Socialist Workers Party campaigners and members of the Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. have just gone over the top in their fall propaganda campaign to sell 1,300 subscriptions to the Militant and 1,300 books by revolutionary leaders, and to raise $130,000 for the SWP’s Party Building Fund! Congratulations to all involved.
Members of the SWP here and the CLs carried out the drive as they joined union picket lines; knocked on thousands of doors in cities, towns and rural areas; met workers at plant gates; and participated in protests in the interests of the working class.
Many of those we met on their doorsteps in the U.S. kicked in $5, $10, $20 or more for the Party-Building Fund. They were pleased to contribute to a party that points to the example set by workers on strike at Kellogg’s and at Warrior Met Coal. In every issue the Militant promotes solidarity with these and other labor battles.
Workers who got subscriptions and books were interested in reading more about the SWP’s program, which explains why workers need to build our own labor party, breaking from the Democrats and Republicans who defend the bosses’ interests. That is part of opening the road for workers and farmers in their millions to organize to take political power into our own hands.
Health workers get ‘Militant,’ book
On Nov. 18, SWP members Betsey Stone and Eric Simpson joined picket lines outside the Kaiser hospital in Oakland during a one-day strike by members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West. The action was taken in support of 700 stationary engineers on strike at 24 Kaiser hospitals in northern California. These engineers fix plumbing, heating and other hospital equipment.
Pamela Watson Mapp and John Fontenberry are among the more than two dozen hospital workers in Northern California who have subscribed to the Militant over the last two months. When Stone called attention to the paper’s coverage of what working people have accomplished in Cuba since taking power into their own hands in 1959, Fontenberry said he knew someone who had visited Cuba and was impressed with what they learned about the socialist revolution.
“That’s what they don’t want us to hear,” Watson Mapp added.
“It’s the same with union struggles,” Stone said. “The capitalists who own the media don’t want us to know what workers can accomplish by organizing and uniting.”
A half-dozen hospital workers have purchased Teamster Rebellion, the first of four volumes by Farrell Dobbs, a leader of the strikes by drivers and warehouse workers in Minneapolis and the Midwest in the 1930s. One striker purchased all four books.
Dobbs became a central leader of the Socialist Workers Party. The books tell the story of the successful fight against the bosses, and their courts and cops, to establish union power. They describe how Teamsters organized the unemployed, women and driver owner-operators as part of the union’s struggles; opposed imperialist war; and advanced the fight for workers to organize independently of the bosses’ parties.
Rittenhouse and workers’ rights
Socialist Workers Party members discuss all political questions from the standpoint of the working class, wherever they are campaigning.
The author of this article and SWP campaigner Sarah Katz asked workers they met in Yonkers, New York, Nov. 21 what they thought about the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. (See article on front page.)
A retired firefighter told us the judge was “biased and did things no judge ever does.” He said Rittenhouse should have been found guilty. We pointed to the Militant’s coverage that explains the facts presented in the trial show Rittenhouse was not guilty.
All workers have a stake in defending the right to due process and to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. Such rights are crucial in defending workers from bosses’ attempts to use courts to frame us up. He got a copy of the paper.
A worker for the New York City Housing Authority told us, “If Rittenhouse was Black, he would have been found guilty or might even have been shot dead by the police that night.” I said defending the right of Rittenhouse to due process strengthens the fight of all workers, including those who are Black, for the same rights.
We noted that the thuggery, rioting and burning down of businesses in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. last year undermined the fight against police abuse. He agreed with that. He subscribed to the Militant and bought Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by SWP National Secretary Jack Barnes.
Lockdowns and other actions by capitalist governments around the world in the name of fighting the pandemic have worsened conditions faced by millions of working people.
In Auckland, New Zealand, Communist League campaigners Patrick Brown and Felicity Coggan talked with Carla Perese at her home Nov. 22. Perese volunteers with a nearby church, helping working people hit by the crisis get food and housing.
“We’ve never seen such a demand for our services,” Perese said. “And it’s not just the lowest-income people.” Her work includes delivering food parcels to people with COVID-19 who are isolating at home. “What the government supplies is never enough,” she said.
Perese agreed when the CL campaigners said workers need to build and use our unions to defend our class and she subscribed to the Militant.
The success in the international drive reflects growing opportunities for building the revolutionary working-class movement and confirms the SWP’s decision to adopt higher goals than in previous campaigns.
Members of the SWP are continuing to reach out broadly to workers and farmers, as well as get back to those they met during the drive.
They are encouraging new readers to join in bringing solidarity to union fights and other struggles in the interests of working people, and to convince others to join them in subscribing to the Militant and reading books that deepen their understanding of the way forward. For more information see the directory to contact the party branch nearest you.