Through discussions at workers’ doorsteps in cities and the countryside, at union picket lines and social protests, members and supporters of the Socialist Workers Party and Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom are getting out the new book, The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward by SWP leaders Jack Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark. Side by side with this effort they’re winning Militant readers to extend their subscriptions.
Party members from Seattle visited Militant subscribers they had met during a six-week strike by woodworkers against Weyerhaeuser last fall. They’re members of International Association of Machinists District W24 and IAM Local Lodge W130 in Raymond, Washington.
SWP member Jacob Perasso talked with Steven Stigar, the IAM lodge vice president, including on the conditions of small farmers. “The Washington state government is dictating what small forest tree farmers are able to do. This threatens their livelihood,” Stigar, told Perasso. This includes bureaucratic regulations that require them to maintain strips of water-tolerant vegetation alongside streams on their property.
“Defending the interests of small farmers should be a union question,” said Perasso. “The SWP supports anything that can help build an alliance between the labor movement and working farmers.”
During Perasso’s visit to the union hall in Raymond Feb. 1, Stigar renewed his subscription for six months. “There are some people’s voices out there that need to be heard and the Militant newspaper is an avenue. Regardless of your political stance or agenda it is still an avenue,” Stigar said.
Two other workers bought subscriptions. One of them purchased four books: The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us, Teamster Rebellion, Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? and America’s Revolutionary Heritage.
Cop brutality is a class question
In Fort Worth, Texas, Alyson Kennedy, SWP candidate for mayor, and party member Hilda Cuzco met Albert Patrick campaigning door to door Feb. 5. They got into a discussion about the killing of Tyre Nichols. “Blacks are brutalized more often and it is something that has not gone down,” he said.
“Police brutality is a class question,” said Kennedy, “and it’s fights by working people that have pushed it back.” She showed Patrick pictures on the cover of The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us. They depict strikes by coal miners in Alabama and bakery workers at Frito-Lay in Kansas fighting for better job conditions and work schedules so they have time for their family.
Patrick got interested in the book. “I’ve worked jobs like this,” he said. “I am now a sports teacher for an after-school program. Kids are our future. I would like to read that book.” He purchased it along with a Militant subscription.
In Carnegie, Pennsylvania, SWP members Sergio Zambrano and Candace Wagner visited Militant subscriber Hassan Almasri and his family Feb. 5. He was an olive farmer in Syria before farming became impossible during the country’s civil war and military intervention by Ankara, Moscow, Tehran and Washington.
“Before the war water was free from the government. Now a private company controls it and charges high prices,” he said. “Two years ago my brothers returned to begin again. Everything is hard to get there and very expensive.”
Almasri was attracted to the article in the Militant on protests by the Baluch people in Iran and the photo showing demonstrators chanting, “No monarchy, no Supreme Leader.”
“I’ve been an Uber driver for five years,” he said. “My income was OK until about four months ago when the company lowered our rates by 40%. That’s why we are organizing to strike” on Valentine’s Day.
Seham Almasri, Hassan’s wife, purchased the Arabic edition of The First and Second Declarations of Havana.
In Montreal, the Communist League is launching a campaign Feb. 11 to collect 150 signatures to get Beverly Bernardo, the party’s candidate for the Quebec by-election in Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne, on the ballot. A Militant Labor Forum that evening will celebrate publication of The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us.
To help expand the Militant’s reach and to get books on revolutionary working-class politics, contact the SWP and CL branches nearest you.