Merseyside Socialist Workers Party members are deeply saddened at the recent death of Kate Rankin, a longstanding member of the party. Kate played a key role as branch secretary for the SWP in Liverpool, holding together and building that branch during the difficult years of the 1980s. Her commitment to revolutionary socialism always shone out.
Kate played an active role in raising support and solidarity for many disputes and struggles. These included the miners’ strike in 1984-5, the great Poll Tax revolt in the late 1980s and more recently the Liverpool dockers’ dispute. She felt particularly strongly about fighting women’s oppression and for abortion rights, and argued passionately on these issues.
Although nervous of public speaking, she never let her nerves get the better of her. Kate argued her politics with a conviction and passion that won her wide respect. Kate was also well known for her role as a leading shop steward in Liverpool UNISON and the union’s predecessor, NALGO.
She addressed mass meetings of thousands and supported the call for an all-out strike of council workers against the Tory government of the 1980s. Her council colleagues describe her as part of the history of Liverpool. Kate was a warm, caring person who will be deeply missed. She will be remembered for her humour, her burning hatred of Thatcher and the far right, and most importantly as a committed, passionate fighter.
We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and many friends. Any donations should be sent in memory of Kate to Sahir House (HIV-AIDS), 80 Rodney Street, Liverpool L69 1SN.
A plaque in Kate’s honour will be placed in the dockers’ club The Casa in Liverpool. For further details contact Babs Hennessy 0151 932 0039
Anwar Ditta, a heroic anti-racist campaigner, died last week.