Socialist Worker

Terry James: 1948 - 2011

by Martin Chapman, Teresa Goss and Julian Goss, South Wales SWP
Issue No. 2245

SWP members in South Wales were saddened to hear last week of the death of Terry James.

Terry was a longtime supporter of the SWP and a well known Cardiff trade unionist and activist. He became active in the 1970s through the Claimants Union and then the International Socialists. He remained active throughout his life.

We knew Terry in the 1990s when he was at the forefront of the fight against council cuts. He was a dynamic trade unionist with the ability to motivate union members, exhibiting skills that would have come to the fore in today’s fight against the Con-Dem cuts.

But perhaps Terry is remembered more for his anti-racism. It was mainly under Terry’s influence that Cardiff Council Unison, then known as Nalgo, became the first to endorse the Cardiff 3 campaign. This was a notorious case of injustice that saw three black men sent down for life.

Nalgo subsequently endorsed the campaign nationally and support and funds flooded in.

As a leading member of the Anti Nazi League in Cardiff in the 1970s, Terry helped to organise many activities that helped keep Cardiff Nazi-free.

But Terry is also remembered by his friends and comrades as “one of the good guys” and as “a personable, funny and caring man, passionate about life”.

Terry will be badly missed, but he will always remain an inspiration for those who have known him. Our sympathy and condolences to Babs and family.

Article information

Tue 29 Mar 2011, 18:01 BST
Issue No. 2245
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