The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 16      April 24, 2017

(front page)

SWP members join discussion, debate over US gov’t war moves

At the end of the first week, the Socialist Workers Party’s seven-week spring campaign to take the party, the Militant newspaper and Pathfinder Press books on working-class politics to working people is ahead of schedule. Participants from several areas indicate that as they took the party and its program to workers’ doorsteps, as well as on strike picket lines and to social protest actions, discussions were marked by Washington’s bombing of Syria and threats of a preemptive attack on North Korea.

The campaign runs together with the Militant Fighting Fund, a drive to raise $112,000 to keep getting the Militant out and around.

The goal of the effort is to expand the reach of the party’s publications, to increase the number of workers involved in its activities and to build the party.

“We discussed the U.S. attack on Syria with just about everyone we talked to over the weekend,” Alyson Kennedy writes from Denver.

Many workers are horrified by the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. “Some were hesitant, but agreed with the U.S. bombing,” Kennedy added “One worker in Commerce City said ‘It’s about time something was done against Assad.

“Others wanted to know what could be done to end the drawn out crisis in the Middle East and welcomed the SWP statement calling for the U.S. to get out of Syria and the region,” continued Kennedy.

“We found a wide open discussion, including with workers who disagreed. ‘Well maybe you have a point,’ one worker said after we’d talked for a while. ‘I never thought about it like that.’

“A person who got a subscription and a copy of The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record urged us to talk to his neighbor, telling us he went to Standing Rock to support the fight of the Sioux tribe there for sovereignty,” Kennedy said. He wasn’t there but at the next door a truck mechanic got a subscription.

“So far we’ve sold 10 subscriptions and eight books toward our goals of 25 each,” Kennedy said. “And two of those who got the Militant want to get together again and continue talking.”

Results of the first week of the drive are shown in the chart on page 1.

Anyone who gets a subscription can get any or all of three Pathfinder books on special — The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record and Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? both by Jack Barnes, national secretary of the SWP, and Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by party leader Mary-Alice Waters — for just $5 each.

In Seattle, SWP members and supporters of Mary Martin, SWP candidate for mayor, joined two protest actions against the U.S. bombing of Syria, and visited with workers on their doorsteps and union halls.

In the working class neighborhood of South Seattle, a couple originally from Chile asked if we had any information about May Day actions in defense of immigrants in the area. They were glad to see we had a flyer for the May 1 march in Seattle.

“We are working to build a movement to fight for amnesty for all undocumented workers in the U.S.,” Martin said. “This fight is the only way we can break down the barriers and unite all workers to fight together against the growing attacks by the bosses and their government.”

They decided to get a copy of all three of the campaign books in Spanish.

In Longview, SWP members went door to door and to the Longshore union hall to meet up with union members they had worked with fighting an attempted union-busting lockout by EGT Corporation in 2011-12. They also aimed to win solidarity for silver miners on strike against Hecla in Idaho.

Dan Coffman, former president of the ILWU local there said he would be glad to write a statement of support for the miners and renewed his subscription. Two other longshoremen in the hall pooled their money to extend the union’s subscription and a third renewed and got a copy of The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record.

Helen Meyers from Minnesota reported that bakery worker Ned Neterval, a supporter of the SWP campaign of David Rosenfeld for mayor there, is part of an organizing drive where he works. He was reading the Militant newspaper in the breakroom when a co-worker from Togo asked to see the paper. He wanted to know how he could get more information about the politics in the paper.

Neterval decided to take a number of Pathfinder books to work. Two co-workers bought three copies of Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? two in French and one in English, and We Are the Heirs of the World’s Revolutions by Thomas Sankara, a revolutionary and president of Burkina Faso in the 1980s.

Beverly Bernardo in Montreal writes that members of the Communist League there visited with workers door to door over the weekend and at a demonstration of 300 against the U.S. bombing of Syria. “With the bombing of Syria and the threats against North Korea this week, we need a revolution to stop these people who rule us,” Josette Hurtubise told Bernardo and fellow CL member Michel Prairie as she renewed her subscription. She also got a copy of Pathfinder’s new Cuba and Angola: The War for Freedom that describes how Cuba’s revolutionary internationalism led 425,000 troops and other volunteers to help Angola defend itself from invasions by apartheid South Africa. Hurtubise contributed $50 to the Militant Fighting Fund.

Progress in the fund drive is shown on the chart on page 3. Contributors are urged to send their donations in early!
Related articles:
Spring Campaign to expand the reach of 'Militant,' books (week one)
Militant Fighting Fund (week one)
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home