Workers' Press Month

November 27, 2004

This December has been designated "workers' press month" by the Workers Party. During this period, the Party will carry out an intensive campaign to strengthen the foundations of the mass workers' press and make plans for the coming year to increase the circulation of "The Worker" and the Anti-Imperialist News Service (AINS).

Building the mass workers' press is one of the most important means of developing independent politics.

"The Worker" and the AINS carry the most vital news stories which can never be found in the monopoly-controlled media - news about the independent program and struggles of the people in the U.S. and throughout the world.

By popularizing the independent program of the people, summarizing the popular struggles and drawing appropriate lessons, the workers' press plays an irreplaceable role in helping people get a picture of their own movement and sort out the way to go forward. Thus, for example, our newspapers have provided activists with an ongoing forum and analysis about "how to advance the anti-war struggle" and develop it as a pro-active movement.

So too, the mass workers press wages a nonstop struggle exposing the lies of the capitalist media and zeroing in on the major ideological and political roadblocks to our struggles. It also provides people with vital theoretical, ideological and historical analysis - strengthening the consciousness of the people about the whole course of the struggle. Again, in the anti-war movement we have consistently published primary documents explaining the just stands of North Korea and Cuba, articles on the history of the Palestinian liberation struggle, reference material on U.S. policy and aims in Iran, etc.

"The Worker" is the only consistent voice of opposition to the Democratic Party and its little helpers - the unholy alliance of the so-called left, which acts as the trojan horse of imperialism within the people's movement, continually trying to tone down the demands of the movement, divert the people, import chauvinism and capitulation in the struggle and liquidate the independent organizations of the people. Thus, during the recent election circus, the workers' press was the only voice exposing the war demagogy of the 2 parties and keeping the anti-war demands of the people in the forefront.

In practical, day-to-day politics, the widescale distribution of "The Worker" and the AINS play a big role in going against the defeatism and pessimism of the capitalists, in creating a positive atmosphere in which the banners and struggles of the people are popularized and in which independent politics is brought to centerstage in the society. Thus at demonstrations and political gatherings in many areas, the workers' press has established a regular presence which many activists look for and turn to.

Just as importantly in many local areas (schools, workplaces, communities), the workers' press is at the very center of the independent political life which is developing amongst the people. Through the nonstop work of activists, the press is used to generate a new political atmosphere in which the needs and concerns of people are put in the center, and around which broad discussions and mobilizations take place. In many areas, people look on a daily and weekly basis for the latest editions of the paper, taking it as a starting point to orient their practical activities.

Thus the workers' press is not only a political and ideological weapon, it is a vital organizational tool as well. Activists organize regular discussions around the articles in "The Worker" and the AINS and use these discussions to reach out to ever wider sections of the people. In turn, the workers' press offers activists a forum for summing up their experience, reporting on their struggles and giving their views on vital issues of the day. Last year, as part of this work, the Youth and Students for a Democratic Foreign Policy began publishing a section of "The Worker."

During workers' press month, in addition to strengthening the editorial and technical staff of The Worker and the AINS, we are unfolding 3 specific initiatives. We are:

- 1) calling on activists organize new groups to read, discuss and popularize the workers' press. At the same time, we call upon existing groups and organizations of activists to incorporate the regular study of the workers' press into their ongoing organizational work;

- 2) asking all regular readers of the workers' press to a) contribute at least $1/week to our press so as to enable us to increase circulation and b) to extend the circulation of paper by ordering bulk quantities (10 copies/week: $1 additional; 20 copies/week: $2, etc.);

- 3) encouraging readers to send in regular reports on their activities, their conditions and their views on vital issues.

For our part, we will begin publishing a regular column entitled "Building the Mass Workers' Press." Through this column we will report on the progress of this campaign and the experience of activists and readers as well as the editors in strengthening our own independent, working class and anti-imperialist press.