We have lost a close friend and comrade. Maggie Mariscotti died on 1 December at Whipps Cross Hospital following a short illness.
We first met Maggie in the Walthamstow Miners Support Group during the 1984-5 strike. At that time, she was in the Labour Party.
Her fighting spirit brought her into conflict with the Labour leadership’s opposition to the strike. Maggie came closer to us, buying Socialist Worker every week.
At the end of the year-long strike Maggie decided to join the SWP.
We persuaded her to come along to Skegness for our 1985 rally at the Derbyshire miners’ holiday camp.
Maggie was blown away when a debate on “Do men benefit from women’s oppression” attracted a huge audience of both men and women. It included many who had been involved in the strike. She said, “You’d never get this in the Labour Party.”
She thoroughly changed her mind about how to achieve socialism that year. She became immersed in the theory as well as the activity of revolutionary socialism.
Maggie’s intense enthusiasm, energy and enquiring mind remained with her. A real fighter in her union, the NUJ, and for the working class.
Over the last few years Maggie became a carer for her mother and was not able to be as active as she would have liked.
Whenever she could she attended branch meetings, always searching for an upturn in struggle, always discussing the way forward. She will be sorely missed.
Anwar Ditta, a heroic anti-racist campaigner, died last week.