SOLIDARITY HITS THE GROUND RUNNING
Davy Fidel & Dagga Tolar
SOLIDARITY, the maiden edition of the paper (Jan/Feb 2001) of the Movement for a Socialist Alternative (MSA), hits the ground running with her first run of 1000 copies nearly sold out. This early success only commends on us more work and more successes in seeing how the paper can be used to further organize the working masses, to draw the needed conclusion that the entirety of the working class and its organizations needs to organise against the capitalist system, accomplish a Socialist Revolution, and commence the transformation of society to benefit the working masses.
It follows therefore that member of the MSA and supporters, and readers of the paper must join in taking up the task of extending the readership of the paper to the working masses in the trade unions and outside of it, in the factories and workplaces, in the schools and campuses, in street corners, neighbourhoods and communities. Anywhere and everywhere, we can find working people, the unemployed, youth and students, where they work, live, study or hang around to have fun.
The first edition was birthed with the need to provide analysis of events and circumstances for the demobilized General strike/protest of September 28, 2020, which was followed on its heel by the #EndSARS protest and nearly close to an uprising against the hoarding of palliatives by the ruling elites, etc.
All of these prepared the paper to be met by people ready for the needed clear analysis of these events and what needs to be done by the working masses. Especially for a first edition that took up all of these issues explaining why the working class and its organization remains the only way forward, challenging the rank and file why it cannot limit itself to the labour leaders and bureaucracy who increasingly have become a class of their own distinct from the working masses they are supposed to represents.
The first copies sold was to members of the secretariat and for solidarity price, with all members taking individual copies of at least ten, and Comrade Ayo Lera came top for selling the highest individual copies of 30, with most copies sold at solidarity price. Next was a distribution network to all branches in Lagos, Oyo, Osun, and Abuja. Workplaces were the priority, alongside visits to Union secretariats. Indeed the response was fantastic, beginning with the Nigeria Union of Teachers, attending union functions, visiting schools, and News stall. The comrades in Abuja visited the central trade union headquarters as well. With particular emphasis to buyers, that it was a new paper, and needed support, we succeeded in selling 200 copies at Solidarity price, raking in N40, 000+, a feat we must aim to surpass, with the second edition of the paper. The good news here was that the name of the paper: SOLIDARITY, was in itself inviting to workers and students alike.
The paper was also present at the protest organised by the labour centres, the NLC and the TUC against the attempt by the ruling elites to remove the minimum wage from the exclusive list to the concurrent list to allow state governors to legally further reduce the current slavery wage of N30, 000 to a ridiculous pittance of N18, 000 which is what some governors are currently paying.
Comrades participated in Lagos, Abuja and Osogbo, registering the need to always intervene in the struggle of workers with the paper, not only as a form of solidarity but as well as join in the struggle for improvement in the working conditions of workers.
A workers’ paper is a paper not only written by socialists but by workers themselves, who buy and read the paper, and try as well to organize around the paper. Raise fund for the paper, by selling it to others, requesting a donation from other workers and the unions to ensure the continued production of the paper. We must appreciate all who were able to buy the paper, in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Ife, Oshogbo, This modest beginning places before us the task of how to reach out to 46.4 million workers, out of more than 100 Million others that suffer a worse living condition. We can only continue to demonstrate the fact that a paper of the workers is necessary and with the resources of the labour movement it posses the resources to accomplish this.
We appreciate all persons who bought Solidarity, who have made effort to get in touch with us including donating labour centres, trade unionists and activists and workers generally; who like us think that the task ahead is building a political platform for the working masses. We say SOLIDARITY! We know that sustaining the paper as an organ of struggles of the working masses, will depend on your continuous support of it and the willingness to buy, read, write for the paper, and as well use it as an instrument to organise the working masses, to come into the arena of struggle and take their destiny in their own hands.
As we introduced this second edition, which is Special Mayday Edition, we want to challenge comrades all that we need to repeat the same feat, and indeed widen to reach out to other unions and workplaces that we were not able to reach with the first edition, and also to encourage all to even do more than was done. Our readers and supporters can also join our humble effort by volunteering to take 2, 3, or even 5 copies that can be sold to friends and colleagues in their workplaces. The online edition also earned us 15 Euro. We can do more better? The MSA is here to stay, Solidarity is our organ and paper, and is also here to stay!! Solidarity Forever!!!