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Greg Tucker

Greg Tucker, a leading militant of the RMT transport union, of the International Socialist Group and of Socialist Resistance has died after battling throat cancer for more than a year. Despite being in a great deal of pain, Greg tried to stay involved to the end. Just two weeks before his death he was at the ISG conference and talking to comrades in Socialist Resistance about plans for their new website.

Greg was originally an anarchist, but was won over to Marxism and the International Marxist Group in the late 1970s. His partner, Joan Twelves - later leader of Lambeth council - was an IMG member and a candidate for Socialist Unity.

Over the 30 years since he joined the IMG Greg was continually active as a leading RMT militant, as a councillor in Lambeth during the rate capping battle, in the leadership of the ISG, at the refoundation of the Socialist Alliance and of Respect, as a member of the International Viewpoint editorial board, and as a member of the Fourth International's executive committee. Notoriously Greg arrived at every meeting late or left early because he had another meeting to go to.

Greg was a former member of the RMT executive, the secretary for the train crew and shunting grades nationally and a leading light at Waterloo Station. In 2002 he led a strike there after he was victimised and demoted by management. He was naturally witch hunted by the Evening Standard, but the strike was victorious. Paul Foot wrote a memorable column in the Guardian defending Greg and the strikers, while B-52 liberal and left-wing witch-hunter Dave Aaronovitch wrote a vicious piece in the Independent.

Greg took full advantage of his travel privileges as a railworker to participate in meetings with union militants, especially railworkers, in other European countries. Through this work and since the mid 1990s his membership of the FI's executive committe he became well known to Fourth Internationalists in many counties.

Since the mid-1990s Greg took increasing interest in using websites for socialist ends. He took the main responsibility for the technical work in launching International Viewopoint as a website at the end of 2004. He used this experience to redesign and rework the ISG website.

There was no major activity of the left from which Greg was absent, but no task too 'petty' for him to contribute to, from the first Anti-Nazi League carnival in 1977 to the anti-war movement and the European Social Forum in the new century.

After being won from anarchism Greg never wavered from his commitment to the Fourth International. Despite his leadership positions he was an incredibly modest and self effacing man, with a wry sense of humour. But that didn't stop him being incredibly stubborn in political debates, sometimes infuriatingly so.

He was made of the stuff that is vital to create a socialist organisation- cussed, stubborn, self-sacrificing to an enormous extent, utterly loyal and utterly committed. The type of person for whom there was, to use the title of Edward Upward's famous book, 'No Home but the Struggle'. His death is a bitter blow to Socialist Resistance, the ISG and the Fourth International.

A full appreciation of Greg's life and work will be published by the ISG soon.

Phil Hearse

Funeral and commemoration details

The Funeral: will take place from 12.30-13.30 on Wednesday, 16 April 2008 at West Norwood Crematorium and Cemetery, Norwood Road, West Norwood, London SE27 9JU. Tel: 020 7926 7900. Just 5 minutes walk from West Norwood train station. Buses 2, 68, 196, 315, 322 and 468 stop outside.

A Wake to Celebrate the Life of Greg Tucker: Greg’s many friends, workmates and comrades are welcome to join his family at the funeral and are also invited to attend a celebration of Greg’s life following the funeral from 13.30 hrs at The Bread & Roses Pub http://www.breadandrosespub.com/ 68 Clapham Manor St, London SW4 6DZ.