Comrades will be saddened to hear of the sudden death of Gerry Lecointe, at the tragically young age of 56.
Gerry joined Holloway branch of the SWP in 1992, a year dominated by riots against police racism in Los Angeles and working class anger at Tory plans to close Britain’s remaining coal mines.
The fascist BNP was growing in confidence. If there was going to be resistance, Gerry knew it would have to come from below.
He threw himself into local campaigns against the Nazis, while stressing the need to develop socialist organisation.
Though he had left school at 16, political activity gave Gerry the impetus to read and develop his theoretical understanding of Marxism. As an activist in the party and the CWU union, this stress on the need for working people to engage with socialist theory remained constant.
He was part of rank and file organisation in Royal Mail in north London that repeatedly humbled the bosses and pressured union leaders.
In the mid 2000s Gerry suffered a stroke that laid him low for the best part of a year.
He gradually recovered and was able to resume his job.
In my last conversation with him he was talking animatedly about the dangers of the far right and the prospects for the left in the US following the riot at the Capitol building.
A kind, gentle, modest man, Gerry will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.
If you want to mark his passing, raise a glass by all means but be sure to read some Lenin.