We have learned of the sad death of Alf Filer, the creator of this blog, activist in Worthing and previously a long-time activist in Brent and Harrow in North-West London. He was killed in a road accident on the A27, on Thursday evening 24th June, while returning home from a Socialist Resistance meeting in Brighton. It appears that his car broke down, and, while waiting for rescue, another car ploughed into his, knocking it into him. The bare facts of the accident are on the Argus web site: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/9105972.Worthing_man_killed_by_own_car_in_horror_crash/?ref=mr
Tony Greenstein, a well known anti-zionist and local socialist activist has written this:http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2011/06/alf-filer-jewish-anti-zionist-and.html
and Charlie Pottins has written this:http://randompottins.blogspot.com/2011/06/alf-filer-loss-of-stalwart-comrade.html
Mark Findlay writes,
Andy Richards writes
My friend and comrade Alf Filer has been tragically killed in a car accident last Thursday evening.
The first time I met him was at a public meeting to oppose a local school becoming an academy. He had only just moved to the area and was keen to know about all the events and groups that existed down here so he could get stuck in.
The next time I met him was at an anti-cuts day school that we had organised. I chaired a workshop on cuts in Local Government and Alf spoke at length from the floor. I remember being impressed with his wide-ranging knowledge on a great variety of topics, and how articulate he was. This was also demonstrated in his blog, of which I was an avid reader - always looking forward to his intelligent analysis of local, national, and international events.
When I was challenging my trade union leadership over an issue a while ago, I was touched when Alf got in touch with me to offer his advice and support. We then got to talking about other issues, and how we could help each other. Alf and I were both outraged at the recent treatment by local Councils of Travellers and Gypsies in the region, finding it representative of the wider persecution they have been facing across Europe, and we had been in discussion about setting up a local support group for these communities, and together we started letter writing to the EU to ask them for an inquiry around the persecution that these communities faced, especially in Italian cities.
The last time I spoke to him he was incredibly enthusiastic about the recent re-launch of Worthing Trades Council, and he was urging me to attend the public meeting on eco-socialism he was arranging for next week.
Alf was Jewish, and committed to building solidarity between anti-Zionist Jews and Palestinians, and was also well known for his anti-fascist work. He was an intelligent, outspoken, driven, passionate, and warm man, and I very much regret that I only knew him for such a short time.
To borrow some words from another comrade who has written about him, “The best tribute we can pay to you is to keep the flame alight and the struggle for justice undimmed.”
Rest in peace comrade, you will be missed.
What do I remember about Alf?
In the late 90s and early 2000’s he was active as an independent in the Socialist Alliance in Brent, where I was also living and (sometimes) active. I didn’t know him terribly well but was impressed by his energy and independence of mind. He didn’t (as far as I can remember) get involved in Respect, probably because of scepticism about George Galloway and what he saw as communalist politics. Also he from time to time had to withdraw from political life because of his own health and because he had onerous care responsibilities for his son. When I moved to Brighton in 2007, I was also physically remote.
Out of the blue he made contact with us about 18 months ago, saying he was looking for a place to live on the South Coast after his early retirement. He rapidly decided that Brighton was too expensive, and eventually chose a small house in West Worthing.
He duly started to find his feet in Worthing and found that it had a small group of activists on various questions including a successful fight against privatisation of downland owned by the district council. He decided to set up a blog for himself and for all SR activities on the South Coast, and I helped him set this up during a productive visit to his home last January. There I also met his son Laurence. Subsequently he has from time to time asked me for more help, but usually he worked out how to do it for himself before I had the chance to respond.