'Militant' gets good response at march for Palestinian rights
BY MAURICE WILLIAMS
The Militant received an excellent response from participants in the march of nearly 4,000 people for the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland, which was held September 16 in Washington.
Three sales tables were set up at Lafayette Park, the site of the rally, where partisans of the socialist press sold 11 subscriptions to the Militant along with $430 worth of Pathfinder literature. "I sold one subscription on the bus from New York to a teacher from New Brunswick, New Jersey," said Brian Williams. "Her father is a Palestinian who wasn't allowed to return to his homeland. She was born in Colombia and has recently been involved in organizing teachers into a union at the charter school where she works. She also bought the new pamphlet The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning: The Fraud of Education Reform under Capitalism by Jack Barnes."
Williams said, "It was easy to sell the paper. I showed a few of the articles to another Palestinian who is one of the leaders of Al-Awda--The Palestine Right to Return Coalition--which organized the action. He also bought a subscription." Nancy Rosenstock, a garment worker in New Jersey who attended the march, said she also sold two Militant subscriptions to participants at the demonstration.
Sales of Pathfinder's newest title The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning are well ahead of the pace. Reports from a number of cities suggest showing the pamphlet to everyone who is interested in the Militant, and encouraging people to read the political explanation of the pamphlet on its back cover. Supporters in New York are discussing raising their goal.
This past Sunday Militant supporters from the Garment District in Manhattan set up street tables and sold seven subscriptions to Perspectiva Mundial and one to the Militant. All the new subscribers except one also took advantage of the special offer of $1 for the pamphlet with a subscription. Four more copies of the pamphlet were sold by the teams, plus a copy of Capitalism's World Disorder by Jack Barnes. Nelson Gonzalez, a meat packer in Newark, New Jersey, said two of his co-workers bought Militant subscriptions that included this special deal.
In Brooklyn, New York, socialist workers are using the sales campaign to deepen their connections with workers who are resisting cop harassment and violent right-wing assaults on their right to earn a living. "We wrapped up our first week of the subscription drive by sending a team to Farmingville, New York, where workers gather each morning to be picked up by local contractors who hire them for construction and landscaping jobs," said Mark Gilsdorf from Brooklyn. "A number of them told us about harassment from the local cops for standing on the street corners. They also mentioned the anti-immigrant protests that some right-wingers have organized across from one of the main corners where we were having political discussions."
Gilsdorf said the team of socialist workers joined with a van load of the workers who were going to picket some of the local contractors who have been refusing to pay some of the workers they hire, often for weeks at a time. "One of the workers, Juan, hooked up with us after the picketing was done and suggested we grab a bite to eat. We spent an hour talking to him while showing several Pathfinder titles. He had already purchased a subscription to Perspectiva Mundial and the Spanish version of The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning. He then decided to buy The Changing Face of U.S. Politics in Spanish." Gilsdorf said a previous sales team had sold two PM subs, one copy of the education pamphlet, two copies of PM, and one copy of the Militant.
Supporters of the sub drive joined a protest march of some 200 people held September 19 against the brutal racist attack on two immigrants by people posing as contractors. "Now we have to get back with the new subscribers like Juan, as well as meet others standing up to the rightist attacks," said Gilsdorf.
On the other side of the globe, campaigners for the Militant set up a stall near the protest against the World Economic Forum in Melbourne, Australia. Most people who came by the table disagreed with the signs they had demanding Canberra get its troops out of East Timor, Bougainville, and the Solomon Islands. The socialist workers had a successful day of sales there, however, selling 38 copies of the Militant, 3 copies of The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning, 2 copies of the Communist Manifesto, 1 copy of Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism by V.I. Lenin, and 1 copy of Capitalism's World Disorder.
As the chart shows we are slightly behind on sales of Militant and PM subscriptions. The target week in the drive, scheduled for September 30 through October 8, can be used to catch up in every area. This means mapping out plans for daily sales efforts on street corners and going door-to-door in working-class communities, on the job, among workers and farmers standing up to attacks by the employers and the government, on college campuses, and at political events like the National Day of Solidarity with the People of Vieques, Puerto Rico, planned for September 22 in Washington. Supporters in Pennsylvania are planning a team to coalfield communities in the eastern part of the state. Other such regional teams will be a boost to the entire effort.