With one week left, ‘Militant’ renewal drive is over the top

By Brian Williams
February 21, 2022
SWP campaigner Leroy Watson, left, spoke to train car repairman William Robinson in Broadview, Illinois, Feb. 6. He renewed Militant subscription, looks for further discussions.
Militant/Dan FeinSWP campaigner Leroy Watson, left, spoke to train car repairman William Robinson in Broadview, Illinois, Feb. 6. He renewed Militant subscription, looks for further discussions.

As we go into the final week of the international drive to expand the long-term readership of the Militant, supporters worldwide are poised to meet and exceed their goals. Overall, we’re already over the top, winning 310 renewals, 10 over the goal! One big help is the Socialist Workers Party 2022 election campaign, with the party’s national ticket being announced across the country. (See article on front page.)

In Washington, D.C., Socialist Workers Party members Omari Musa and Arlene Rubinstein met up with public school teacher Ayanna Flowers, who renewed her subscription for six months. “I don’t want to worry that it’s running out again,” she said.

Flowers also picked up the recently published Labor, Nature, and the Evolution of Humanity, which includes articles by Frederick Engels, Karl Marx, George Novack and SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters. “This title interests me. I’ve been thinking that we are pitted against our own progression as working people,” she said.

“Our progress is undermined by capitalism,” said Musa. “This book gives us a long view, so we’re not trapped in the moment we live in and think it’s permanent.”

“Workers and women don’t have power. So this book goes back explaining how that happened over a few thousand years?” asked Flowers.

“Further than that,” responded Rubinstein. “It goes back to the development of human history and the part played by labor, which transformed society at every turn. It helps us understand why it’s only workers and farmers who can emancipate ourselves through class struggle. Look at how the capitalist crisis wreaks havoc on the lives of working people today, what we confront just to raise our families.”

“I’m an early childhood teacher so I know about that,” said Flowers. “Families that really need child care can’t get it because they can’t afford it. They have to make a special application and win a spot through a child care lottery.”

“We have to reach out and win class solidarity from the unions and the working-class public,” said Musa, “and point to the need for working people to organize our own political party, a labor party, to chart a course for working people to take political power.”

‘Unions need to stick together’

Train car repairman William Robinson renewed his Militant subscription when Dan Fein and Leroy Watson visited his house in Broadview, Illinois, Feb. 6. He had been in and out of the hospital for back surgery. “Now I have some time to read while I am home recovering from my back injury,” Robinson said.

He works for Metra, the regional passenger rail line in the Chicago area, and is a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen. It has been four years since the union contract expired, said Robinson.

Fein pointed to the Militant article on the United Steelworkers strike in West Virginia against Special Metals where rail workers joined the picket line in solidarity. “We need more of that — unions sticking together,” Robinson said. He asked Fein and Watson to come back later in the week so he can purchase Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes and Labor, Nature, and the Evolution of Humanity.

They plan to bring information on the SWP campaign in Illinois — John Hawkins for U.S. Senate and Naomi Craine for governor.

Over a cup of tea in her home in South Ockenden, near London, Jan. 30, Communist League members Dag and Catharina Tirsén met with Beverly Khanye. She had renewed her subscription a week earlier to follow the fights by working people in the U.K. and U.S.

“It’s hard for working people now, but wouldn’t Labour be better than the Conservatives?” Khanye asked, referring to the main capitalist parties in England. “None of these parties are working-class parties,” responded Dag Tirsén. “That is why we need to build our own political party, a party of labor that would help build and strengthen unions and point a road forward for the working class.”

Khanye said she could see this. “Labour candidates only show up when there is an election, then you don’t hear from them until the next one,” said Khanye.

“We discuss with workers on their doorsteps and go to picket lines,” Catharina Tirsén said, “because that is where real change will come from, through the struggles waged by working people themselves.”

Pointing to a recent issue of the Militant, Khanye expressed interest in articles taking up the fight against Jew-hatred. “I’m very glad the paper is writing about this attack on the synagogue in Texas,” she said.

The final scoreboard on the drive will appear in next week’s issue of the paper.