The campaign to free Esmail Abdi, the jailed Iran teacher trade unionist, is now the largest current LabourStart campaign, with 11,401 messages sent in the last 12 days. (The runner-up is the China campaign, live since 1 June, but with only 10,293 messages sent.) There’s been considerable interest shown by some teachers’ unions, especially in Canada, and we’ve made a determined effort including followup emails to our lists.
One of the more unusual tactics this time has been to write to people on the English list who come from non-English-speaking countries and to send them the mailing in their own country’s language, to see if they’ll respond to that and therefore strengthen those lists.
The Abdi campaign message was therefore sent out to people on the English list who may want to be on the Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Czech, Turkish, Swedish and Dutch lists. There were over 5,000 of these. The number of Swedes on the English list exceeded the number of people on the Swedish list, and there were over 1,000 people each from Spanish-speaking countries, Norway and Turkey on the English list, all of whom got mailings in Spanish, Norwegian and Turkish.
In addition, our tiny Hindi list (just 31 names) is being strengthened by a mailing to the more than 840 people from India on our English mailing list.
The overall result of these efforts, including the rapid growth of the Abdi campaign, is that we picked up a net gain of 1,449 people to our lists — the vast majority of them in English.