Friday, December 18, 2009

By New Worker correspondent

PRINT workers and anti-fascists gathered last Monday evening at Marx House in Clerkenwell to witness the unveiling of a memorial to printers who gave their lives fighting in the wars against fascism: the war in Spain and the Second World War.
The Marx Memorial Library houses a specialist collection of books and memorabilia from the war against fascism in Spain – many volumes being donated by people who went to fight there.
It also houses a comprehensive collection of books and memorabilia of the printing industry in Britain and the various print trade unions.
The memorial is situated in a tiny garden at the side of Marx House, close to the rooms where the archives of the print unions are kept.
Among those present was Mike Hicks, the printers’ union leader during the Battle of Wapping in the mid 1980s between right-wing Australian newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch and the print unions. Mike was arrested and imprisoned for a short while during that struggle to defend the principles of trade unionism in the printing industry.
Les Bayliss, assistant general secretary of the giant union Unite (print section) and a trustee of the Marx Memorial Library, addressed a short meeting before the unveiling, giving a brief history of the print unions and their links with the struggle against fascism.
He said the memorial expressed solidarity with the comrades who had fought; they were lost but not forgotten and they had fought for a society built on cooperation, not exploitation.
photo: NCP leader Andy Brooks (left) and Daphne Liddle from the Central Committee (right) at the unveiling ceremony.

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