Socialist Appeal notes with sadness the untimely deaths of Andy Viner and Brian Haw at the weekend and sends condolences to their families and friends and the many people who knew them. Here we pay tribute to them and the role they played.
Socialist Appeal notes with sadness the untimely deaths of Andy Viner
and Brian Haw at the weekend. Below we pay tribute to them
and the role they played.
Andy came into socialist politics with the Militant during the heady days of the 1980s and was a fulltime worker for a period in the industrial department, being involved with the establishment of the Broad Left Organising Committee (BLOC). Later he became a train driver for London Underground, becoming an active member of the ASLEF union. He was involved with Socialist Appeal for a number of years, contributing many articles (as Steve Tree) on the industrial situation and the history of the movement. Recently, he had been elected to an effective fulltime position in the union which was a reflection of his standing amongst ASLEF members. Although he had developed sharp differences with Socialist Appeal in the last few years, he had remained involved in the Labour movement, playing for a time a role in the LRC, and in the union. Sadly he was fatally injured in a car accident over the weekend. We send condolences to his family and friends at this sad time and pay tribute to his many years of activity in the trade union movement and in the ranks of Marxism.
His funeral will take place on Friday 1 July at 15.30 at St Helens
Church in Wheathampstead. Andy’s daughters want it to be a celebration
of Andy’s life and say mourners should feel free to wear what they want.
have also asked that any money that might have been spent on floral
tributes should be saved and send to a charity that will be nominated
For a decade Brian Haw was a regular fixture outside parliament in his peace camp, making a lone protest against war. He stuck it out in all weather conditions and in the face of constant and vicious harrassment from the authorities who saw his presence as an embarrassment. His vigil cost him his marriage, contact with his family and, finally, his health. They tried everything to get rid of him and his growing band of supporters. They even drew up new laws aimed at moving him on, only to discover that the law was so badly worded as to be useless. Still he remained, holding to his anti-war message, deeply affected by the loss of life in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sadly he was a heavy smoker and the years of exposure to the elements ensured that he had little in him to fight the onset of the cancer which took his life at the weekend, aged just 62. We salute his single-minded determination and his commitment to principles which serve as an inspiration to the many fighting the system and its brutalities.