I am sorry to have to record that Alf Filer, a Brent socialist activist, died last night in a car crash. Alf had recently taken early retirement from his job as an FE lecturer in Harrow and moved to Worthing. He apparently died when a another car crashed into his broken down vehicle on the Brighton-Worthing road.
Alf, a member of Socialist Resistance was active in the Coalition of Resistance and a supporter of the Palestinian cause. He had a long history in Brent going back to the Grunwick strike and was a supporter of Brent Fightback until he moved to Worthing, where by all accounts he shook the place up! On a personal level he had undertaken the challenging task of bringing up his two sons on his own.
Alf played a leading role in the defence of the Harrow Mosque when it was threatened by the English Defence League and Stop the Islamisation of Europe. He referred back to the Battle of Cable Street to emphasis the importance of mass community mobilisation against the extreme right.
Alf invited me as a Green Party representative to a student hustings at his college at the General Election and I was able to see at first-hand the regard in which he was held by his students. Students were polled beforehand on their voting intentions and then afterwards when they had heard contributions from the candidates. This very practically demonstrated his conviction that debate and education could change ideas and change minds.
Alf will be much missed and my thoughts are with his sons Leon and Lawrence at this difficult time.
LINK to Tony Greenstein's tribute