Comrades in South Wales are deeply saddened to learn of the untimely and sudden loss of Mark Davies on 9 January.
Mark was a lifelong socialist. Growing up in the South Wales Valleys he was politically active from a very early age.
He helped to lead a solidarity march from Bedwas Comprehensive School to Caerphilly during the miners strike in 1984.
He joined the Socialist Workers Party in the early 1990s. Mark was renowned by comrades for his wicked sense of humour and tremendous ability to engage with the public on paper sales.
It was not unusual for Mark to put other comrades to shame by selling 20 plus papers.
This was when the total for the sale was only a few more and he did it without ever relinquishing his cup of coffee. Mark was also an inspirational anti-fascist, attending every Anti Nazi League (ANL) demo he could get to.
In 1995 local Nazis organised a music gig in his home town of Caerphilly. Comrades remember that he threw everything he had into building the Caerphilly ANL campaign with relentless street stalls and leafleting.
Things were going so well for the SWP in South Wales in the late 1990s that we opened an office close to Cardiff Castle.
This was to help organise our election effort and a Marxism in Wales event. Mark worked tirelessly in the office and was integral to the success of both of these campaigns.
His fight was always for the oppressed, the powerless, the homeless, for LGBT rights and against racism and fascism.
Despite a long period of illness Mark recently returned to activity and the SWP. He was angered by the Tory attacks and the rise of racism, homophobia and sexism.
He was a familiar face on the recent Abortion Rights demonstrations in Cardiff as well as protests against Israel bombing Gaza.
He also attended the protest against Nato’s visit to South Wales. Over the last year he organised a number of Rock the Miners benefit gigs to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Miners Strike.
And he raisied funds for the South Wales Miners Welfare Fund and had plans to organise an anti-racist gig in 2015.
Comrades will remember Mark for his kindness, humour, determination and friendship.
Once you had met Mark you will never forget his smile. Mark left us fighting and would inspire us all to keep on fighting—and to do it in style.
Our deepest condolences go to Mark’s family—his dad Ray, stepmum Wendy and brother Tad.