Agitprop, Part 6b
A stall at the Fête de l’Humanité
You can use a folding paste-table like the one in the drawing above, and set it up in the street, or in a mall, or in a hall at an event or a conference or meeting. Or you can use any other kind of table, for that matter, to create what is called in a general way, a “stall”.
It is as well to think of the purpose of your stall as being to serve the cause, rather than to have an objective of making a big lump of money. Of course you must pass any surplus to your Treasurer, and you must account in some satisfactory way to your Treasurer for all the receipts and payments of funds, and for the stock of goods, which must also be properly conserved. You should, as with all Party or mass-movement activities, strive to generate a surplus, and not to carry debts back into the organisation.
It should be your intention to put on a good show, and to give a good experience to anyone who might come to your stall. You should therefore try to become aware of what such people might expect to find. Experience will in due course make you aware of what this is. People will in fact tell you what they want.
They may want to make a cash contribution to the Party, and you should be open to that, and ready to process it, with a receipt book, for example. They may want to join the party, so you should have application forms and be ready to follow a correct and effective procedure.
People may want current literature of the SACP, ANC or Trade Union, such as its Constitution, or documents like the South African Road to Socialism, the Manuals and the Election Manifestos of the ANC, and even documents like the National Development Plan or the Constitution of South Africa. You will not be able to keep all of these, but you may be able to bring some of them. A good principle is to bring whatever you can get of such things to your stall.
Not everything on the stall will have a cover price or a tariff price, but you can ask for donations.
Clothing and merchandise has been mentioned in the previous item. As we have said, the main thing is not to lose money, but to give a political experience to the masses, and to do whatever business may be appropriate to the political aims of the organisation.
Standing behind your stall, you become the public face of your organisation. You become a public representative of what your organisation stands for.
As such it becomes clear that what you are doing is no more or less than Agitprop. You do it with different means, but the aim is the same. It is part of the mission to educate, organise and mobilise.
Finally, this relates back to what was said in the beginning of this part, about the Party legalising itself. The open, public relationship that the SACP has with the South African public is deliberately kept up by all these means, and including stalls of the kind described here.
· The above is to introduce our reading-text on Banners, Flags, Clothing and Stalls.