Supporters of the Militant are bringing the paper to picket lines, social protests and political events to join the discussions and sign up new readers. And they are bringing these experiences to readers as they knock on their doors to talk about working-class politics and encourage them to renew their subscriptions.
Supporters of the paper in New York took part in a Feb. 24 rally that drew hundreds in support of the protest movement that brought down the government in Ukraine. “It was fun to be there,” said Dan Fein. “Some people asked, ‘So you’re a communist, why are you here?’ I explained that the Militant and the Socialist Workers Party support the freedom struggle in Ukraine and oppose Russian domination. ‘I like that,’ one said as he read the masthead — a socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people. ”
Supporters sold 71 copies of recent issues of the paper. Three participants signed up for introductory subscriptions.
New York supporters also attended a Feb. 21 rally protesting political repression in South Korea and a meeting that same evening celebrating the life and contributions of Malcolm X at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. The center carries a number of Pathfinder Press titles by Malcolm X. Militant supporters joined in selling these books at the meeting. In addition, they sold three copies of I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived, two copies of Voices From Prison: The Cuban Five and one copy of We Are Heirs of the World’s Revolutions by Thomas Sankara, one of 10 books on special offer with a subscription (see ad below). Two participants signed up for Militant subscriptions.
I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived, 15 watercolor prison paintings by Antonio Guerrero, and Voices From Prison are powerful new tools in the fight to free the Cuban Five, including finding others interested in attending and building showings of Guerrero’s watercolors.
At a Feb. 11 protest in Sacramento, Calif., in solidarity with the prisoners who went on a hunger strike last summer demanding an end to solitary confinement, Brenda Cheatham, mother of one of the hunger strikers at Pelican Bay State prison, signed up for an introductory subscription, wrote Joel Britton from San Francisco.
Another participant in the protest, a former prisoner who recently resubscribed, purchased I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived and Voices From Prison. Since the books came out, supporters in San Francisco have sold 41 copies of I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived and 28 of Voices From Prison, many to those who had never heard about the Cuban Five.
“We find that the paintings by Antonio Guerrero, illustrating the experiences of the Cuban Five while imprisoned in Florida, have a big impact on former prisoners and family members of prisoners who are familiar with prison conditions,” Britton wrote.
Supporters in San Francisco stand at 20 renewals and one new six-month subscription.
“A door-to-door team to Santa Rosa, Calif., where middle and high school students have been protesting the cop killing last October of 13-year-old Andy Lopez, signed up two workers for introductory subs, another for a renewal and a fourth — a home care worker from Fiji who hadn’t seen the paper — for a six-month subscription,” Britton wrote.
“After knocking on her door, an assistant teacher showed us artworks her uncle is painting in jail,” reported Jacquie Henderson from Omaha, Neb. “She is among several readers who said they want to help build a showing of Antonio’s watercolors at a prominent gallery here in June.”
A man from the Ivory Coast who lives in Longueuil, south of Montreal, has been getting French-language articles from the Militant. “When we went to his place Feb. 23, three of his friends were there,” wrote John Steele from Montreal. “We had a wide-ranging discussion on world politics, what is communism, Cuba, the Cuban Five, etc. He bought the French-language edition of We Are Heirs of the World’s Revolutions.”
Supporters in Atlanta are off to a good start. They have sold 14 renewals out of a goal of 35. On Feb. 16, a team visited a mobile home community in Mableton, Ga., where 17 subscribers live, reported Rachele Fruit.
Mario Cardenas told the team that through the pages of the Militant he follows the struggle of the Kellogg workers in Memphis, Tenn., who were locked out by the company in October. “What happened to them is an injustice,” he said. Cardenas, who works as a roofer and came to Atlanta from Mexico five years ago, renewed his subscription and bought the Spanish-language edition of Voices From Prison.
To renew, get a subscription or join the drive, contact a distributor listed on page 6 or the Militant at (212) 244-4899.
‘Militant’ Renewal Drive Feb. 8 – March 23 (week 2) (Chart)
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