The Socialist

The Socialist 13 March 2019

Weak Tories must go. General election now!

The Socialist issue 1033

Anger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

Weak Tories must go. General election now!

Them & Us


History: Alice Wheeldon - an anti-war socialist persecuted by the state

The Socialist Inbox


International Women's Day protests

For socialist change, not climate change!

Southampton: Socialist stand against cuts

No to racism - Fight for socialism

Memorial to working-class fighters who fought fascism


Only socialist planning can save the planet: Build a mass working-class struggle to achieve it!


Neither Tories or EU - only fighting trade unions and a Corbyn-led government can deliver workers' rights

PCS union elections: Huge support for Chris Baugh

Newark NSK strike: "Even Victorian workers got a day off each week. We're expected to have just one weekend off every three weeks"

Breaking news: Birmingham bin workers' strike suspended pending new deal

Workplace news in brief


Tories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!


Brazil: The Threats, attacks and contradictions of Bolsonaro's regime


Obituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter

 
 
 
 
 

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Obituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter

One of Joan's banners displayed on the national women's demo in support of the miners in August 1984, photo The Miner

One of Joan's banners displayed on the national women's demo in support of the miners in August 1984, photo The Miner   (Click to enlarge)

Nikki Wilson

An active supporter of Militant (forerunner of the Socialist Party) in Lancashire in the 1970s and 80s, Joan Beale sadly passed away last month. Although her health had not been good in recent years, her death was sudden and unexpected.

Persuaded by Militant's Marxist ideas and programme, Joan joined Chorley Labour Party in 1974 and was politically active for the next 12 years at both branch and constituency levels.

In the early 1980s she became secretary of Chorley Labour Party Women's Section, working closely with Susannah Jackson (Equal Opportunities Commission staff member), Virginia Jones (NHS trade unionist and today a leading activist in the Chorley Hospital Campaign) and Rita Aspinall (well-known 'Miners' Wives' organiser in Lancashire). Together they built a fighting organisation of working class women in central Lancashire.

Joan often spoke at local and regional Labour Party meetings on behalf of the local Women's Section, which played a decisive role in setting up the Chorley and Coppull Miners' Support Committee in May 1984. The latter's main aim was to supply striking miners' families with weekly food parcels throughout the many arduous months of the 1984-85 national miners' strike. It raised 26,000 for this purpose in 12 months.

During this time, Joan with others strongly supported the newly-founded Chorley Well Women's Centre - still going strong today and now known simply as the Chorley Women's Centre.

She also put her excellent dress-making skills to use by making some impressive labour movement banners. These included: Chorley Constituency Labour Party, Chorley Labour Party Women's Section, Chorley and Coppull Miners' Support Committee, Chorley and Coppull Miners' Wives, and the Trades Union Councils of Chorley, Preston and Lancaster.

After the 1984-85 miners' strike an attempt was made to expel Militant supporters from Chorley Labour Party, including Joan. Although it failed, any further effective involvement in the Labour Party by Joan or the others was no longer possible - and disgracefully Chorley Labour Party disbanded its women's section not long after this!

Although Joan's political activity covered a relatively short period of her life, she nevertheless had a significant impact on the labour movement in this part of Lancashire in arguing for a genuinely democratic socialist society, in supporting striking miners and their families, and in campaigning for the rights especially of working class women. Such important contributions of the kind Joan made, and in difficult and demanding circumstances, must not be forgotten.


In this issue


News

Anger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

Weak Tories must go. General election now!

Them & Us


Opinion

History: Alice Wheeldon - an anti-war socialist persecuted by the state

The Socialist Inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

International Women's Day protests

For socialist change, not climate change!

Southampton: Socialist stand against cuts

No to racism - Fight for socialism

Memorial to working-class fighters who fought fascism


What we think

Only socialist planning can save the planet: Build a mass working-class struggle to achieve it!


Workplace news

Neither Tories or EU - only fighting trade unions and a Corbyn-led government can deliver workers' rights

PCS union elections: Huge support for Chris Baugh

Newark NSK strike: "Even Victorian workers got a day off each week. We're expected to have just one weekend off every three weeks"

Breaking news: Birmingham bin workers' strike suspended pending new deal

Workplace news in brief


Universal Credit

Tories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!


International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: The Threats, attacks and contradictions of Bolsonaro's regime


Obituary

Obituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter


 

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