Obituaries

Death of a political gangster

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Michael Banda (Michael van den Poorten), who died recently, had for nearly three decades been a retired political gangster.

For much of the previous three decades he had been an all-too-active political gangster, as one of the two or three central leaders of the Healy organisation known variously as the Newsletter group, the Socialist Labour League, and the Workers’ Revolutionary Party.

He was known in the organisation during the 1950s and early 60s as “Mike the Knife”, after he pulled a knife on a man who had grabbed Gerry Healy by the coat collar in a factional row.

Michael Banda (Michael van den Poorten), who died recently, had for nearly three decades been a retired political gangster.

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Raising aspirations, confronting vested interests

Author: 

Maria Exall

I am missing Tom, both as a friend and as a comrade.

As a comrade, what I miss most is the chance to engage with his perceptive insights into the class struggle now, and his analysis of the history of the class. He had a deep understanding of the British (and Irish) labour movements. Tom was a highly intelligent man who used his great abilities to promote the interests of the working class, this purpose being at the centre of his life all the time I knew him.

Remembering Tom Cashman who died last month.

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Tom Cashman

Author: 

Jim Denham

In the last issue of Solidarity, Bruce Robinson remembered the life of Tom Cashman, socialist trade unionist and long-time associate of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, who died last month. In this and future issues we will print further tributes.

Remembering the life of Tom Cashman, socialist trade unionist and long-time associate of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, who died last month.

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Ahmed Seif el-Islam

Author: 

Nick Holden

On Wednesday, 27 August Egypt’s leading human rights lawyer, Ahmed Seif el-Islam died aged 63 after several days in a coma after heart surgery. As he lay dying, two of his children were behind bars for their political activism.

Egypt’s leading human rights lawyer, Ahmed Seif el-Islam has died aged 63.

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Tom Cashman 1950-2014

Author: 

Bruce Robinson

Tom Cashman has died of a brain tumour aged 64. He was a life-long socialist and militant trade union activist, who had a long connection to the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty and its predecessors.

Tom came from a family in Wallasey on Merseyside with Irish roots and labour movement involvement. He joined Workers’ Fight (precursor of the AWL) in 1973 while a student at Middlesex Polytechnic and subsequently recruited his brothers Mick, Tony and Peter and briefly his sister Liz.

Tom Cashman was a life-long socialist and militant trade unionist with a long connection to Workers' Liberty.

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In memory of Jo Walker and David Hague

On Sunday the 2nd of July, minibus returning to Lancaster from our Workers' Liberty 95 summer school crashed on the motorway between Preston and Lancaster. We print our impressions of and tributes to David Hague and Jo Walker.

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On Sunday the 2nd of July, minibus returning to Lancaster from our Workers' Liberty 95 summer school crashed on the motorway between Preston and Lancaster.

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Brian Munro, 1968-2014

Brian Munro, a London Underground worker, RMT Executive member, and former member of Workers’ Liberty and its predecessor group Socialist Organiser, died on Saturday 28 June after a long battle with ocular melanoma, an extremely rare form of eye cancer.

Brian fought the disease, and significantly outlived his initial prognosis. He died peacefully surrounded by his family in an East London hospice.

Brian Munro, a London Underground worker, RMT Executive member, and former member of Workers’ Liberty and its predecessor group Socialist Organiser, died on Saturday 28 June after a long battle with ocular melanoma, an extremely rare form of eye cancer.

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Vladimir Derer, campaigner for Labour Party democracy

Vladimir Derer who was the leading figure in the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) for forty years after its foundation in 1973 has died at the age of 94.

Although almost unknown other than amongst Labour activists, he was the Labour left’s leading strategist at the height of its influence in the 1970s and 1980s.His strategic vision made CLPD, the most effective organisation on the Labour left through to the New Labour years and the present.

Vladimir Derer, the leading figure in the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy from its foundation in 1973, has died at the age of 94.

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Fran Broady, 1938-2014

Fran Broady, who was a leading member of our organisation in the 1970s, died on 18 May at the age of 75.

Fran met us in 1970, when we were an opposition tendency in IS (forerunner of, but very much more open than, today's SWP). The IS/SWP expelled our tendency in December 1971, because of our campaign against the switch of line to "No to the Common Market" from advocating European workers' unity. Fran chose our small expelled group without hesitation.

Fran Broady, a leading member of our organisation in the 1970s, died on 18 May at the age of 75.

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Dave Broady, 1937-2014

Dave Broady died on 4 April. In 1972 he contributed regularly to Workers’ Fight, a forerunner of Solidarity.

An excerpt [below] signals the tone and type of his writing.

After joining the Navy, and being jailed and dismissed, Dave became a construction worker, a steel erector. He told me he couldn’t tolerate the more controlled environment of a factory.

An excerpt from a 1972 piece in Workers’ Fight by Dave Broady who died in Manchester on 4 April.

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