It hardly seems possible, but this month marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of People’s Voice. Our first monthly issue rolled off the presses on March 4, 1993, at Press Gang, the famous women–only, feminist, anti-capitalist printshop collective located on Powell Street in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. A couple of days later, our first public distribution of the new paper took place at an International Women’s Day rally.
After that, PV was printed at another unionized shop, Broadway Printers in Vancouver. Technological advances later allowed us to print in Montreal, and now Hamilton, and publication frequency increased to 20 issues per year. Our dedicated volunteer Lloyd Mattson set up our first website nearly 20 years ago, working from his home in rural Saskatchewan, and more recently, a new website was created by Jay Watts and other volunteers, making it easier for us to reach thousands of new readers online.
Through all of these changes, People’s Voice has been kept alive mainly through the incredible efforts of supporters across the country, working every year to raise $50,000 for our annual fund drive. The spring campaign kicks off on March 1, aiming to bring in most of that target by May 15. Some fundraisers have become annual events during the summer, such as the Davenport Club BBQ, the Moncada Day event held by our Nanaimo supporters, and of course the PV Walk-A-Thon held in Surrey during August or early September. We look forward to announcing these events again this year!
We also want to note that other fundraising takes place, notably regular distributions of the paper by some comrades. In Vancouver, Peter Marcus collects an average of $1000 every year through his efforts at the corner of Broadway and Main. And of course, the value of the May Day greeting ads in our May 1-15 issue counts towards our target, taking our fundraising into the labour and people’s movements which understand the need for a working class press.
On this significant anniversary, there are more reasons than ever to support the socialist media, and to strengthen our presence both in print and on the internet. People’s Voice is on the front lines of resistance against the racist, fascist, and misogynist forces which are fanned by Donald Trump’s bullying and hate speech. We give extensive coverage to the struggles of women to defend reproductive rights and to fight back against capitalist patriarchy, and to the resistance against racism by powerful voices within racialized communities on both sides of the border. Our proud tradition as defenders of the national rights of Indigenous peoples has continued, as we back their opposition to resource extraction projects on traditional territories and corporate plundering of the environment.
As a working class newspaper, we defend the rights of the trade union movement, and support every effort to organize new sections of workers. We speak out against the neoliberal austerity policies of right-wing governments, and against the bosses’ attempts to cut wages, benefits and pensions.
Unique among newspapers in this country, People’s Voice calls for the abrogation of NAFTA, the “corporate bill of rights” imposed on working people in Canada, Mexico and the US. We demand to “tax the greedy, not the needy”, and to slash military spending by 75%, and instead fund human needs like low-income housing, affordable child care, pharmacare, and an end to tuition fees. We use our pages and our website to present interviews, statements and reports from the front lines of the fightback – “news for people, not for profit.” And while newspapers everywhere are hit by corporate layoffs and closures, we keep publishing with the support of working people.
Our goal is to help build resistance against the crisis-ridden capitalist system, and to win a genuine people’s alternative. We stand for a socialist future, in which working people own and control the economy, creating a world based on social justice, an end to exploitation, gender equality, liberation for oppressed peoples, environmental sustainability, and peace.
We know that our readers and friends agree with these aims. And we are also confident that most of you will donate generously to this year’s Fund Drive. Our appeal letters will be in the mail soon, and of course you can also donate online.
But we do urge you, please don’t wait until the end of the Fund Drive. The fundraising campaign takes a huge amount of time and energy, especially when it continues well past our projected completion date. So make your contribution early, and help us get close to the target before our summer fundraising events. That’s the best way to help us concentrate on making People’s Voice better than ever.
Thank you for your solidarity!
– People’s Voice Editorial Advisory Board
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