New Book: The Amistad Rebellion
THE AMISTAD REBELLION: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom
By Marcus Rediker
'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács
National Demonstration: Stop Israel's War on Gaza 24 November
Many anti-racists and anti-fascists internationally - alongside her friends and comrades in the British Socialist Workers' Party of which she was a leading member - will have been deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Julie Waterson on friday at the tragically young age of 54, for she was not only an outstanding revolutionary socialist but truly a thorn in the side of Nazis - courageous, brave and inspiring in her tireless indomitable opposition to them. Yet despite the harassment and intimidation she faced from the likes of the Nazi BNP - from the times I met with her, she always remained a wonderfully warm and cheerful personality - ever ready to challenge and take the piss out of any kind of egotism, arrogance, hubris, hypocrisy or downright betrayal - especially when it came from those supposedly 'on the left'. She was in many ways, to paraphrase the Bob Marley song, like 'a small axe, well sharp, ready to cut you down' to size. And many, many socialists loved and respected her for this. I first met her in 1998 as a first year student who had just joined the SWP in a student occupation for free education (Blair's New Labour had just imposed tuition fees) - she had come up to do a meeting in the middle of our occupation - and her passion for socialism and contempt for the capitalist system shone through. I remember being amazed at someone who could talk so knowledgeably and powerfully about the world for over half an hour from so few notes (I think she had about five words written on her scrap of paper in front of her). Julie Waterson will be sorely missed in the struggles ahead - and if there is any consolation to be taken from her early passing - and there really isn't - it is that the British fascist movement has never really been in a weaker state, more divided and fragmented, at a time when it should really be the ideal conditions for a fascist movement to grow given the capitalist crisis and racism from mainstream politicians. That the British far right is so weak in many ways stands as a kind of tribute to Julie's life and work - though sadly the state of the socialist movement in Britain isn't exactly much better - and socialists trying to rebuild that movement in Britain will have to try and do so now without the contribution of one of the greatest and most dedicated class fighters we have seen over the past few decades. RIP Julie.