Vince Rutterford, who died recently, joined the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) at the beginning of the miners’ strike in 1984.
He was very active in support work, including taking part in delegations to mining communities.
He also took part in many of the demonstrations at Wapping in 1986 when media boss Rupert Murdoch sought to smash the print unions. On one memorable occasion Vince butted a police horse.
As a student at Middlesex Polytechnic he was involved in a long occupation against a site closure.
Vince developed disagreements with the SWP and left the party, rejoining briefly at the time of the campaign against pit closures in 1992.
He continued to participate in demonstrations and meetings, and we could always count on him to oppose racism and war, and to defend workers’ rights.
His deep anger at the whole capitalist system never diminished.
His health had been in decline for some years, but until quite recently I took him Socialist Worker every week.
The last meeting we saw him at was, fittingly, a commemoration of the 1984-5 miners’ strike, where he spoke movingly of his recollections of the struggle.
We send our deepest sympathy to his parents and to his partner, Janet.