The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 75/No. 14      April 11, 2011

Readership drive will continue to
expand reach of workers’ paper
(front page)
From Keokuk, Iowa, to Cairo, Egypt, working-class resistance is opening new doors for circulation of the Militant newspaper, a socialist weekly that working people increasingly see as a useful tool in their struggles. Since the mobilizations began in Wisconsin to defend public workers and their unions in early February, sales of the working-class press have picked up considerably.

The Militant’s subscriber base has increased by 620 since early February. Many have also bought Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by Jack Barnes. A half-price special for the book with a subscription was launched in early March.

So this year’s annual spring circulation campaign to boost the Militant’s readership is already under way. Over the next three weeks we will keep up the momentum, culminating the effort with a six-week international Militant subscription drive with local goals between April 23 and June 6.

Socialist workers are expanding the reach of the Militant among workers, farmers, and young people at protest rallies, in working-class communities, in plants where they work, and at sales at factory gates. Workers engaged in union struggles and fights against government austerity measures are using the paper to build solidarity and explain the potential for working people to resist.

Militant supporters in California sold 48 subscriptions, 240 papers, and 24 copies of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power at a recent demonstration in Los Angeles in solidarity with the struggle in Wisconsin and to protest attacks on the working class in California.

“Solidarity is all we have,” said Edward Lane, a school bus driver from Compton and member of the Teamsters who got the subscription-book combination. “It blew me out of the water that you are here with that book,” he said. “I’ve heard about it, and now I really want to look at the paper too.”

“Your paper contains the kind of information we want to put on a new labor website we’re organizing,” said Sal, a young Teamster who works for UPS in Ontario, California.

Participants at a massive union rally in London March 26 were drawn to the Militant’s lead article calling for an end to imperialist assaults on Libya, as well as to coverage of working-class struggles in the U.S. Midwest. More than 380 left with the paper in their hands. Thirty subscribed, 15 of whom also got a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power. “I didn’t know much about this demonstration until a few days ago,” said subscriber Prithvi Peddimsetti, a 19-year-old student at Coulsdon College in south London. “But I’m very glad I came.”

Sixty-six people picked up the Militant at a rally in Keokuk, Iowa, of some 600 in solidarity with grain millers fighting a lockout by Roquette America. Twenty signed up for subscriptions (see article below).

Some 100 copies of the paper and 10 subscriptions were sold at a March 24 rally for immigrant rights in Atlanta, along with nine books on revolutionary working-class politics.

Ten single copies and two subscriptions were sold at a Cesar Chavez Day parade of 100 in Houston. Donald Cotter, who bought the paper, said he and other members of the Seamen’s International Union were there to “back those fighting for their unions. Workers all have to stick together now.”

Actions in Ohio and elsewhere April 4—combining the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination with protests against antilabor attacks—provide another opportunity to respond with the working-class press.

A team of socialist workers and supporters of the communist movement from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Lebanon, and France are now in Cairo, Egypt, for the Tahrir Square Book Fair. This reporter is among those helping to organize the effort to learn about developments in politics and the class struggle since the overthrow of the Hosni Mubarak regime, meet workers and youth involved in that fight, and introduce them to the perspectives of the communist movement through sales of the Militant and Pathfinder books.

Distributors of the paper around the world will be taking quotas for the April 23-June 6 Militant subscription drive. The goal is to sell 2,000 subscriptions during the six-week campaign. When added to the hundreds already sold, plus a few hundred more sold before the drive begins, the total for the spring will amount to some 3,000.

Several books that will help readers better understand the fight for a socialist revolution are being offered to those buying a Militant subscription this spring. In addition to Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, The Changing Face of U.S. Politics: Working-Class Politics and the Trade Unions, also by Barnes, will also be available for $10. The Changing Face of U.S. Politics is a handbook in revolutionary working-class politics for militants engaged in labor battles today looking to learn lessons from hard-fought union struggles at the opening of the employers’ antilabor offensive in the mid-1970s.

In addition, Is Socialist Revolution in the U.S. Possible? by Mary-Alice Waters will be $5, and The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning: The Fraud of Education Reform under Capitalism by Jack Barnes will be $2.

Norton Sandler from Los Angeles, Jonathan Silberman from London, Janice Lynn from Atlanta, Jacquie Henderson from Houston, and Rebecca Williamson from Des Moines, Iowa, contributed to this article.
Related articles:
Sales of ‘Militant’ begin at Cairo book fair
$110,000 Militant Fund begins
‘Militant’ reader likes knowing about other union struggles  
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