Ian Wallace has passed away in hospital after a long fight against illness.
His illness severely restricted his abilities over the last years and led many comrades and activists to ask after him.
We first met Ian in the late 1970s. He appeared with a shock of blonde curly hair, a bicycle, a flask of tea, a roll up ciggie and a pile of Socialist Workers.
He also had an optimism and enthusiasm for a fight to change the world that never left him.
During the 1980s Ian’s commitment to fighting injustice could be seen in his activity around The Right to Work Campaign and the Anti Nazi League.
Although he trained as a social worker he would not conform to the role.
He worked initially with meals on wheels, then for many years he was a childcare assistant in a special school.
Ian was dedicated to improving the lives of the children and as a shop steward and activist.
He was particularly proud of his involvement in a successful strike of council nursery nurses which improved the conditions of low paid women workers.
Ian was central to building his local anti poll tax group and later Stop the War.
He had a tenacity and will which could be infuriating if you were on the wrong side of them.
Ian was never afraid of an argument nor lacked the audacity to intervene.
He had a wry and sometimes surreal sense of humour. There was always a meal and a laugh to be had at Ian’s. He remained well known through campaigns, selling Socialist Worker, driving his motability scooter everywhere possible with the latest SW placard on the back. He joined the Freedom Riders’ struggles in South Yorkshire.
Ian was a friend of the oppressed and a unique character. He made a unique contribution in an ever more dangerous world.
His contribution to the struggle will be remembered by many and missed in the future.