By New Worker correspondent
THE FIRST act of this year’s annual commemoration of Karl Marx at his tomb in Highgate this year was a one-minute silence to mark the deaths of two giants of the working class movement in Britain: Bob Crow and Tony Benn – and of course to remember Marx himself.
Daphne Liddle from the Central Committee of the New Communist Party joined around 60 people to remember the life and times of Marx, who together with Frederick Engels, laid the foundations of modern scientific socialism.
Diplomats from China, Cuba and Vietnam along with comrades from all over the world stood in the warm spring sunshine, the air filled with birdsong, in front of the massive granite monument to Karl Marx, and saluted our heroes.
The event was organised by the committee of the Marx Memorial Library, who are the trustees of the Marx monument in Highgate cemetery and conducted by MML chair Alex Gordon, who is a former president of Bob Crow’s union, the RMT. He was a close friend of Crow and clearly deeply saddened and shocked by Crow’s sudden death.
This year the main oration was given by John Douglas, president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. He spoke without notes on the history of the Irish trade union movement, of James Larkin and James Connolly and the influence of Karl Marx on their struggles.
And he spoke of the modern struggles against the crimes being committed against the working class in Ireland and all over Europe and America in the name of austerity. He ended with a quote from Larkin: “The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise.”
Liz Payne from the Communist Party of Britain read a prepared speech on the effects of capitalism on women’s rights.
Then the Internationale was sung and dozens of wreathes and floral tributes were laid at the monument; hundreds of photos were taken of comrades old and young standing with raised banners or just raised clenched fists in front of the monument..
Then the party departed with many going on to a small reception at a nearby public house.