40 Years in America

The Ten Million CAUSA Signature Drive

William Stoertz

Collecting signatures for CAUSA USA

The campaign began on September 1, 1986, but it wasnít until the 11th that we started in earnest. We were assigned as a team of three members to Battery Park. With folding tables, clipboards, banners, signs and brochures we were set. Initially, with only a single form, progress was very slow, less than 100 signatures a day. Right from the beginning I could see it would be very difficult. How was I to approach people? I tried, "Would you like to become a member of CAUSA?" but that didnít work. I finally cut loose on my own, saying, "Iíve got a petition to sign." It was dramatic. New Yorkers are busy people. They looked, said "Gimme that!" and signed. Others said, "Let me see too!" or "That is terrible. This is a fascist organization. No!" We had express-style forms printed up, with ten blank spaces. It was encouraging for people to see that others had signed above. We had forms in Spanish, Polish, Korean and Chinese. I often carried three or four clipboards. Things were speeding up. Shouting "Contra Comunismo! Contra Castro!" worked very well in Cuban areas. Everyone would sign.

Gaining signatures really accelerated when I got the idea to get onto the subway system. I ended up taking the No. 7 line all day from nine in the morning till nine at night. The subway was tossing and shaking like a ship at sea. I had to yell at people over the roar of the train. I never knew whether the next person would speak English, Spanish, Polish, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese or Russian. Most ethnic groups were anti-communist, but some people were very procommunist.

One time I gave the clipboard to an Afghani refugee who was wounded fighting the Russians. He could barely understand English, but while signing, a Korean Christian lady sitting right next to him was screaming, "Heís the anti-Christ, donít sign that." It was to no avail. He couldnít understand her.

We blanketed New York and many signed more than once, Iím sure, but we accomplished the goal in time. It stirred up real feelings of patriotism and support wherever we went. I believe that the most important effect was on us members. We had accomplished a national goal, giving us a new self-image and confidence. It was a turning point and following this; we were able to bring 7,000 Christian ministers to the ICC conferences in Korea.

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