SWP campaign helps win long-term readers to ‘Militant’

By Maggie Trowe
February 8, 2021

Socialist Workers Party candidates in the 2021 elections are discussing the party’s action program with working people coast to coast. As they do so they are visiting many of the 3,000 plus people who have subscribed to the Militant  over the last year to discuss what they think of the paper, urge them to renew their subscriptions and encourage them to campaign to get the party’s candidates on the ballot.

Many subscribers will want to get books by leaders of the Socialist Workers Party and other revolutionaries offered at reduced prices. They provide a deeper understanding of what workers face and the road toward organizing to replace the rule of the capitalist class with a government of workers and farmers.

Calvin Hogue wasn’t planning to renew his subscription to the Militant  when SWP campaigners Terry Evans and Craig Honts called at his home in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, Jan. 24.

“I don’t need to know what the problem is, I want solutions,” the musician and former retail worker said. “Before the election, Democrats were ‘Stop Trump, stop Trump.’ Now they’re in office — what are they going to do?”

Evans pointed to the Militant ’s coverage of the just-concluded strike by Teamsters at the Hunts Point Produce Market in New York. “Out of struggles like this, workers begin to gain confidence we can change our conditions,” he said. Hogue, who had been a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers union for many years, said he had been following the strike.

“Working people need to build our own party,” Honts said, “to use to make a revolution and overturn capitalist rule.”

Hogue liked Honts’ forthright response and renewed his subscription for three months. Hogue also hosts a radio talk show. When he found out about the campaign of Joanne Kuniansky, the SWP candidate for New Jersey governor, he said he would like to interview her on his program and get her views on protecting the environment.

SWP campaigns in New York

In Brooklyn, Jan. 24, Willie Cotton, SWP candidate for New York City public advocate, and campaigner Seth Galinsky knocked on the doors of a half-dozen subscribers.

One subscriber, an Uber driver, was not at home. But his brother was interested in talking with the SWP campaigners. He had just returned from Haiti.

Cotton pointed to the devastation inflicted on the Haitian people by the U.S. rulers under both Democratic and Republican presidencies. Former President Bill Clinton sent thousands of troops to the island to impose Washington’s will in 1994. When an earthquake struck years later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised aid, houses and jobs. Little of what she pledged ever arrived.

The brother said he was well aware of what the Clintons had perpetrated against working people in Haiti and bought a copy of the The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record: Why Washington Fears Working People.

A few days earlier, Cotton and Galinsky joined a picket line of the 1,400 striking members of the Teamsters union at the Hunts Point market. Cotton told strikers that they were setting an example for workers around the country that it’s possible to stand up to the bosses’ attempt to put the capitalist crisis on our backs.

After meeting Cotton, striker Marco Gonzalez subscribed to the Militant and bought Teamster Rebellion, Farrell Dobbs’ account of the massive organizing battles he helped lead that paved the way for the rise of the CIO.

The book “teaches you about how the union started. I want to learn more,” Gonzalez told others visiting the picket line. They then posted his comments online. “I want more people to have a union. Without a union we don’t have enough power,” said Gonzalez.

From Seattle, Edwin Fruit reported that “the Socialist Workers Party launched its 2021 candidates — rail worker Henry Dennison for mayor and Walmart worker Rebecca Williamson for City Council at-Large — at a spirited meeting Jan. 22.”

“The rail bosses have attacked our unions and imposed dangerous conditions,” Dennison told the meeting. “My campaign demands workers take control of safety as well as production, and we demand trains be no longer than 50 cars. We’re also for doubling the crew size and requiring a caboose or engine with crew members working at the end of these trains.”

For more information, contact the SWP campaign headquarters nearest you.