SOCIALIST Worker sellers in Canterbury, Kent, have really gone to town with their campaigning sales. They've been trying to find new ways of building the Stop the War Coalition demo on 27 September while selling the paper. I got a note from Phil saying,
'This week we decided to bring a group of us together in Canterbury after the local sales in other areas. We didn't know what to expect. Most of us have been in the SWP less than six months. We set up two paste tables outside the library with petitions and copies of Socialist Worker. Then the band and the balloons arrived! So we had an event or 'Bedlam' as some have said. A refreshing alternative to the sickly synthetic consumer culture all around. As well as selling 78 papers, we gained two new members and ran out of leaflets advertising the demonstration. We also had fun!'
THINGS ARE getting political in the Post Office during their pay dispute. Ken, a postal workers' union rep, started reading the paper a couple of years ago. At first, he says, he found it hard to sell Socialist Worker. 'When I took revolutionary ideas to my union branch I was told politely to go jump in a lake. Two years down the line I received a letter from my branch, which was mailed to all of the union reps. It contained a copy of the back page of Socialist Worker, carrying an interview about the postal dispute with Jane Loftus, and a letter asking me to put it on the notice board!'
Ken has managed to gain a hearing for socialist ideas and is bringing post workers and their union banner to the 27 September demonstration in London. He says that two things helped to change the mood-him putting political arguments inside the workplace and people selling Socialist Worker regularly outside his depot.
IT'S GREAT to hear that the paper is being sold in new areas. Tim from Dorset informs me that Socialist Worker is being sold in Weymouth for the first time in many years. They gave out over 500 leaflets for the anti-war demonstration while selling last weekend. Through sales of the paper they have 'started to build a space on the left' in the area. And they have come into contact with members of the Unison and PCS unions who they can work with in future.
FINALLY, THE universities go back over the next few weeks. Lots of newly radicalised school and college students who walked out against the war will be hitting the campuses. We want to get Socialist Worker into every college.