In the run-up to the campaign, Socialist Workers candidates and their supporters in California racked up some impressive results in sales to farm workers. Bernie Senter from San Francisco reported that at the United Farm Workers (UFW) convention held on the August 31-September 1 weekend, participants picked up nine subscriptions to the Militant and 10 to Perspectiva Mundial.
Nan Bailey and Deborah Liatos, the socialist candidates for state governor and U.S. Congress respectively, attended the convention and set up a campaign table. Farm workers from Watsonville, Oxnard, and the San Joaquin Valley, as well as high school students and others, bought the paper and magazine. A longshore worker from Los Angeles who was interested in learning more about the Cuban Revolution and communist leader Ernesto Che Guevara bought $30 in Pathfinder books. He had purchased previous issues of the Militant on the docks. Another participant took advantage of the $25 special offer for the Militant and Capitalism’s World Disorder.
The total sales for the 11-day UFW march from Merced to Sacramento, the August 25 Sacramento rally supporting the farm workers’ struggles to organize, and the UFW convention totaled 35 subscriptions to the socialist press and some $850 in Pathfinder books.
On September 9 socialist workers in Alabama kicked off their campaign at a march in Anniston to protest the U.S. Army’s planned start-up of a chemical weapons incinerator at the local army depot. Residents have fought the project for years.
Susan LaMont, socialist candidate for U.S. Senate, lent her solidarity and explained her opposition to imperialism and its mounting war drive against Iraq, receiving a good response from the largely youthful protesters. LaMont and her supporters sold a subscription and 17 copies of the Militant as well as a copy of Malcolm X Talks to Young People.
Lisa Potash from Chicago reported that one worker bought a Perspectiva Mundial subscription at a picnic involving meatpacking workers embroiled in a fight for benefits following the closing of their plant.
"We also sold a Militant subscription renewal and a new subscription to Perspectiva Mundial along with a copy of Nueva International at a Militant Labor Forum," she noted.
Socialist candidates in Chicago carried out soapbox street campaigning in a working-class neighborhood, netting one new subscriber to the Militant and four to Perspectiva Mundial, and signing up those interested in the campaign.
At a sale at the entrance to a Perdue meat processing plant in the Charlotte area, one worker asked, "So this magazine will explain how we can fight for the working class?" When he was told yes, he pulled out his money and said, "I’ll try it out."
Socialist campaigners for Lisa Rottach, who is running for governor of Nebraska, found a similar hunger for political ideas as they campaigned leading up to Labor Day weekend. Meatpackers at Nebraska Beef in Omaha were greeted by campaign supporters at a table near the plant that featured poster-size copies of the front page of the Militant and Perspectiva Mundial.
A former co-worker of Rottach’s from ConAgra’s Northern States Beef plant told campaigners, "You guys are nonstop!" He had run into them on street tables before, and this time decided to buy a copy of Perspectiva Mundial and Cuba and the Coming American Revolution. Several others bought copies of the paper.
The Militant office has been sent other examples of the interest among working people and youth in the socialist press and books that explain the underpinnings of the world crisis facing capitalism today. We look forward to receiving more. All contributions to this column should be sent to the Militant no later than Sunday evening in order to make it into the following issue.
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