Readers take ‘Militant,’ book, fund campaign over the top!

By Roy Landersen
July 12, 2021
Doug Nelson, SWP candidate for mayor of Minneapolis, talks to medical office worker Sergio Ramirez May 22. Supporters have gotten more than enough signatures to put Nelson on ballot.
Militant/Mary MartinDoug Nelson, SWP candidate for mayor of Minneapolis, talks to medical office worker Sergio Ramirez May 22. Supporters have gotten more than enough signatures to put Nelson on ballot.

Supporters of Doug Nelson, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Minneapolis mayor, successfully completed their petitioning drive June 25-27, collecting 700 signatures, 200 more than required to put him on the ballot.

Nelson is one of a slate of 19 candidates the party is running around the country. Each is building solidarity with union fights and offering a program to unite working people to successfully wage a fight to bring a workers and farmers government to power.

SWP candidates have helped lead the international drive to expand the readership of the Militant  well over its goals. During the past nine weeks all party units met or exceeded their targets. This included 1,482 subscriptions, 1,493 books by SWP leaders and other revolutionaries and raising $157,895 for the Militant Fighting Fund.

Among new readers of the Militant  are 50 workers behind bars. The Militant  waged successful fights to reverse prison authorities’ moves to ban the paper in prisons in Indiana and Florida during the drive.

Campaign supporters from Louisville, Kentucky, and Chicago came for the target weekend in Minneapolis, joining in discussing with working people what can be done to change the conditions we face.

“Every day, where I work people, especially older people, are turned away for dental procedures they really need because their health insurance won’t cover the costs,” medical office worker Meghan Benton told SWP campaigners Mary Martin and Amy Husk when they knocked on her door. “It breaks my heart.”

Husk and Martin had shown Benton the party’s election campaign platform, which urges a fight by working people for universal, government guaranteed cradle-to-grave health care and retirement income for all. Benton signed up to put Nelson on the ballot, got a Militant subscription and Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege, and Learning Under Capitalism by Jack Barnes, national secretary of the SWP.

In addition to collecting signatures needed to put Nelson on the ballot, campaigners got contributions to cover a substantial part of the $250 required to put David Rosenfeld, SWP candidate for City Council Ward 12, on the ballot.

Campaign supporters participated in a June 26 Militant Labor Forum on labor battles taking place today. This includes the Teamster unionists, locked out by Marathon Petroleum in nearby St. Paul Park, who are fighting against the bosses’ attacks on safety and other work conditions.

‘Commitment to workers’ fights’

In the United Kingdom, supporters of Andrés Mendoza, the Communist League’s candidate for London mayor in May’s election, first met bus driver Joe Williams when they visited the picket line of bus drivers working for London United in March.

Williams told Mendoza, “I am with the Militant ’s commitment to workers’ fights and promoting solidarity.” After the bus drivers strike Williams said he “went with League members to the picket line of workers at the Jacobs Douwe Egberts plant in Banbury,” where workers were fighting wage cuts.

Williams has just renewed his Militant  subscription and bought a copy of The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation by Abram Leon to learn more about the roots of Jew-hatred and what can be done to end it. CL and SWP campaigners will be encouraging new readers of the Militant  to join them on picket lines and other protests in the interests of the working class in the coming weeks.

One of the titles that proved popular during the drive in Canada was Red Zone: Cuba and the Battle Against Ebola in West Africa by Enrique Ubieta Gómez, reports Communist League member Katy LeRougetel from Montreal. “Especially after we got the French-language edition,” she said. The book describes the decisive contribution of Cuban medical volunteers to pushing back the spread of the deadly disease in 2014, showing what a socialist revolution makes possible.

Communist League campaigners in Montreal explain “how the Cuban government today has mobilized the population to deal with the pandemic, and has developed a highly successful vaccine and are organizing to inoculate the entire population,” LeRougetel said.

If you want to join SWP candidates campaigning and help advance a working-class road forward, check the directory.