The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 81/No. 46      December 11, 2017

(front page)

SWP expands reach of party, ‘Militant’ in
working class

The Socialist Workers Party has completed a successful fall Militant subscription, book and party fund drive. Members and supporters took the party’s newspaper and books by SWP leaders deeper into working-class neighborhoods in cities large and small across the country.

SWP and Communist League members and supporters in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom signed up 1,582 new and renewing readers to the Militant, going over the goal of 1,500. Although we fell 60 books short of the quota we sold 1,440 titles, most of them with subscriptions and a smaller number without.

We come out of the drive knowing more people who are interested in working with us. The economic and political crisis of the capitalist rulers bearing down on us today means many more people are looking for a working-class road forward. Some have begun to join in teams to their neighbors and elsewhere.

Members and supporters who work in retail and other industries were key to leading the drive forward, taking the paper, the books and the fund effort to co-workers, relatives, friends and neighbors.

The heart of the circulation drive was discussions with working people on their doorsteps to introduce the party, its press and books, and its working-class election campaigns against the Democrats and Republicans, the twin parties of the capitalist bosses.

Workers are angry at the disgust and disdain the propertied rulers have for us, and their thirst to learn about the underlying reasons for the carnage workers face — from joblessness to unending wars to spreading death and destruction from opioid addiction. We found many people who were open to revolutionary working-class politics.

Workers want to continue discussion

Many of them want to continue the discussion and help to take it broader. John Staggs writes from Philadelphia about one of his co-workers who bought a Militant subscription also got a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power. He wants to organize to get it into a book discussion club he’s participating in.

Many not only wanted to sign up for subscriptions and dig into the party books, but were happy to donate to help fund the ongoing work of the SWP. In total we raised $102,568, exceeding the Fall Fund goal of $100,000. Every area went over the quota in full and on time. Co-workers and workers on their doorsteps kicked in hundreds of dollars.

Jacquie Henderson writes from Minneapolis that the fund collection there included “more than $200 in new contributions, mostly $5 and $10, as we invited workers to see our party as their party.” The final chart is below.

Worldwide drive

The Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. participated in the circulation effort, meeting scores of new people and expanding the reach of communist literature.

From London, Jonathan Silberman writes that a team of party members went door to door in the working-class area of Harlow, Essex. When Hugh Robertson knocked on Peter Baker’s door, he explained the Communist League was there to present an independent working-class political outlook.

“Workers need our own party,” Baker agreed, signing up for a subscription. “It’s good to get a paper that tells workers’ side of the story. I’ve always been suspicious of what I read in the ‘mainstream’ press.”

“In the final two days of the drive, we visited with several workers who had asked us to come back after payday to get a subscription and/or a book,” Edwin Fruit writes from Seattle. “We got one subscription from getting back together with someone who lives near a Walmart store south of Seattle, and sold a copy of Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? in Spanish to another worker we’d met in the same neighborhood.”

Walmart worker Pat Scott signed up a neighbor for a Militant renewal and also sold a copy of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power to a family friend.

Jeanne FitzMaurice visited a long-time co-worker originally from Africa who had expressed interest in several titles. In the end he got the Workers Power book, The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record and Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? all by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes, and Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible? by party leader Mary-Alice Waters. He said he wants to read them all, and wants his sons to do the same.

These four books were among five offered with a special discount together with a subscription. The fifth was “It’s the Poor Who Face the Savagery of the US ‘Justice’ System” written by the Cuban Five, Cuban revolutionaries who were imprisoned for up to 16 years by Washington and freed through an international defense campaign.

The central goal of the drive was to strengthen the ability of the party to keep on doing the same thing 52 weeks a year — meeting more workers, expanding the reach of the party’s press and books, laying the basis for the party to grow. We succeeded. And you can join in, just contact the party at the office nearest you listed on page 4.  
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