The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 42      November 13, 2017

(front page)

‘What SWP says about the economy is really true’

“What you say about the economic problems facing workers is really true,” Stephanie Russell in Kenosha, Wisconsin, told me as she filled out her Militant subscription blank. Along with two other Socialist Workers Party members I was knocking on workers’ doors, introducing the party and its literature.

“The Chrysler auto plant here shut down around eight years ago and my dad lost his job,” she said. “Before Chrysler, American Motors owned it and my grandfather worked there. I gave them rides to work. My husband now has to commute to Milwaukee for his factory job at Snap-on after that plant closed here.”

I told her that her story is part of the carnage experienced by millions of working people in towns like Kenosha. “The working class needs to unite to fight the attacks from the bosses, who try to solve their problems at our expense,” I said. “Ultimately we need to take power out of the hands of the capitalists.”

Going door to door Oct. 29 in neighborhoods like Russell’s, we found interest in discussing the crisis facing working people and what can be done about it. Seven ended up getting subscriptions to the Militant, along with a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road the Workers Power, and two copies of Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes.

The five books on special with a subscription are listed in the box below.

Reports like this from members of the Socialist Workers Party across the country and Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom show the interest we find in working-class politics and the party. Going door to door, meeting and talking with workers, is the foundation of the fall circulation campaign to sell 1,500 subscriptions to the Militant and an equal number of the books on special.

Concurrently with the effort to expand the reach of the party’s literature, the SWP is asking workers to help raise $100,000 to finance the party’s work.

Some SWP members who work at Walmart campaign near where they work. Sometimes they run into co-workers and people they’ve met shopping at the store.

Going door to door near the Oakland, California, Walmart where she works, Carole Lesnick met one of her co-workers, who invited her in. The co-worker was interested in the party’s politics presented in the Militant and got a copy, saying she wants to get a subscription when she gets paid.

Helen Meyers and Jacquie Henderson met with one of Meyers’ former Walmart co-workers in Minneapolis at a restaurant where they discussed working-class politics for an hour. He decided to get a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power and said he is interested in discussing and going to meetings to learn more about the Cuban Revolution.

Bev Bernardo and another Communist League member in Montreal visited a neighborhood where one of her co-workers from Walmart lives who had previously purchased Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? They sold that book and a Militant subscription to a hospital worker. A self-employed worker from France picked up a French-language copy of The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record.

Past co-workers of SWP members in mines, mills, factories and stores like Walmart remember the party and its unflinching commitment to fight in the interests of the working class.

In New York, Vivian Sahner and another campaigner knocked on the door of Alix Dupiton in the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn. “I remember the socialist party and its members from where I used to work at a Ford auto plant in New Jersey decades ago,” he said. It turns out Sahner was one of those workers. He made a $5 contribution to the fund, subscribed to the Militant and got a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power.

Joe Swanson in Lincoln, Nebraska, reports setting up a table at a church where Thomas Frank spoke. He is the author of the book Listen, Liberal: Or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? which argues that while the Democrats seem to have a great program, they always seem to end up standing for the rich and powerful.

Three participants signed up for subscriptions — a college student, a teacher who also got The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record, and a meat cutter who contributed $3 for the fund drive.

If you would like to help us get Militant subscriptions for your family, friends and co-workers, and introduce them to the books on special — or contribute to the party fund — contact the Socialist Workers Party office nearest you listed on page 8.

Dan Fein is co-director of the SWP’s fall circulation campaign along with Mary Martin from Seattle.  
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