The international campaign to expand the reach of the Militant — by getting 1,350 subscriptions, selling 1,350 books by Socialist Workers Party and other revolutionary leaders, and raising $165,000 — has gotten off to a good start.
When Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, knocked on her door March 12, Marta Sanchez wanted to talk about last year’s gubernatorial race in which Democratic Party candidate Beto O’Rourke lost to Republican Greg Abbott. “I will never forget when Beto O’Rourke campaigned on my street and knocked on my door,” she told Kennedy. “As long as Texas has Gov. Abbott, there will be problems.”
“The problems we face will not be solved by whether there is a Republican or Democrat in office,” Kennedy replied. “They both represent the wealthy class. Workers need our own party, a labor party, that can organize the struggles of working people to fight for better conditions.”
Thinking about it, Sanchez said, Democrats and Republicans make “promises, promises that go in the air. I’m tired of both parties.” She bought a Militant subscription and told Kennedy that she became a U.S. citizen when President Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty bill in 1986. “The SWP campaign supports fighting for amnesty for all those living and working in the U.S.,” Kennedy said. “This can help build a strong labor movement and organize unions.”
The eight-week campaign runs through May 16. A key part of this effort will be getting the 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 into the hands of as many working people as possible, alongside building the June 8-11 SWP International Educational Conference at Oberlin College in Ohio.
Kennedy also spoke to a dozen people at a March 15 candidates meeting held in Tarrant County. “Fort Worth is a railroad center and rail workers unions’ fight for safety is underscored by the train disaster in East Palestine, Ohio,” Kennedy said. “This was caused by cuts made by Norfolk Southern and other railroads to increase profits.”
Chad Moore, a nonpartisan candidate for the Tarrant County District Water Board, spoke next. “Everything she just said about the railroads is true. I know because I am an engineer for the BNSF.” Moore’s a member of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Local 817.
Two Militant subscriptions and five books by SWP leaders and other revolutionaries were sold at the debate, including two copies of The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us.
‘Militant’ tells strikers’ story
From Chicago, SWP member Dan Fein reports that the Militant has been getting around on the picket line of United Auto Workers Local 588 members on strike against Metal-Matic in nearby Bedford Park. “I showed a striker a copy of the article on the strike I wrote for the Militant,” Fein reported. After reading the article, he said, ‘This is great — it gives our side of the story. I am going to show the paper to the guys at the other tent.’ Five strikers got a copy of the paper and another subscribed.”
Fein and co-worker Rosa Escobedo, a shop steward at the Nabisco plant in Chicago for Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 1, visited the strikers March 15 to show support for their fight. Escobedo brought cookies and soda for the pickets.
Linda Harris, Communist League candidate in the New South Wales state elections in Australia, campaigned in the Blacktown neighborhood of Sydney March 11. “This capitalist system is driven by profit and not the needs of human beings,” retiree Izeldin Elgalad told Harris.
They discussed a range of topics, from Moscow’s war against the Ukrainian people to concerns he has about woke gender indoctrination foisted on his grandchildren at school.
“I only read Arabic,” Elgalad said. He handed over $5 as a down payment to Communist League members who promised to bring back Pathfinder books on revolutionary politics and working-class struggles in Arabic.
SWP members Roy Landersen and Nancy Boyasko met Davon Davis, a school bus driver, when they campaigned in the apartment building in Paterson, New Jersey, where Najee Seabrooks was shot and killed by police March 3. They discussed the fight against cop brutality. Landersen said cop brutality was part and parcel of capitalist rule and pointed to how it was done away with during Cuba’s socialist revolution. After workers and farmers conquered power, he said, “the old dictatorships’ cops were replaced by revolutionary fighters from among workers and farmers.”
Davis invited them in. Boyasko showed him pictures of workers’ struggles worldwide in Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power.
“They don’t teach any of this at school. This is mind blowing,” Davis said. “The best thing to have in the world is knowledge.” He got the book and a Militant subscription.
St. Paul Louis, a maintenance worker in the Miami-Dade County school system, has been reading the Militant for months. At a March 17 Militant Labor Forum on the fight being waged by workers, farmers and small-business people following Norfolk Southern’s derailment disaster in Ohio, he purchased Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by Barnes and The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation by Abram Leon, both in French. “The capitalists try to keep us divided,” he said, “but I went to Jerusalem in 2019 and saw Jewish and Palestinian workers together while shopping at the market.”
A chart with goals and results through the first week of the campaign will be printed in the next issue. To join in campaigning, contact distributors near you.