Students are returning to university campuses for second semester classes and Green Left Weekly is there too. This is part of a special campaign the paper is waging to boost distribution, and in particular to raise the number of campaigners involved.
One example is Griffith University in Brisbane. A number of new members of the Socialist Alliance were studying at Griffith and decided to begin regular distribution of Green Left Weekly towards the end of last semester. Recently they were back for the university open day as preparation for second semester.
One of the students, Freya Moran, said: “I began my studies at the start of the year at Griffith University. Midway through first semester, a group of Socialist Alliance comrades agreed to establish a weekly stall to sell GLW and gain support for campaigns we were active in, such as the upcoming rally for marriage equality and race and gender issues.
We have held the stall week after week. Selling the paper to other students has led to some interesting discussions and our aim now is to develop strong roots on the campus and eventually become a registered club.”
Green Left Weekly campaigners have also taken part in second semester “re-orientation” weeks at University of Western Sydney, Murdoch University in Perth, Deakin University at Geelong and many other campuses.
Rachel Evans, a student at Sydney University, told Green Left Weekly that the Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance club was not deterred by the fact they couldn't get an official stall — they just set up anyway. They sold “quite a lot” of copies of the paper and joined three new members to the club.
Evans, who is also an elected representative of the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA), described the role of the paper on campus: “We aim to encourage people to join campaigns and we want to convince people that there is an anti-capitalist alternative.
“We want to talk to students about ecosocialism and feminist socialism and about organising for social change. There are things you can read in Green Left Weekly that you can't read anywhere else.”
This is what is motivating the six-week campaign to boost GLW distribution.
Early results from the first three weeks of the campaign are encouraging, with a noticeable rise in the number of people involved.
One of those who had not regularly sold the paper before is Nada Ishkra from Geelong. “I've been with the Socialist Alliance for a few years because I was disillusioned with both the Liberal and Labor parties,” Ishkra told Green Left Weekly. “Socialist Alliance policies suited me better.”
Ishkra began selling the paper when some of the other regular distributors were away on holiday. She values the broad range of topics in Green Left Weekly, especially the coverage about refugees. Australia is “getting worse and worse” in the way that refugees are treated, she said. “They are just put in jail when they've done nothing wrong.”
The only way that we can rectify injustices like this is by building a people power movement for change. Green Left is people-powered media and is an important part of building this movement for change.
We’re asking more people to consider taking an initiative like Nada Ishkra and help us get the paper into more people's hands.
The corporate media has money behind it. We have the enthusiasm of those wanting progressive change and the activism of volunteers.
You could join a campaign stall, try selling the paper the next time there is a rally or progressive forum or take a small bundle of papers to distribute to friends and workmates.
Every little bit helps. You can get involved by contacting your local Socialist Alliance branch or phoning Green Left Weekly on 1800 634 206.
[Alex Bainbridge is a national co-coordinator of the Socialist Alliance.]