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So sad the loss of a great friend and comrade, I lost count of the rallies, demonstrations, and marches that we went on. John was one of the most genuine and generous men I have met, he had time for everyone and was a true internationalist. Even with a terminal illness, he was more interested and concerned about others. We have lost a great man and a great comrade.

Larry Bowles – Old Swan Against Cuts

 

John Leather passed away on the 1 July, he was 72. His niece was with him in hospital.

We first met John in 2013 in Old Swan Against the Cuts when he turned up one day to see what we were doing to fight for the public libraries against the proposed closure of 11 libraries by Liverpool’s Labour Council. He lived yards away from Old Swan library.

In OSAC he met many new people including an activist Marco from Alessandria, Italy who works now in the Michelin factory.

John was retired but had been an engineering worker all of his working life and he was a working-class fighter for his ideas. He was always ready to fight and express his opinion, and he did not suffer fools lightly.

He fought the Labour Party, and all those who tried to block the path of class struggle. In campaign meetings, he could sus people out very quickly in relation to how serious they were in wanting to fight for the working class.

After about a year of helping to develop OSAC, not forgetting the banter over Liverpool against those in the group who supported Everton, he decided to join the ISL at the same time as Kathy Laird, a working-class woman from Old Swan.

The meetings with them were always lively, they began discussing working class struggle and reading about the history of our class, Trotsky and the life of the International. He always spoke with a great class instinct.

John went on a Yarlswood detention centre protest against the incarceration of immigrants and attended IWL meetings in Brussels (twice) and Madrid, and he took to those meetings like he took to OSAC and the ISL.

One of the last times he participated in a public demonstration was May Day 2017, I can see him now carrying the OSAC banner with Larry.

John always said that he wished he had met us a long time ago.

The message to all workers, men and women is clear, as John always said, join the struggle now and fight for the future of our class because nobody else will do it.

John Leather, present!

International Socialist League