The Militant is asking its readers to join the drive to expand the reach of the paper and contribute to the $115,000 Militant Fighting Fund. The paper is more valuable than ever in the capitalist economic and social crisis workers face today. It reports on workers’ resistance against the bosses on the job, defends the interests of all working people and points a road forward to building a fighting union movement.
Unlike the capitalist press, articles in the Militant are written by Walmart workers, rail workers and other working people, who are part of struggles being fought out on the job today. And it is working people who distribute the paper.
During the drive several books by Socialist Workers Party leaders and other revolutionaries are on special. The offer includes The Turn to Industry: Forging a Proletarian Party and Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power, both by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes, and Tribunes of the People and the Trade Unions. From different starting points, each of these titles describes the kind of party necessary to lead millions of working people to overturn capitalist rule and establish a workers and farmers government.
Another book on special is Red Zone: Cuba and the Battle Against Ebola in West Africa by Enrique Ubieta Gómez. It tells the story of the health workers who volunteered to beat back the Ebola virus, providing an introduction to the Cuban Revolution and what working people everywhere can learn from it.
As SWP members concentrate their efforts to join struggles together with co-workers on the job to fight the bosses’ attacks, they gain the interest of co-workers to subscribe to the Militant, get books on revolutionary politics and contribute to the fund. And they look out for any opportunities to get the paper into the hands of other working people they speak with.
Fight for protective equipment
Denise Ortiz, a nursing student at Valparaiso University, told SWP member Dan Fein in Chicago that with “the university closed, I am taking my courses online. I don’t agree with this lockdown,” she said. “I support the nurses fighting for personal protective equipment like in the Bronx,” referring to a public protest by nurses in front of Jacobi hospital in New York City.
Fein said, “The Militant is the only source of reporting on how working people are fighting the effects of the crisis being taken out on us.” Ortiz signed up for a subscription and told Fein, “What you are doing is very important.”
“I’m lucky they can’t evict me right now,” disabled worker Victor Rosario in Chicago told Alyson Kennedy, the SWP’s candidate for president. He complained that all President Donald Trump “talks about is money.” Kennedy pointed out that none of the capitalist politicians, Democrats or Republicans, are defending the interests of working people.
Kennedy urged Rosario to read the party’s statement “Demand Government Act Now to Protect Working People — A Call to Action to Meet Today’s Unfolding Crisis.” It demands “emergency relief to the working class, farmers, small shop owners, and other exploited producers” and urges “a fight for a government-funded public works program to put millions to work at union-scale wages — building hospitals, housing, and other facilities working people need.”
Kelley Guastella, a member of the teachers union, told Fein that she was “getting paid, even though the schools are closed.” Fein pointed to the demands raised in the party’s call to action that was printed on the front page of the Militant. “Yes, the government should do much more,” Guastella said, and got a copy of the paper.
Kennedy joined Willie Cotton, SWP candidate for Congress in the 9th District in Brooklyn, New York, for a live phone interview on New York WBAI radio’s “Voices of Resistance” March 29.
Co-host Andréia Vizeu asked Cotton what he tells people who are facing the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
“This is a crisis of the capitalist system, a social crisis. They failed to do the most basic things like set aside reserves in case of a catastrophe,” Cotton said. “This is what capitalism sows today.”
He pointed out that “working people are beginning to fight back.”
Kennedy described some of those struggles. She noted that workers at Walmart have been demanding “basic things like gloves, masks, hand sanitizer. Some 50 workers at a Perdue poultry plant walked out and rallied because of dangerous conditions at work. They were demanding cleanliness and higher pay.”
She also pointed to the fight by 1,700 copper workers in Arizona and Texas on strike since Oct. 13, standing up to Asarco’s union busting and urged listeners to learn about the strike and offer solidarity.
Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Rachele Fruit, and campaign supporters spoke to working people who live in Kathleen and Perry, Georgia, where Perdue workers walked off the job March 23, demanding safer working conditions and an end to the bosses scorn for their work.
Janice Mack, who used to work at the plant, told Fruit, “I can understand what the workers did in walking out. The only thing Perdue cares about is chicken, not the people who work there.” Mack liked the party’s demand for weekly unemployment relief for all workers, not just a one-shot check.
Enthusiastic response to fund drive
The enthusiasm of many subscribers about the campaign to expand the readership of the paper, other literature and win contributions to the Militant Fighting Fund was apparent as soon as we announced the drive last week. The fund makes it possible to strengthen our coverage of struggles going on today and get the paper into the hands of workers, farmers and youth around the world. The drive runs from April 4 to May 19.
When the $115,000 fund drive was announced on the paper’s website — and before subscribers had received their paper in the mail — hundreds of dollars in contributions were already on the way in!
Reader Kate Rodda in New Zealand wrote that the Militant is a “breath of fresh air and sanity. Brilliant ‘Call to Action’ from Alyson Kennedy.”
“The Militant shows workers and students how to fight back against the capitalist rulers’ continuing assault on people’s rights,” wrote Roy Hunter Jones from Brantford, Ontario. He urged other readers to “make an extra effort” to get those they know to subscribe.
All our readers are welcome to help. A prisoner-subscriber in Florida wrote that he has been “passing the paper around, hoping to get you guys more readers and subscribers.” The Militant acts on our firm belief that whatever side of the prison wall workers happen to be on, the Militant is your paper.
Send in reports of your discussions with fellow workers about what they face, their struggles and their responses to the paper’s reporting for publication in this column.
See list of distributors to find the distributors nearest you to join in the campaigns. Or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send contributions to the Militant, 306 W. 37th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018.