First Published: The Call, Vol. 4, No. 2, November 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The October League has begun a campaign both within its own ranks and throughout the revolutionary movement to build a weekly communist newspaper. The communist press and the question of newspaper work are central to the working class struggle. In preparation for the organizational founding of a genuine communist party, the working class must have a regularly and frequently published newspaper which voices the demands of the masses and provides a center for communist leadership and organization.
But the communist press is far more than the physical papers and magazines it produces. A communist newspaper is an instrument of the class struggle not only in what it says but in the network and organization built around it, which are key in binding the party to the masses.
Through the last three years of publishing The Call/El Clarin, the October League has utilized its newspaper to organize in the factories and establish discussion groups among workers and community activists. The paper has become a focal point for developing the organization’s political line and reaching unity with Marxist-Leninists across the country.
A building block of the organizational network around The Call is the system of Call committees, which presently exist in more than 20 cities. At this time we are trying to expand and improve the existing committees as well as forming new ones wherever there are people who read The Call and support its general line.
What are these committees? How do they fit into the network around The Call? These questions are often asked by comrades who are interested in participating in the OL’s efforts to establish a revolutionary weekly. Two essential features of The Call committees are their revolutionary political line and their broad character.
1) Revolutionary Political Line–The Call committees should be active political bodies which gather news and summarize developments for publication in the paper. The thread tying together all the various facts, interviews, and exposures obtained by the committee should be a view of exposing capitalism and promoting socialism. While paying close attention to every local development, Call committees should use these incidents to apply the general truths of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions. In this way we also link the local struggles to the general struggle of the working class and oppressed nationalities. Call committees are vehicles for taking the paper to the masses and bringing the struggles of the masses to the pages of the paper. Call committee members should go out to strikes, school struggles, battles against discrimination, etc. In every city there are dozens of these sparks flying daily, where The Call’s presence could both deepen our news coverage and popularize the paper itself.
In addition to this type of work, the consistent investigation and study of national and world events inside the committees enables its members to better grasp the significance of every struggle. As a result, articles written for the paper from every committee regardless of size or location should reflect and deepen The Call’s general line on the international situation, the economic crisis, etc.
2) Broad Character–In the early stages of the development of The Call and the OL, our committees were often composed exclusively of cadres of the organization. But this represents a primitive level of development which has been successfully overcome in most places. The backwardness of this type of organization was shown in practice by the rapid advances we made wherever sizable numbers of workers were brought into the activities of studying, writing, and distributing The Call.
Members of Call committees need not be well-developed Marxist-Leninists. In fact the committees themselves, utilizing the newspaper as a “collective organizer” should be places where communists are trained, theoretical understanding is deepened and political struggle is carried out to unite the revolutionary forces.
Through the writing of articles, the study and criticism of the newspaper, and investigation and summary of news from a local to international scale. Call committees train workers in the skills of agitation and propaganda. In turn, the agitation and propaganda of The Call, because its writers are based in such committees, better reflect the enthusiasm, standpoint, and language of the working people.
A working class newspaper is one that puts forward the demands and aspirations of the great majority of people, and does so in a mass style, bringing the truths of Marxism to the people. As such, every reader should become a distributor, introducing the paper to new readers and studying its lessons with fellow workers. The workers, community activists, and revolutionary intellectuals who make up The Call committees promote the overall distribution of the paper as well as contributing to its content.
The numerous functions and activities carried out by these committees are important steps in binding the party to the masses. To build The Call/El Clarin into a revolutionary weekly, we will need the active participation of our readers and supporters in strengthening existing committees and establishing new ones.
We call on all our supporters to contact us concerning participation in Call committee work as a concrete way to push forward the establishment of a revolutionary weekly!