They have sold more than 300 copies of the socialist newsweekly to longshore workers, along with revolutionary books and pamphlets. Another team this week joined members of the United Farm Workers union who are on a 150-mile march from Merced to Sacramento to demand the government sign legislation that strengthens their ability to organize in the fields. In just the first few days, participants in the march have purchased 20 copies and three subscriptions to the Militant, five copies and one subscription to Perspectiva Mundial, and several pamphlets.
In Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, socialist election campaigners have set up tables with communist literature near the union halls of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Two dockworkers who are longtime supporters of the socialist press joined one of the sales teams. In the past week 28 dockworkers picked up the Militant and two bought subscriptions.
One worker who saw the Pathfinder book Blacks in America’s Wars said he had been in Vietnam. One photo from 1971 caught his eye. It depicts soldiers in Vietnam commemorating Martin Luther King’s birthday. He bought a copy and said he would get a subscription to the paper the next time around.
These are just a few examples of the opportunities to expand the readership of the two socialist periodicals, along with Pathfinder books, as part of the Socialist Workers Party election campaigns. The drive will run through the November 5 elections and reinforce street electioneering for socialist candidates who are running in nearly every state where there are Militant supporters.
Young socialists are campaigning on street corners and college campuses, as well as at labor and other struggles as noted above, in support of the fighting, working-class perspective of the Socialist Workers candidates. Young Socialists for Koppel and Hawkins in New York; Young Socialists for Bailey, Kalman, and Newton in California; Young Socialists for Manuel in Washington, D.C.; and others across the country are encouraging revolutionary-minded youth to become part of the effort. Many young people will decide to purchase a subscription, and buy books by revolutionary leaders, after meeting socialists at a campaign table.
The subscription drive will include sales of Capitalism’s World Disorder and New International magazine--in English, French, and Spanish. Capitalism’s World Disorder, together with issues of New International--nos. 7, 10, and 11, especially, give an explanation of the underpinnings of the imperialist march toward economic depression, fascism, and war.
In addition, Capitalism’s World Disorder places the growing inter-imperialist conflict, and the deflationary drag on finance capital in the context of increased resistance among working people registered in the opening chapter, "A Sea Change in Working-Class Politics."
New International no. 7, containing "Opening Guns of World War III: Wash–ington’s assault on Iraq," far from narrowly focusing on the U.S. imperialist slaughter in the Gulf War, places the war in the context of deepening inter-imperialist conflict; increased conflict between the imperialist powers and the toilers of the semicolonial world; and imper–ialism’s march toward more wars and depression. It records the working-class campaign against imperialism and war that was waged by socialist workers internationally. The magazine also covers the hidden history of the 1945–46 U.S. GI protests demanding to be demobilized and sent home, rather than be kept in the Pacific to protect Washington’s interests from the growing colonial revolution.
Supporters in each area are taking a combined goal for sales of Capitalism’s World Disorder and New International over the course of the 10 weeks. Capitalism’s World Disorder will be sold at a steep discount of just $15 with an introductory or renewal subscription to the Militant or Perspectiva Mundial. New International nos. 7, 10, and 11 will be sold for $10, and all other issues of New International will be on sale for $2 off the cover price with a subscription.
New campaigners for the socialist candidates should be encouraged to build up their libraries of revolutionary literature. Some will be interested in getting the entire set of New Internationals and may want to set up a payment plan.
The circulation campaign will include talking with current subscribers and encouraging them to renew. Most introductory subscriptions sold last spring are lapsing at the end of August and in September. Militant readers who decide to continue their subscriptions will also want to take advantage of the special offers on the books.
Socialists who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers, United Mine Workers of America, and Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees will set goals for sales of the socialist press and books to co-workers and fellow union members. Candidate handshaking and leafleting at factory plant gates and mine portals will give a boost to socialist workers on the job.
Soapboxing, reaching to struggles
Working-class neighborhoods and college campuses are fertile ground for meeting revolutionary-minded workers and youth. "Soapboxing" street meetings with socialist candidates in working-class areas have already proven effective in interesting others in the socialist campaign and in revolutionary literature in New York City.
The proposed targets for supporters of the socialist press are 1,000–1,100 Militant subscriptions, 400–500 Perspectiva Mundial subscriptions, and 500 copies of New International and Capitalism’s World Disorder. After receiving local goals the Militant will set the international goal and publish a chart of all the local targets next week.
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