‘Militant’ drive for new readers, $165,000 fund go over the top!

By Brian Williams
May 30, 2022

Members of the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. have taken over the top the international Militant drive to win new readers and raise $165,000 to keep getting the paper out. They won 1,692 readers to the Militant, got out 1,981 books by SWP leaders and other revolutionaries, and collected contributions totaling $169,561 for the Militant Fighting Fund!

High School student Linda Bolster, left, subscribes to <em>Militant</em> after speaking with SWP supporter Holly Harkness at May 14 rally for women’s rights in Atlanta.
Militant/Valerie EdwardHigh School student Linda Bolster, left, subscribes to Militant  after speaking with SWP supporter Holly Harkness at May 14 rally for women’s rights in Atlanta.

Welcome to all new readers and congratulations to everyone who participated.

The response shows the expanding interest among working people in the SWP’s program and activity. Every party branch made their goals, which were higher than other recent efforts.

Throughout the drive party members and supporters distributed the SWP’s statement “Defend Ukraine’s independence! For defeat of Moscow’s invasion! U.S. troops, nuclear arms out of Europe, all of Europe!” It was issued March 3 by Jack Barnes, the party’s national secretary, on behalf of the SWP’s National Committee. We explained why Washington’s sanctions on Russia are an obstacle to building unity and solidarity between working people in Ukraine and working people in Russia, including Russian soldiers, against Moscow’s invasion.

We also found widespread interest in discussing how workers here can defend ourselves against attacks by the bosses and their government. In addition to subscribing, many workers that party members met when they knocked on their doors kicked in extra cash to the fund.

As the drive was coming to a close, sizable actions were organized in a number of cities after a leak from the Supreme Court indicated a majority of justices intend to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In Atlanta, some 3,500 people rallied May 14. SWP members set up two literature tables at the action to discuss defending workers and our families, charting a working-class course for women’s emancipation and the stakes for working people in opposing Moscow’s war.

“The corporation where I work has no idea what we workers face,” retail worker Kimberlee Dor said as she signed up for a Militant subscription. She said bosses push them to unload trucks with too few workers.

“Workers face this in every industry,” said SWP member Janice Lynn. “It’s part of the capitalists’ drive to increase their profits.” She said workers and our unions need to fight to take control of production from the bosses, so we decide how all aspects of the job are organized.

At the rally 23 people signed up for Militant subscriptions and 14 books were sold. Several youth brought friends over to the table so they could also subscribe.

Heightened interest among truckers

Around the country party members visited truck stops to discuss the conditions truckers face, including the threat to their livelihoods from rising fuel prices. Drivers were eager to talk about the protests earlier in the year in Ottawa. The Canadian government arrested hundreds of truckers, seized their rigs and bank accounts, and carried out other attacks on their political rights.

SWP members from Dallas-Fort Worth visited 17 Texas truck stops, selling 23 subscriptions, 24 books and collecting $59 in contributions for the Militant Fighting Fund. Teamster Rebellion by SWP leader Farrell Dobbs was one of the most popular titles. Dobbs recounts the story of the battles he helped lead of coal haulers fighting for union recognition in Minneapolis in the 1930s and the over-the-road campaign to organize drivers into the Teamsters union across the Midwest.

Some 20 people rallied at the county courthouse in Fort Worth May 10 to protest abuse and neglect of prisoners being held at the Tarrant County Jail. SWP members joined the action.

Kristina Salinas described the treatment of her sister, Kelly Masten, who had a seizure. Instead of being taken to a hospital Masten was incarcerated at the Tarrant County Jail for 10 days. “There are no neurologists on staff there,” Salinas told the rally. Several former prisoners attended the demonstration. Three protesters subscribed to the Militant, and one bought the title Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege, and Learning Under Capitalism.

Interest in the Militant and books by revolutionaries was high at book fairs in Los Angeles and Berkeley, California. A total 91 subscriptions and 319 books were sold.

As they campaigned with the party’s program and literature, members and supporters in New Jersey collected signatures to get SWP candidates for U.S. Congress, Joanne Kuniansky and Lea Sherman, on the ballot. More than 150 people signed up in each district where the SWP is running, more than triple the number required for ballot status.

A similar ballot drive is underway in Minnesota May 17-31. In June the SWP will campaign to get its candidate for Congress on the ballot in Philadelphia.

The openings for the SWP to use its campaigns to get the word out about its program and activities was shown by a May 16 feature in the Sacramento Bee entitled “Meet the Socialist Workers Party candidate running in California to be a US senator,” describing the campaign of Eleanor García.

To get involved, contact the SWP or Communist League branch nearest you listed in the directory.