Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1127/32285
From The Socialist newspaper, 31 March 2021
Selling the Socialist
Martin selling the Socialist (Click to enlarge)
In the last few weeks, since the partial relaxing of lockdown restrictions, I have put on my mask and resumed regular sales of the Socialist in Waltham Forest, east London. I have sold 91 copies of the paper in seven sales so far, 51 of those have been using a card reader - every seller of the Socialist should have one!
Most of my paper sales are at tube and bus stations, areas where workers are on their way to and from work. There are four tube stations in my area that I rotate around.
I take posters with me and stick them on lampposts 50 or 100 metres in front of and behind me so that people know that they are approaching someone selling socialist ideas.
Hopefully they read as they approach, see the Socialist Party logo, and then they see our paper. Sometimes I write the slogans on the posters myself, but the Socialist Party produces lots of really good and relevant posters with slogans that resonate and get distributed for our members to use.
It is important that we do everything we can to try to make people feel comfortable, I try to start a conversation and talk to people about what they do for a living and so on. I always make sure that I have in my mind what kind of articles are in the paper so that I can relate it to what people tell me.
The main advice I would give to new sellers, is the same that was given to me years ago. And that is to remember that you don't need to know everything. It is fine to say that you don't know, and I often point people to our website where they are likely to find articles that the Socialist Party has published on the issue.
We have recently begun a weekly sale at Brimsdown train station - serving the nearby industrial estate. The area includes some big workplaces including an Amazon warehouse, two largescale bakeries, and many more distribution centres.
By selling in the morning before work we are able to meet workers both on their way to work, and finishing night shifts. So far we have sold to Amazon workers interested in getting organised, an electrician who had just been laid off, and a worker on her way to an interview.
With attacks on workers' pay and conditions set to further increase, we hope to be able to give confidence to workers to struggle by arming them with the ideas in the Socialist.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 31 March 2021:
Mobilise Liverpool workers to defy Tory commissioners and austerity
London - We need socialists into City Hall
Warning: Labour Party cutters - careful who you phone!
Domestic Abuse Bill: So much still to fight for
We will not be the lost generation
Shrewsbury pickets exonerated after almost 50 years
'Chingford skinhead' spills the beans over government surveillance of union activists
Freeports spell deregulation, low pay and a new race to the bottom
No start for life
Right to protest
Unite and fight - For the right to protest
Defending the right to protest
Preparing for the revolts to come
Cumberland hospital workers fight for stolen pay
NHS pay: 15% now!
Trade union fighters rally to support victimised workers
BT Openreach engineers step up the pressure with five-day strike action
Asda equal pay ruling victory - now fight for equal pay for all
SPS Technologies workers strike against potential pay loss of £3,000 a year
Deskilling protests by sparks electricians continue
Beal academy strikers demand equal sick pay
Goodlord strike starts to bite
Nationalise Liberty Steel to save jobs
British Gas workers strike ahead of 'fire and rehire' deadline
Reports & campaigns
Online rally - 150 years since the Paris Commune
Selling the Socialist
Donate now to fuel our election campaigns
Football abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and democracy
Socialist Liverpool City Council inspired me
Women, violence and defiance
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