The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 77/No. 23      June 17, 2013

‘Militant covers workers’ fights,
world events that affect us all’
(front page)
At the end of the fourth week of an international campaign to win 2,800 Militant subscribers and sell hundreds of books on revolutionary working-class politics, readers and distributors of the socialist newsweekly have netted a total of 1,522. The drive, which is now 3 percent behind schedule, ends June 25.

“The 112 subscriptions sold so far by supporters of the Militant in San Francisco have in their big majority been through campaigning door to door in workers’ districts here and in Oakland, South San Francisco and Salinas, a farmworkers’ center a couple of hours drive to the south,” wrote Joel Britton, an organizer of the sales effort. “But a flurry of workers strikes in the Bay Area has presented an opportunity to extend solidarity and win new Militant readers.”

Linda Miljour, who signed up for a Militant subscription, started working as a cashier for Park N’ Fly at San Francisco International Airport two weeks before Teamsters members went on strike May 24 against company-demanded concessions. She had been unemployed for a year.

“Jobs are so hard to find,” she said, “At least 100 people apply for the same job you are trying to get.” Miljour said that for many years she had not read papers or watched TV news, but with the economic crisis “I want to learn more about workers struggles around the world.”

“Yes. Isn’t it terrible — and not just coal miners! They are doing the same thing to us teachers,” said retired school teacher Christine Ethridge in Hueytown, Ala., when John Benson, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Atlanta, knocked on her door to show her the Militant and discuss the coal miners’ fight against Patriot Coal’s assault on their union. (See article on front page.)

Ethridge asked Benson how he got involved with the paper and working-class politics. The socialist candidate told her he joined the fight against Jim Crow segregation as a youth.

“Me too,” she said. “I had just started teaching and I helped desegregate my school, Hueytown Elementary.”

Participating in fights like these — and of the miners today — change how working people look at each other, build solidarity and help us fight better, Benson said.

“Now, you have really given me something to think about,” Ethridge responded. She bought a subscription and a copy of The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning, one of nine books offered at reduced prices with a subscription. (See ad below.)

Several teams of Militant supporters from seven cities fanned out into the Alabama, Kentucky and southern Illinois coalfields to distribute the paper door to door and at mine portals and help build the June 4 miners’ protest against Patriot Coal in Henderson, Ky.

Alyson Kennedy from Chicago reported that a total of 70 subscriptions were sold during the several-day effort at mine portals, going door to door in coal mining towns and at the close to 3,000-strong action. This includes 43 subscriptions sold at the demonstration itself.

Over the last few weeks Militant distributors have joined with others calling for freedom for the Cuban Five to build and participate in a rally outside the White House June 1. (See article on front page.) Twenty-three subscriptions were sold to participants in the Washington, D.C., protest.

“Next time we meet here, I pray they will all be released,” Melinda Banks, a member of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 372, who works for the New York City School Board, told Militant supporter Ruth Robinett at the June 1 rally. Banks, who got her subscription at a similar protest the year before, said she really likes the paper and took a few copies and subscription blanks to get others to subscribe.

“I would never have known about the Cuban Five if I hadn’t been reading the Militant,” said Katina Matthews, an IT technician in Houston, who renewed her subscription for the second time and purchased The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Whey They Were Framed, Why They Should Be Free, a book on special, when Militant distributors visited her to discuss the paper. “The way they framed those guys up, you never hear about these things.” Matthews also made a donation to the Militant Fighting Fund. (See article on page 4.)

Frédéric-Alexandre Jean-Louis, 21, bought a Militant subscription and a copy of the French edition of The Cuban Five at a May 18 march in Montreal against the criminalization of immigrant workers. A member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, he is an outside worker in a municipal recycling center. When asked what got him interested in the paper, he said, “I am for unions.”

Militant supporters sold 14 subscriptions going door to door in Woolwich,” the neighborhood where Islamist jihadists murdered a British soldier May 22, Hugh Robertson wrote from London. (See “UK rulers seize on Islamist jihadist killing to target rights of workers” in the June 10 issue.)

“What concerns me is the way the government is using this,” health worker Liz Morgan said as she picked up a subscription. London Mayor Boris Johnson “has jumped on the issue to argue in favor of the ‘snoopers’ charter,’” she said, referring to a bill that would give police access to anyone’s website activity, emails, mobile calls and social media messages.

Struggle never in vain

“As an Irishman I know struggle is never in vain,” said Tony Roland, a retired merchant sailor, coal miner and participant in the 1984-85 coal strike in Britain, as he signed up for a subscription from another team of Militant distributors in the Fallowfield area of Manchester, England. “I see big battles still to come in the years ahead.”

At a May 29-30 picket line during a 24-hour strike by Port Waratah Coal Services workers in Newcastle, Australia, coal loader Peter Nilsson and fitter Ben Newman joined with Militant distributors Ron Poulsen and Linda Harris from Sydney, selling eight subscriptions and two books. (See article on page 5.)

Both port workers had subscribed to the Militant May 15, at a previous four-hour work stoppage held so workers could attend the union meeting. Nilsson had also bought The Cuban Five and Cuban and Angola: Fighting for Africa’s Freedom and Our Own.

Nilsson urged coworkers to get the paper because of its coverage of conditions and struggles “overseas that are going to affect us all in the long run,” adding that the Militant is the best source of information about the “politics that controls everybody’s lives.”

Join the international effort to increase the circulation of the paper. Call distributors listed on page 8 or contact us at (212) 244-4899 or
Related article:
Spring ‘Militant’ subscription campaign May 4-June 25 (week 4)  (chart)  
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