AWL news: organising for the weekly

Submitted by martin on 16 November, 2010 - 3:12 Author: Martin Thomas

In the run-up to Solidarity going weekly at the start of 2011, AWL groups across the country have two big jobs.

One is increasing and regularising public paper sales, on the streets or door-to-door. The other is making distribution of the paper speedier and more reliable.

Both North East London and South London AWL branches now have routines of four public sales a week.

North East London's public sale at Highbury Corner on Tuesdays now shifts up to 30 papers each week, and rarely fewer than 20.

Lots of papers were sold on the student demonstration on 10 November. Sacha Ismail reports that the AWL people who were focused on paper-selling rather than other tasks of stewarding, leafleting, and so on, shifted an average of about 20 each.

Sporadic sales outside the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, in interludes of the Historical Materialism conference there, shifted papers at the rate of ten in quarter of an hour.

From Nottingham, Tom Unterrainer reports: "we're selling more at meetings (there are more meetings!) and on anti-cuts stalls. Regular 'AWL sales' are good when they happen but yet to be regularised".

The local anti-cuts campaign's organising group has met weekly for the past month or so. There are regularly over thirty people at each meeting, and not just the "usual suspects". The campaign stall in Beeston last week had 15 people on it, most of them local Labour Party people.

From Hull, Stephen Wood reports: "We are discussing estate sales at our next AWL branch meeting. We also plan more regular stalls at the university".

To make all this work, we have to have a system in each branch of getting the paper out to every AWL member within 24 hours of it becoming available. From the start of 2011, the printed paper will be available at the AWL office in London from Wednesday afternoon each week, and arrive, via couriers, on Thursday in cities outside London.

With a fortnightly paper, we've allowed delays to be commonplace, with some members not getting the paper until they come to a meeting maybe a few days after the paper has arrived in their city. With a weekly, such delays become completely unaffordable.

Some branches are shifting their meeting nights to Thursdays, and some are setting up special meeting points on Thursdays to get the paper out.

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