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Vol. 78/No. 11      March 24, 2014

‘Militant’: Voice of working class
from Ukraine to United States
(front page)

The Militant is suspending its six-week effort focused on winning renewals in order to launch an immediate campaign to take the paper’s demand for “Russian troops out of Ukraine!” broadly to the working class. Supporters of the Militant will be taking the paper to neighborhoods in city and countryside, on the job, at protests against Russian occupation of Crimea, to political events and wherever workers are fighting against attacks from the bosses.

This will also allow readers to talk with the widest working-class audience about defense of the Cuban Revolution and involve workers in activities in support of freedom for the Cuban Five. This includes organizing exhibits for the 15 Antonio Guerrero watercolors that show what the Five, like millions of workers caught up in the so-called criminal justice system, face framed up in prison. It will offer the opportunity to discuss the relentless attack on women’s right to choose abortion, the debate about fracking and energy policy and other critical questions facing our class.

Militant readers will also bring books on revolutionary working-class politics, from the recently published Voices From Prison: The Cuban Five to Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power to Is Socialist Revolution in the U.S. Possible?

Over the past four weeks we have won 413 renewals and new long-term readers. As we turn now to going broadly with the paper and books to talk to workers about the need for independent working-class political action — in the U.S., in Ukraine and elsewhere — and winning new subscribers, we will continue to win renewals as readers come to see that the news and political viewpoint of the paper are essential to gaining a class perspective on the world today.

This is the best way we can respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the threat of wider war. It is precisely at times like this that clear class perspectives are crucial as a guide to action. Join us in this effort!

“In a combination of participating in protests against Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, activities around the March 7-8 International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five, and visits to subscribers, we got six renewals, six introductory subscriptions and sold 105 copies of the paper over the last four days,” Ólöf Andra Proppé reported from London.

“I first heard about the Cuban Five and the campaign to free them yesterday”, said Dangis Kveksas, a Lithuanian worker, at a March 8 protest outside the British prime minster’s residence against Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. “Now I want to read to learn more about the Cuban Revolution and the good things they have done in the world.”

The following day he joined Militant supporter Debra Jacobs going from the prime minister’s residence, where Ukrainians and others were protesting, to a rally demanding the release of the Cuban Five. He subscribed and bought a copy of The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, Why They Should Be Free, one of the 11 books on special with a subscription.

“We also sold other campaign books, among them Los cosméticos, las modas, y la explotación de la mujer, The Working Class and the Transformation of Learning and Women in Cuba: The Making of a Revolution Within the Revolution,” Proppé wrote. “Top sellers were Voices From Prison with 20 copies and I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived with 18.

“The largest events in support of the struggle for Ukrainian sovereignty were a March 8 concert, honoring the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko and a March 9 protest rally,” wrote Joel Britton from San Francisco. “Each drew some 200 people.”

Shevchenko was a 19th century Ukrainian poet who championed the national rights and literature of his people.

The concert was held at the main branch of the San Francisco public library where an exhibit of Shevchenko’s paintings and poetry are on display.

Participants in events over the weekend bought 55 copies of the Militant. Two picked up introductory subscriptions and one signed up for a year.

From Chicago, Betsy Farley reported that Militant supporters joined a March 7 event commemorating Shevchenko at the Ukrainian National Museum there. Some 150 people celebrated the overthrow of Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych and the continuing struggle against Russia’s intervention in Crimea.

Several participants bought copies of the paper and one attended the Militant Labor Forum the next day to hear Tom Fiske, a leader of the Socialist Workers Party from Minneapolis, speak on “Popular mobilizations topple Ukrainian government: Why workers should back the fight against Russian domination.”

“Going door to door March 8 in the city’s largest Ukrainian neighborhood we sold seven copies of the paper and one introductory subscription,” Farley wrote. “A young worker bought a paper, saying ‘this is exactly what we need to explain the fight in Ukraine to American workers.’”

Madina Maguiraga, a co-worker of Katy LeRougetel in Montreal, originally from Mali, invited her and Michel Prairie over for a West African meal March 8. Along with Jean-louis Salfati from Paris, Prairie recently visited Mali and Burkina Faso to expand circulation of Pathfinder Press books on revolutionary, working-class politics. Bookstores and libraries took orders for more than 1,000 copies of a range of titles.

Maguiraga had given Prairie introductions to several people in Mali’s capital Bamako.

“We have a saying that you should never underestimate what one contact with another can create,” Maguiraga said. “I got to know Michel because I knew Katy. And there are people in Mali who wouldn’t have seen the books if I hadn’t put him in touch with my family. It’s not just that the books get exposure, they’re telling our history. You can see the interest in Thomas Sankara.” Sankara led a revolutionary government in Burkina Faso from 1983 until his assassination in 1987.

She signed up to receive the weekly French-language Militant articles, and bought Thomas Sankara Parle, offered at a discount for those receiving the articles.

To join the campaign demanding Russian troops out of Ukraine and to expand the reach of the Militant, contact a distributor listed on page 6 or the Militant at (212) 244-4899.  
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