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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation Resistance 120, March 2010 - page 7 - Remembering three workingclass heroes - Colin Ward, John Rety, Howard Zinn.

Date Wed, 10 Mar 2010 11:01:34 +0200



It’s always a sad thing to have to write an obituary, an even sadder thing to have to write three. In this issue of Resistance we pay tribute to three thinkers and activists who have inspired us in their contribution to the struggle for a sane society: Colin Ward, John Rety and Howard Zinn. ---- Colin Ward, best known for his book Anarchy in Action, passed away on February the 11th. Colin became an anarchist whilst serving as a soldier in the Second World War and spoke as a witness at the sedition trial of the editors of War Commentary, an anarchist anti-war publication of the time. After the war he went on to edit the, still running, anarchist paper Freedom between 1947 and 1960. In the 1960s he also founded and edited the monthly journal Anarchy.

Colin Ward

Colin was a prolific writer and published
21 books between 1972 and 2004, as well
as contributing many articles to journals
and papers throughout the decades. One
of the main focuses of his writing was
the issue of housing in both urban and
rural areas, which is unsurprising given
his job as a town planner. He proposed
anarchist solutions to the problems
of homelessness, such as changing
planning regulations to allow the poor
and homeless to be able to build their
own homes on common land.
Colin was 85 when he died and leaves
behind a wife, Harriet.
John Rety, another former editor of
Freedom, passed away on the third of
February following a heart attack. An
anarchist from a young age, John was
a much loved part of the anarchist
movement in London, and was editor of
Freedom between 1963 and ‘68.
John moved from Budapest, where he
was born, to Britain in 1947 where he
got involved in local anarchist politics.
He was a founder member of Torriano
Poets for Peace and an accomplished
chess player. A full obituary for John
will be in the most recent issue of
Freedom which is available from their
website www.freedompress.org.uk He
will be missed by all that knew him and
his contribution to the movement will
always be appreciated.
Howard Zinn died of a heart attack on
January 27th at the age of 87. Born in
Brooklyn, New York, to immigrant
parents, he joined the U.S Air Force to
fight fascism during the Second World
War. His experiences in the military
helped develop his anti-war stance that
saw him become a committed anti-war
activist throughout the rest of his life.
After the war he studied at Columbia
University where he achieved a PhD.
in history. He is probably best known
for his historical work. His A People’s
History of the United States is a look at
American history of the sort not often
found on a school curriculum, focusing
on people struggling against capitalism
and the state from Native Americans
through African-American slaves to the
union movement, the struggle against
patriarchy and the fight for civil rights.
Howard himself was active in the civil
rights movement and in the resistance
to the American wars in Vietnam and
Iraq. He was also a founding member
of Jewish Voices of Peace’s Advisory
Board and spoke out on behalf of Israeli
conscientious objectors who refused
to serve in the Palestinian occupied
territories.
Howard will be sorely missed and his
development of a working class history
of the United States will be appreciated
long after his death.
He is survived by his daughter Myla
Kabat-Zinn, son Jeff Zinn and five
grandchildren.
_________________________________________
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