Tribute to Mike Marqusee
a report on recent Conway Hall meeting paying tribute to Mike Marqusee, who died at beginning of this year.
Mike Marqusee (27 January 1953 – 13 January 2015)
Comedian Mark Steel and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn compered a tribute rally to our late comrade Mike Marqusee on Saturday afternoon, May 16. Conway Hall was packed with friends and comrades from many areas that Mike touched , and hung with banners including those of Keep the NHS Public, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and of course the JSG.
New York-born Mike's siblings and niece spoke about growing up with him as brother, Uncle, beloved companion and guide into learnng and adventure. Mike's partner Liz Davies described how Mike would meticulously study the history and politics of a country before he visited it, as well as his determination to take an active part in campaigns and demonstrations against the cuts, and for the NHS, even as he himself was frail and in failing health.
Left-wing MP John McDonnell praised Mike's book 'The Price of Experience' using his time as a cancer patient to study the working of the NHS and how big pharmaceutical companies profited from it. Urging us all to step up the vital campaign to save our NHS, John also pledged that MPs looking into the drug industry this year would name their committee in honour of Mike Marqusee.
Mike's work as a youth worker in changing times in Islington, his love of poetry and cricket, on which he also wrote a book, and his visits to India, were all recalled, and Julia Bard from the JSG spoke about how Mike's pride in his Jewish identity was the opposite of Zionist chauvinism, and meant always siding with the oppressed and against injustice. Brian Klug echoed this point on behalf of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.
(A video of the Mike Marqusee memorial tribute is on You Tube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufcMww97TNs
Posted: 4 June 2015