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Vol. 77/No. 45      December 16, 2013

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Over 800 sign up in 2 weeks!
Join effort to go way over goal
Militant/Alyson Kennedy
John Hawkins, left, brings Militant to picket line of striking Will County government workers, near Chicago, Nov. 19. “We haven’t had a raise in four years,” one worker said.

“We had all-day teams out all three days during the Thanksgiving weekend,” said Dennis Richter Dec. 3 over the phone from Chicago, an area that moved into the bold on the scoreboard after selling 37 Militant subscriptions this week.

“We went twice to a neighborhood where workers have held rallies demanding the removal of refinery waste covering them in dust. We met a young worker who said he makes $8.25 an hour at a chemical plant. His wife is unemployed and they have three kids. He signed up.”

As they were going door to door, Richter said a worker repairing a roof waved at them. “I already got that paper,” he said as they approached. “I bought it at one of the rallies.”

On Nov. 19, supporters of the Militant sold several copies at a picket line for some 1,000 public workers who went on strike two days earlier in Will County, west of Chicago, Richter said. “They’re still out and we’ll go back there again.”

“They’re trying to increase our contribution to health insurance by 75 percent and we haven’t had a raise in four years,” striker Kendra Coleman, an HIV/STD worker, told Militant supporters.

Richter is one of several supporters of the paper in the Midwest who will be going to Omaha, Neb., to help expand readership of the socialist paper there.

Omaha had their best week so far, Rebecca Williamson said by phone Dec. 3. The bulk of the more than two dozen subscribers signed up at the doorstep. “But we did many callbacks and got several subscriptions that way, along with a couple renewals.”

Well over 800 subscriptions have been sold in the past two weeks. To take full advantage of this momentum, the Militant has extended the drive one week through Dec. 17.

“We have received a good response from workers in the Red River Valley, where the 20-month lockout of sugar workers took place,” reported Frank Forrestal from Minneapolis. “So far we’ve picked up eight renewals and expect to get a few more before the end of the drive.”

Some 1,300 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union at American Crystal Sugar were locked out between August 2011 and April 2013 in seven different facilities in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. The Militant covered the lockout from beginning to end and many workers signed up for subscriptions in the course of the fight.

Forrestal said he got an email from Scott Ripplinger, who was a picket captain and sent in many photos to the Militant during the lockout. Ripplinger, who was among several workers framed up by the company on criminal charges for incidents on the picket line, now works as an over-the-road trucker. When one of his loads went through Memphis, Tenn., he visited the picket line of fellow BCTGM members locked out by Kellogg Company there since Oct. 22.

Seattle has climbed up to one of the top spots on the scoreboard after getting 35 subscriptions last week. Some new forces chipped in, reported Mary Martin. Fire Carrol, one of her co-workers in a popcorn factory in Kent, Wash., sold three of them. “He decided to get a subscription after reading the paper for a few weeks. Over the Thanksgiving weekend he signed up three new readers among people he knows back home in central Washington.”

“In a time of chaos and lies, it’s good to see a paper that tells it like it is. That is why I encourage others to read the Militant,” Carrol told Martin.

The name the Militant caught the eye of Glynis Harps, who works in payroll accounting. She met John Naubert as he was knocking on her door in west Seattle Dec. 1. “This must be about free thinking, standing for your rights,” she said. “This society is oppressing people. If you exercise your rights, they retaliate against you.” When Naubert explained that this system cannot be reformed and that what is needed is a workers’ revolution, she responded, “I agree, can I also buy another subscription for a friend.”

From New York Deborah Liatos reported that Greg Herndon, a co-worker at a plastics factory in New Jersey, renewed his subscription and bought a second copy of Cuba and Angola, Fighting for Africa’s Freedom and Our Own. He showed his first copy to a co-worker, who kept it and then decided to get a Militant subscription and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power.

“We need each other to help find the truth,” said Herndon, who is also encouraging the library in Edgewater, N.J., where he lives, to carry Pathfinder titles. Supporters in New York have sold 120 books on special offer since the start of the drive. Top seller is The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning with 30 copies and The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, Why They Should Be Free with 26.

One area has already gone over the top on the scoreboard. “I am deeply thankful because through the Militant I can be informed about Cuba and the Five Heroes,” wrote an inmate in Florida with his six-month renewal slip, putting subscriptions by prisoners at 107 percent. (See coverage on the Cuban Five on page 7.)

“I want to fight for a better world,” said graduate student Haswany Jamaluddin as she signed up for a subscription at the “Socialism 2013” conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Invited by the Malaysian Socialist Party, Baskaran Appu from New Zealand and Linda Harris from Australia brought the Militant and Pathfinder books to the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 event.

Jamaluddin also got a copy of We Are Heirs of the World’s Revolutions, one of nine books on special offer (see ad on page 3). Participants in the conference picked up 58 Pathfinder books, 18 of them on special. In addition to Jamaluddin, 12 decided to subscribe.

While Appu and Harris were campaigning in Malaysia, Militant supporters back home in Australia and New Zealand both put in their best week so far, as did supporters in five other areas. For the second week in a row we signed up more than 400 new readers!

Join the effort to expand the Militant’s readership. See page 8 for a distribution center near you or contact the Militant at 306 W. 37th St., 10th floor, New York, NY 10018 or call (212) 244-4899.
Related articles:
Fall ‘Militant’ subscription campaign Oct. 12 – Dec. 17 (week 7) (chart)
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