December will be busy. Despite the snow, students are keeping up a level of activity on the streets not usually seen at this time of year.
It will be doubly busy for members and friends of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty. Alongside student and other activity, including in the later part of the month when student activity is likely to subside a bit with the end of term, we have three campaigns which must be completed this month.
We have to raise a lot of money to finance moving offices and launching Solidarity on a weekly schedule in place of our present fortnightly routine.
Phone-rounds and mailings from the AWL office have got a good response, but we need to follow by local AWL activists everywhere organising face-to-face discussions with friends and contacts in their area (including "long-lost" contacts who may be coming back into activity as struggles warm up, or may at least see more need to help socialist activity financially).
In every area, we need to get a speedier and more reliable routine for the distribution of Solidarity. For most AWL branches, that means shifting the branch meeting night to Thursday, or organising an extra regular get-together (paper sale, stall, attendance at a local campaign meeting) for Thursdays, and enlisting someone to drive round papers to everyone not present at the Thursday gathering.
Delays that were tolerable with a fortnightly routine will become unaffordable with a weekly schedule.
Our third "campaign" this month is a "backroom" one, but still important. It is the "campaign" to get our office files and equipment in shape for moving offices, and then to move them and install them in our new place.
Struggles and campaigns cannot function without information and explanation. Information and explanation cannot circulate without papers, leaflets, meetings, phone calls, websites, emails... And those, in turn, cannot circulate without adequately-equipped offices where people can get them out.
Our present offices hold files and stocks accumulated over 14 years in the basement of our previous premises, plus another 25 years' accumulation at our current address. Since the office is a working office, not a library or archive, much of the stuff not in everyday use is stacked in corners and crannies.
Getting it all in shape for the move will be a big job, and a costly one, but a vital one if AWL is to be in shape for the struggles of 2011.
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