Great socialist’s birth commemorated in London


LONDON - Recently, on a rainy day in London, a group of people assembled at Highgate cemetery at Karl Marx' gravesite to commemorate the 192nd anniversary of his birth. It was also a commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the people's victory over fascism.  Present were representatives and Communist Party members from around the world.  Among them were  Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, UK and USA.

A number of years ago a BBC poll conducted in the UK found that a majority of Britons think that Marx was the "greatest philosopher" of all time.

Gerrard Sables, Secretary North Devon branch, CPB, and recent candidate for parliament in Britain told the World after the event, "For me Marx's message is still true. Workers of all countries unite! The first and most essential job we as communists have is persuading our fellow workers that we as workers do not have the same interests as big capitalists and that for a few people to insist on their 'right' to be fabulously wealthy is bad for humanity."

An excellent oration was delivered by Jean Turner, Honorary Secretary, Society for Cooperation in Russian and Soviet Studies. The text of the speech can be found  here.

Turner maintains that Marx and Engels recognized the formation of the working class and " To this new class Marx and Engels attribute the historical role of combining its forces to replace the capitalist system with a new form of society; one in which the mass of the people... create new forms of social organization to suit their needs, including the necessity to preserve the ecology and sustainable balance of the earth on which they, the majority of the human race, live. Marx and Engels called this communism."

She talked of the danger of fascism and maintains, "Defeating a new generation of fascists is a political priority and the price of this is eternal vigilance."

She told the World, "We need to lift our spirits and see our goal, as Marx and Engels did. It is easy to get bogged down in the disappointments and setbacks of the present political situation."

Christine Lindey, Art Critic, Morning Star, commented about Ms. Turner's remarks, "For myself I was impressed by the clarity of her thinking and her use of jargon-free language with which to explain complex ideas. She took an overview of history and linked the achievements of the past to the current situation."

A number of wreaths were placed at Marx' headstone after the oration,. Representatives from many countries including Greece, Iran, Iraq,  UK, and Venezuela placed wreaths and it was moving to watch them.

The commemoration was concluded by singing the Internationale in many different languages. Robert Griffiths, Secretary General, Communist Party Britain, encouraged the "cacophony" of different voices and languages to express the power of this great working-class song.

London was alive with activism and protests were everywhere drawing attention to the devastating wars. Banners calling for the return of the British troops alive were visible by the Parliament and other government buildings. I visited the pub where Lenin first met Stalin which is right next door to the Marx Memorial Library. The Marx Memorial Library houses the tiny room where Lenin worked while he lived in London. It was truly inspiring to be present in this city with such a great working-class history.


Photo: James Thompson

Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.


  • Please allow me to point out that Fidel Castro Ruz,in a recent brilliant article in PA on the significance of the death of our hemispheric saviour,Jose' Marti',chose independently the same two books which did Jean Turner,as humanity's most influential: The Origin of Species and Capital. Marx and Engels have identified The Origin of Species as the biological expression of their Capital. Of course,to meet ecological needs of humans and nature,we Americans have to practice the science of them,both.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 06/11/2010 6:13am (6 years ago)

  • The first foreign publication of Marx's Das Kapital was-in Russia,in 1872-Capital or Das Kapital had appeared in 1867. Marx commented on this-this book was appreciated there,and was not censured-thankfully.
    In this way it is no surprise-this address by sister Jean Turner.
    We should all,if possible,study this speech,especially in these United States,where we show such a weakness in understanding anti-fascist struggles and our relationship to them. This part of European and world history we must know,along with its nodal points of struggle,in order to continue it,because its repression,war and slavery are yet with us,in its 21st century form. In our 29th National convention,we sidestepped this vital issue,in order to divorce ourselves from European and Soviet socialism,and its mistakes. Anti-fascism and its dialectical opposite,anti-communism,was not a mistake. It was the mode in which the then Soviet Union of Lenin saved the human race from the destruction of Nazism.
    Let us continue this Marxist-Leninist tradition,humanity is not yet safe from fascism.
    The repressive,counter-revolutionary,fascistic nature of American slavery did not escape Marx's closest attention. Its resolute disposition will not escape today's Communists,as we study Du Bois's Suppression of the African Slave Trade and his Black Reconstruction.
    The power of democracy for all,and the economic freedom from the limitless greed of finance capital,along with the hardened demand of the workers and their allies to abolish poverty in the United States,and throughout the world-especially in Africa-constitute the seeds of anti-fascism here,and in the world.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 06/11/2010 5:47am (6 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments