'I'VE BEEN on the anti-war demos and seen Socialist Worker there but now you've come here to where I work. I love the paper and it's so good to see you. I'll get the paper when I see you every week.'
That was the response from an Asian woman at the giant Inland Revenue headquarters in Nottingham last week.
Civil servants are involved in a very important struggle which is set to become even more important. They are hungry for information, ideas and discussion.
At the Nottingham Inland Revenue sale five people bought the paper, including a senior union rep.
PETE, A postal worker at Rathbone Place in central London, says that when Socialist Worker sellers came to the picket line during the recent dispute he was more than a little unsure about why they had come.
'I thought that perhaps they just turned up when there was a 'bit of trouble' and didn't really care about our strike,' he says. 'But they did collections and helped us spreads the action and also raised some very important political questions.
'I'm also very pleased that they have come back regularly since. I wouldn't have much respect for a group which was very interested in you for a moment but then disappeared because it was a bit less exciting and it was cold and dark in December!'
IN SHEFFIELD student sales have been going very well.
At Sheffield University Chris says that 30 papers were sold last week on one lunchtime stall campaigning against fees: 'It was really very easy to sell and everyone was enraged about the fees. We not only sold to students but also prospective students and their parents who were viewing the college.'
It was a similar story elsewhere in the city where 26 papers were sold at Hallam University.
THERE'S GOOD news from Ilford in east London that attempts to drive Socialist Worker off the streets have failed. Police recently decided to sweep away a Socialist Worker stall and a Redbridge Against the War stall from the main shopping street.
Incredibly, 18 police officers arrived to close down the stalls. Fiona says there was an impromptu street meeting against this disgraceful action and that the following week some 25 people came together around the slogan 'Free speech in Ilford' to defend the stalls.
'There were trade unionists, Muslims, anti-war campaigners and others there, uniting around the issue,' says Fiona. 'A senior police officer came along to tell us we had to go but we faced him down.
'Since then the police have came past but not dared to take action. We got very favourable publicity in the local paper and the police looked stupid.'