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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 February 2018

Mary Jackson: funeral and memorial meeting say goodbye to working class fighter

Mary Jackson memorial meeting 21 February 2018, photo Alistair Tice

Mary Jackson memorial meeting 21 February 2018, photo Alistair Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party

Long-standing Doncaster Militant then Socialist Party member Mary Jackson sadly died on 17 January (see the Socialist's obituary: Red Mary - a force of nature). Around 150 people attended her funeral on 14 February reflecting the enormous love and respect she was held in by family, friends and comrades, as did the 405 donated the Socialist Party's fighting fund at the end of the service.

I was asked by Mary's husband John to pay tribute to her on behalf of the Socialist Party. I recounted that it was during her 2013 'Mary for Mayor' campaign that Margaret Thatcher died. I will always remember being at Mary's having a cuppa after a campaign stall when we heard the news.

But it was never personal with Mary, it was about the exploitation of the capitalist system that causes so much unnecessary misery and suffering for so many people.

At a memorial meeting on 21 February, Joyce Sheppard, long-time friend and comrade from Women Against Pit Closures, Steve Williams, Doncaster Socialist Party branch secretary, and Dave Nellist, former Militant-supporting Labour MP and now national chair of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), all spoke recounting personal and political memories of Mary.

Dave highlighted the pivotal role Mary had played in cementing the close relationship between Socialist Party and the RMT transport union - who also sent a delegation to Mary's funeral.

Mary Jackson was such a strong woman, a working class fighter and an eternal optimist in a socialist future, an inspiration to all who had the privilege to struggle alongside her for a better society.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 28 February 2018:


What we think

Corbyn's customs union dividing line: now stand firm for pro-worker Brexit


Socialist Party news and analysis

Save Our Square occupation: "This land is our land!"

Three major West Wales hospitals could close

Corbyn didn't collaborate with Stalinism - but with Trotskyists against it

Stormzy is right to slam Tories for Grenfell

KFC delivery crisis: make the bosses pay, not the workers!


International Women's Day

Resist the Tory war on women


Workplace news and analysis

Workers strike back!

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

University bosses rocked - strikes can save staff pensions!

Unite victory in EDF meter workers' union recognition fight


Labour

Corbynism shows 'Clause IV' still relevant a hundred years on


Socialist Students

Socialist Students conference highlights successful work

200 years of Marxism meeting


International socialist news and analysis

United States: young people demand change after latest mass shooting


Socialist Party campaigns

'Anti-austerity' Bristol Labour passes 34 million cuts budget

Newham: teaching workers and parents determined to halt academies

Building fund appeal: Behind the scenes at the Socialist Party office

Mary Jackson: funeral and memorial meeting

Union-led campaign beats Blairite attacks on homeless

Belper hospital threatened

Selling the Socialist in Stoke


Opinion

What's behind the surge in eating disorders?

The Socialist inbox

Socialist anti-war exhibition opens in Kingston


 

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Related links:

Mary Jackson:

triangleWonderful socialist play finds Edwardian poverty not in past

triangleTheatre: The Last Seam - a lasting tribute to Mary Jackson

triangleRed Mary - a Force of Nature

triangleUK textile workers on 3 an hour!

triangleDoncaster: cuts give rise to 'tent city'

Doncaster:

triangleDomestic violence murder

triangleBradford NHS workers strike against privatisation

triangleDoncaster NHS pay win shows: strikes can get results!

triangleDoncaster NHS strike to stop terms and conditions attack

Obituary:

triangleKen Douglas

triangleMick Cotter

triangleObituary: Rob Crabb

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