They will be encouraging other readers of the socialist press to join them in these activities as they campaign to free the Cuban Five, back the fight for Ukrainian sovereignty and oppose Washington’s economic sanctions and military threats against Russia.
Last week, New York Militant supporters took part in speaking engagements by representatives of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), who were in the city participating in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, March 10-21.
The FMC leaders spoke at a meeting in Brooklyn’s Haitian community organized by Lakou New York and another at the National Black Theatre in Harlem. They also gave presentations at two classrooms at John Jay College in Manhattan and attended a meeting at the Bronx Grail Center, an international organization initiated by Catholic women.
Participants in these events bought 27 copies of the Militant, three subscriptions and 25 books. They included four copies of Women in Cuba: The Making a Revolution Within the Revolution and one copy of Cosmetics, Fashions, and the Exploitation of Women in Spanish, two of the 11 books on revolutionary, working-class politics on special offer with a subscription (see ad below).
Top sellers were titles on the fight to free the Cuban Five, including nine copies of I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived, five of The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, Why They Should Be Free and four of Voices From Prison: The Cuban Five.
On March 22, a team of Dan Fein and Candace Wagner sold one subscription and nine single copies door to door in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, the heart of the Russian community in New York.
“Half the people we talked to were Russian, half were other East Europeans, mostly Ukrainian,” said Fein. “Everyone had an opinion on what is happening and everyone wanted to talk. Some argued strongly against us. Russians were split, half were in favor and half opposed to the Russian occupation of Crimea.”
“Two Russian men in their 30s accused us of swallowing the imperialist propaganda,” Fein said. “We showed everyone the Militant’s photo story on the demonstration of tens of thousands in Moscow against the Russian invasion of Crimea. Those defending Moscow’s actions said the protest represented a minority opinion, others thought it was very important that it took place.”
Six Ukrainians, as well as a number of Cubans, Venezuelans and others were among the 28 participants in the March 22 Militant Labor Forum in Miami where Paul Mailhot, a leader of the Socialist Workers Party, spoke on developments in Ukraine. A lively discussion followed his presentation, Anthony Dutrow said by phone March 25.
“Dean Hazlewood and I met the Ukrainians when we went to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Cooper City,” Dutrow said. “When they saw the front-page coverage on Ukraine, they hung the paper and forum flyer on the church’s bulletin board. A bus driver in Palm Beach County, who is on the board of the church, got a subscription on behalf of the board.”
The following day Dutrow was invited to speak at a commemoration held in the church for the 100 people killed by government forces in Kiev. “We also got names of people we can contact in Ukraine for the Militant’s coverage,” Dutrow said.
“We helped promote a one-day showing of Antonio Guerrero’s watercolors at the Imperfect Gallery March 21,” Chris Hoeppner said by phone from Philadelphia.
“A couple of student organizations at Temple University and a professor there built the event. Some 60 people attended, many from Temple University and some from the artistic community. For many it was the first time they heard about the Cuban Five.”
Participants bought eight copies of I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived, the book with Guerrero’s watercolors and three copies of Voices From Prison.
“We also visited the Ukrainian Educational and Russian Cultural Center here,” said Hoeppner. “We met some workers who had gotten the paper at earlier demonstrations. The executive director thought the coverage was good. But the contents had surprised him, he hadn’t seen anything similar in ‘leftist’ papers.
“One person asked if the sales team were ‘the guys who refused to carry the American flag at the demonstration?’” said Hoeppner. “He had bought a copy of the paper and read it carefully and liked the coverage on Ukraine, but asked, ‘How can you support Lenin?’ So we discussed how Lenin championed the right of self-determination for Ukraine and fought for expansion of Ukrainian language and culture. And how Joseph Stalin headed a counterrevolution that overturned Lenin’s course on this and many other fronts.”
To get a subscription, to renew or to join the campaign to sell the paper and revolutionary books, contact a distributor listed on page 8 or call the Militant at (212) 244-4899.
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