Obituaries

Why the 70s shop stewards lost

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 11:00 Author: Jim Denham

For a brief period in the 1970s, Derek Robinson (who has died, aged 90) was widely regarded as the most powerful trade unionist in Britain.

The so-called “Red Robbo” wasn’t a full-time official. He was a shop steward (albeit a senior steward, allowed time off by management, to devote himself full-time, to union duties).

Joanne Landy

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 10:43

Joanne Landy, one of the last surviving representatives of a thin thread of living continuity between the Third Camp Trotskyists of the 1940s and politics today, died on 14 October in New York, aged 75. She was one of the early members of the Independent Socialist Club which was founded by Hal Draper in Berkeley, California, in 1964, to regroup the revolutionary socialist wing of the remnants within the Socialist Party USA of the old “Shachtmanite” Workers’ Party and Independent Socialist League.

Mehmet Aksoy Matthew Wed, 10/11/2017 - 09:26

Mehmet Aksoy, a London-based Kurdish socialist activist, has been killed by Daesh while volunteering with the Kurdish YPG national liberation forces. Aksoy, a trained film-maker, was volunteering as a press officer with a unit of the YPG when a Daesh unit attacked his position a short distance from the front line in Raqqa.

John Berger and seeing politically AWL Wed, 01/18/2017 - 12:50

Since the death of John Berger on 2 January the bourgeois press has squirmed over the task of commemorating a major public figure who was also a lifelong Marxist. Some have responded by simply attacking him.

Belligerent but beautiful songs Matthew Wed, 10/05/2016 - 11:48

When I grew into adulthood in the 1980s, the Tory government's onslaught saw us staring into a bleak future unless we fought back. So we did, and our fightback had a soundtrack.

The better-known voices of that soundtrack — the Paul Wellers and Billy Braggs — are still playing to this day. But one of the less known, and to me one of the best, died last month at the too-young age of 60.

Matthew Caygill 1955 — 2016 Matthew Wed, 07/27/2016 - 11:26

Workers’ Liberty is saddened to hear of the sudden death of Matthew Caygill, a Marxist historian, a left wing activist and trade unionist.

Davey Hopper, 1943-2016

Submitted by Matthew on 27 July, 2016 - 11:19 Author: Gerry Bates

Davey Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association, died suddenly on 16 July.

The defeat of the 1984-1985 miners’ strike destroyed communities, lives and set back the cause of working class struggle for a generation. No one knew that better then Hopper, and he with others devoted the next 30 years of his life to turning the Durham Miners’ Association into a force which fought back for the community and the wider movement.

Bogdan Denitch: “a tireless organiser”

Submitted by Matthew on 8 June, 2016 - 11:39 Author: Ed Strauss

Bogdan Denitch was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1929. His father was a Serbian diplomat.

In 1940 Bogdan went to London when his father moved to the Yugoslav embassy there. Eventually Bogdan came to New York in 1946. He enrolled at City College New York and soon joined the Young People’s Socialist League, YPSL, the youth group of the Socialist Party.