‘Militant’ finds audience among Ohio rail workers

By Janet Post
February 19, 2024

“I find that paper very interesting,” rail worker Anthony Veach told Socialist Workers Party members Jacquie Henderson and Anthony Dutrow as they were introducing the Militant and Pathfinder books to workers going in to work at the CSX yard plant gate in Cincinnati Jan. 26.

Veach, a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, became a Militant subscriber when he first met the SWP members with the paper at the plant gate last year. “I also appreciate that book you sold me you’ve got in your hands,” he told them, pointing to 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.

“There is a lot in it,” Veach said. “I sometimes read parts of it in the evening before I go to bed.”

Henderson and Veach discussed some of the Militant’s articles speaking out against Jew-hatred. “I think the Jews are the most persecuted people in the world,” Veach told her. He and Henderson also looked through the The Jewish Question by Abram Leon. “That might be the book I read next,” he said.

The SWP members told Veach about the 2024 SWP campaign of John Hawkins for U.S. Senate from Ohio. He said he hoped to get together with Hawkins to talk over a cup of coffee.

Another rail worker, after looking at the Militant, said, “I see you’re not against Israel. Well, that’s good. I can’t stand all these ‘socialists’ who want to destroy Israel.”

“Our party champions the right of Israel to exist as a refuge for Jews,” Henderson said, “unlike all those anti-working-class socialist groups that are for Hamas’ slaughter of Jews.

“And the U.S. rulers and their government in Washington are only interested in how they can better position themselves to defend their own economic and political interests against their rivals,” she said. “The working class is the only force that can end Jew-hatred. That’s why this is a central question for all unionists right now. This is explained in this paper.”

He responded, “Those socialists are also hell-bent to deny Trump all his rights.”

Henderson explained workers need to oppose the attacks on Trump’s constitutional rights. Workers need these rights, they’re central to the class struggle. “The Democratic Party is focusing their attack on Trump now, but they will use any precedents they can set to go after the rights of the working class,” she said.

“I can see this paper is different,” he replied. “I’ll read it for sure.”

Henderson told the Militant, “Other workers waved as they drove by. One rail conductor who buys his paper every week had his dollar handy and said that day he was short on time. ‘See you next week,’” he said.

SWP members and supporters of SWP election campaigns take the paper to plant gates, union pickets and to workers on their doorsteps across the country. If you’d like to join in, contact the SWP branch nearest you.