Comrades and friends of Harry Dare were shocked and devastated last week to hear of Harry’s sudden death.
Harry was a familiar face at Socialist Workers Party (SWP) events and at national protests. Over the years he had worked very closely with many people in London and Swansea where he was universally regarded as a very thoughtful person who always had a story to tell and the time to share a joke.
Harry was at heart a principled and dedicated revolutionary who in particular had contributed a great deal both in person and financially to anti-racist work.
Harry joined the SWP when he was working for the BBC. As a socialist trade unionist, he was not only involved in strikes but was also at the centre of trying to stop the BBC from providing platforms for the Nazi BNP—and with some success.
Harry recently spoke at an SWP meeting about his experiences at the BBC and he laid out a plan on how socialists should respond to the modern institution that is increasingly backing right wing ideology but at the same time is itself under the threat of abolition. Harry was for defending public services and jobs but against control by the politicians and their corporate interests.
During this time Harry developed close links with the Anti Nazi League where he regularly helped with the organisation of protests. Harry carried over this commitment to help Stand Up To Racism develop in Britain. People who worked at the Stand Up To Racism office speak highly of his contribution and of his concern for their welfare.
Harry was important in building the Stop the War Coalition during the great movement against the Iraq War. He was crucial to its development in Fulham, Putney and other areas of west London.
The BBC eventually decided to remove Harry’s job and offered him a substantial bung to let the job go. Harry refused to accept the package as it meant letting someone else’s job go. Eventually, Harry did leave the BBC and he began to spend more time in Swansea.
Harry spent the last few weeks of his life visiting picket lines. He was last seen giving out placards at a Swansea rally on 1 February when hope for real change was in the air. He will be greatly missed.
Martin Chapman Swansea SWP and Claire Dissington London SWP