Summer Offensive: How do you do that?

Mark Fischer gives comrades the first update

There are no pyrotechnics or tales of Marxist derring-do to report in this week’s update on the Summer Offensive, our annual fundraising drive - this year set at an ambitious £30k, to be achieved by August 18, the last day of our Communist University annual school.

Not surprising really: we did jump this year’s start date forward by two weeks. This will have wrong-footed some comrades, even members who were bracing themselves for the campaign. So it’s been a modest week, but solid enough - the details are at the end.

It’s kind of chastening to realise that this is our 28th Summer Offensive. We initiated the campaign (drawing not simply on the work of our comrades from Turkey, around the ??çinin Sesi newspaper, but campaigns run by the Bolsheviks and newspapers edited by Marx) in 1985. This was in the aftermath of the qualitative upgrade of our work demanded by the miners’ Great Strike of 1984-85. It actually caused a split in ranks - we are proud to say, in hindsight.

I spoke to a Turkish comrade, a veteran of the ??çinin Sesi wing of the Communist Party of Turkey, from we took inspiration for our Summer Offensives. He told me: “When you are ideologically committed, you make sacrifices, and you fight. The money raised in a Summer Offensive is a secondary issue in some senses. We are communists, we are creative people - we can always generate something as mundane as money. What was inspiring about our SOs was that when people saw how serious we were about our politics, how committed we were to what we were saying, and building an organisation that could say it - they gravitated towards us. The PKK (the mass Kurdish nationalist organisation) would say, ‘We are so much bigger than you - how do you do that?’”

This week we have added a robust £1,008 to our target, taking our running total to £1,832. Thanks in particular to MM and AM, whose donations to the Weekly Worker (£75 and £50 respectively) helped bump up the total. There were also smaller donations (via PayPal) from one or two of our 9,420 online readers.

We have barely got going, however. Comrades are confident that we will reach our ambitious target and go beyond - watch this space. We are going to do ‘that’ and so much more …