weekly public class series and took advantage of the reissue of Leon Trotsky's Europe and America: Two Speeches on Imperialism, to have two classes on the pamphlet. Eight copies were purchased by those attending, as well as several copies of related titles, such as Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism by Lenin.
In January socialists are sponsoring a series on the fight for women's rights to coincide with a number of actions in the Boston area on the 25th anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision issued by the United States Supreme Court decriminalizing abortion. A special on the three-part Education for Socialist series, Communist Continuity and the Fight for Women's Liberation, is being offered for the month's activities.
After a slow start early in the month, socialists made a special effort to continue setting up literature tables around the city, especially in Boston's Black community, which had fallen off for some time. Militant supporters sold a total of 11 titles on these street tables, plus dozens of copies of the socialist newsweekly.
Two pamphlets were sold by a socialist who works in a factory organized by the United Steelworkers of America. Following a police attack on a march protesting the portrayal of Native Americans in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving Day, a USWA member purchased a copy of Genocide against the Indians by George Novack, to learn more about the history of the U.S. government's repression of native peoples. After discussions on events in Ireland another union member purchased On the Irish Freedom Struggle by freedom fighter Bernadette Devlin McAliskey.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Bestsellers were the pamphlet Europe and America; two recently published Cahiers de formation communiste (Education for communists) that are available in French: The Struggle for a Proletarian Party by James P. Cannon; The Socialist Revolution and the Fight for Women's Liberation; and Anarchism and Anarcho-syndicalism by Marx, Engels, and Lenin.
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