The backbone of the effort will be selling the paper door to door in working-class neighborhoods in big cities, small towns and rural areas. This is the most effective way to talk with a broad cross-section of working people on the socialist paper’s fighting perspective and win new readers to help get the paper around.
A key component of the drive will be talking about and winning support for the fight to free five Cuban revolutionaries jailed in the U.S. on trumped-up charges for their defense of the Cuban Revolution.
This effort will center on selling The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, Why They Should Be Free by Mary-Alice Waters and Martín Koppel. It is one of four books offered at reduced prices with a subscription to the paper. The others are Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power; The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning: The Fraud of Education Reform Under Capitalism; and Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution. (See ad on page 3.)
“At one door,” recounts Robert Beal about going door to door in a farmworkers neighborhood in Wenatchee, Wash., “we talked with the three generations of a Latino family.
“In the end, it was the high school student, a young woman, who bought the subscription. She said she thought change was needed. ‘I don’t really go for [incumbent presidential candidate] Obama. He promised changes and didn’t do that.’”
Beal and another subscriber from Yakima, Wash., joined Militant supporters from Seattle in Wenatchee, in their first experience selling the paper door to door in a working-class community.
Wenatchee is a fruit-growing area of eastern Washington where for days forest fires have burned. The smoke has caused school closings, as well as air quality and breathing issues.
“Nevertheless the orchard owners and packing warehouse bosses demand the fruits be picked and packed by the mainly immigrant workers, who have been given inadequate paper masks,” wrote Mary Martin from Seattle.
Over a day of talking to native-born and immigrant workers in discussions ranging from the war in Afghanistan to the need for legalization of all immigrant workers, the team sold eight Militant subscriptions and 15 copies of the paper, as well as two copies of the book on the Cuban Five.
From Los Angeles, Ellie García reported that new Militant subscriber Jesus Landeros, 17, brought two high school friends as they teamed up with Militant supporters Sept. 29 at a rally demanding that California Gov. Jerry Brown sign a so-called Trust Act into law.
Landeros subscribed to the Militant at a recent campaign event with James Harris, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. president.
The Trust Act would have set some limits on the implementation of Washington’s anti-immigrant “Secure Communities” program, under which the fingerprints of every person booked into custody are sent to the Department of Homeland Security to be checked against its database, setting them up for deportation. Brown vetoed the law Sept. 30.
“I felt good to talk to people, to get them to open up, to raise their class consciousness,” said Landeros. Militant supporters at the rally ended up selling nine subscriptions and 26 single copies of the paper, as well as 13 copies of the four books on special.
In the car on the way back from the rally, a discussion broke out on The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes, which Landeros had just bought. The three students spoke about “the lousy education they and their family members are getting, as they are just trying to get through school,” wrote García in a note she sent on the sale. “As a result, a class was organized to study the book for the next weekend.”
Members of the Revolutionary Socialist Alliance who subscribe to the paper set up a literature table in the Student Union at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, before and after a meeting they organized for Steve Warshell from Houston, SWP candidate for Congress in the 18th District.
Joined by supporters of the SWP campaign from Houston, they sold 11 subscriptions to the Militant, as well as several copies of the books on special offer. (See article on page 4.)
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