We recently suffered the very sad loss of Mick Goldstein. Goldstein was a stalwart of Jews Against the Occupation (JAO), who campaign for the rights of Palestinians. Like Bernie Rosen, whom we lost earlier this year, Goldstein was in the proud Jewish tradition of the international socialist left. The mass participation of Jewish people on the left was largely decimated by the Nazi Holocaust, and lamentably, it has been overtaken by a reactionary Zionism which has now come to dominate Jewish communities around the world. But activists like Goldstein reminded us of what once was.
Doggedly loyal to the struggle for socialism and a member of five different socialist organisations over his life, Allan Little departed our ranks in Brisbane on July 12 at the age of 81. A person of incredibly modest means, he began his working life as a cane cutter in Queensland’s north and finished as a unionist and manufacturing worker in the Brisbane suburb of Rocklea. Ferociously independent and always reluctant to burden anyone with personal requests — even when bed bound — Allan rarely talked about his life’s experiences.
Doug Lorimer, a life-long committed revolutionary, died on July 21 in Sydney after a year of fighting deteriorating ill health and long term hospitalisation. Lorimer was born April 17, 1953 in Dundee in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents Connie and Bill when he was four years old to settle in the South Australian steel town of Whyalla. Lorimer radicalised as a high school student. He first became involved in left politics through the Australian movement against the imperialist war in Vietnam, when he and his mother joined the moratorium marches in Adelaide in 1970.
Paul Mees, well known to many Victorians, was an academic specialising in urban planning and public transport. He was an associate professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. He died of cancer on June 19. Mees was an indefatigable campaigner for sustainable public transport. One of his last public appearances was in a video shown at the launch of the Yarra City Council’s “Trains Not Toll Roads” campaign, just days before his death.
Greg Eatock, a well-known Indigenous activist in Sydney, passed away aged just 51 on August 24. His early death, from chronic health problems, was more proof of the shameful 11.5-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous males in Australian. One of Greg's brothers, Ronald, had already passed away, aged 27. Greg came from a family with a four-generation history of political activism. His great grandmother, Lucy Eatock, and her husband William were veterans of the great 1890s shearers’ strike. Lucy later moved to Sydney from Queensland.