Readers of the Militant, including members of the Socialist Workers Party and Communist Leagues in Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand, are gearing up for an ambitious drive to win subscription renewals, which begins Jan. 1 and runs through Feb. 15.
The Militant is unique in looking at all political questions from the standpoint of the working class, whether it’s reporting from union picket lines, explaining what’s at stake in the fight against antisemitism, fighting to win support for a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion or in defending rights crucial to the working class, such as the presumption of innocence, no matter who is in the defendant’s chair.
The paper explains why workers need to forge our own party, a labor party — a step toward organizing in our millions to end capitalist rule. It champions Cuba’s socialist revolution, an example for workers worldwide to emulate.
The goal of the renewal campaign is to get at least 20% of those who bought subscriptions during the fall propaganda and SWP fund drive to renew their subscriptions, while asking their help to reach out and win new readers for the socialist newsweekly and books by SWP and other revolutionary leaders.
Many new subscribers are workers who have been in strike battles over the last few months and appreciate that the Militant lets them speak in their own words about what they are fighting for, provides hard-to-get reports on other labor struggles and is a tool for organizing solidarity that is crucial to the outcome of these fights.
When Alyson Kennedy and two other SWP members from Dallas visited the picket line of locked-out oil workers at ExxonMobil in Beaumont, Texas, they spoke to Andre Frances, head trustee for United Steelworkers Local 13-243, at the union hall. Frances showed them every copy of the Militant the local has received that is displayed on a table in the lobby. “And these are read,” he said.
“Several workers we spoke to there knew about the recent strikes at John Deere and Nabisco and the current fight at Kellogg’s,” Kennedy reported.
Sue Little, a retired member of the local who is on the Sabine Area Central Labor Council, was also at the hall. She told Kennedy she had traveled to Washington, D.C., to join an Oct. 2 protest to defend abortion rights.
“The fight for family planning services, including birth control and safe and secure abortion, is a question for the unions,” Kennedy said. The Militant is part of the fight to educate, organize and mobilize to win a majority of working people to understand and defend this right, which is essential for winning women’s emancipation and to unite the working class.
When Susan LaMont from Atlanta visited the picket line of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union members at Kellogg’s in Memphis, Tennessee, Dec. 4, striker Scott Evans gave her a big hug and said he and his wife both read and liked the Militant. He later texted LaMont “to thank us for coming up again and for the support of the Militant and the SWP for the strike and for all the unions,” LaMont reports.
This isn’t unusual.
Militant supporters Amy Husk and Jim Horn talked to steelworkers on their strike picket line at Special Metals in Huntington, West Virginia, Dec. 5. They met Michelle Tharpe at the USW Local 40 union hall. Tharpe is currently on leave from Special Metals where she has worked for 17 years.
After looking over the Militant, she bought a six-month subscription and Teamster Rebellion, the first in a four-volume series on the Teamsters by Farrell Dobbs. The series tells the story of how the Teamsters in Minneapolis was transformed into a fighting union and social movement; the political questions workers confronted; and much more.
Dobbs was a young worker when he became a leader of the Teamsters in Minneapolis in the 1930s and architect of the drive that brought thousands of over-the-road truck drivers into the union. He also became a central leader of the Socialist Workers Party.
“I’m going to start reading this right away,” Tharpe said. “It’s important to learn about our history.”
SWP members and fellow Militant boosters in New York City have begun calling subscribers, making sure everyone is getting their papers, asking their opinion about what they’re reading, inviting them to weekly Militant Labor Forums, and offering to get back together to talk more.
Some subscribers will want to work together to spread the reach of the paper, help win solidarity for Kellogg’s, Warrior Met and other strikers or join protests against the U.S. embargo of Cuba. As a result of their initial work, two subscribers in New York got copies of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power and Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? both by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes.
Want to learn more about how you can help introduce friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives to the Militant and the Socialist Workers Party? See the directory to contact the party branch nearest you or contact the Militant at firstname.lastname@example.org.