John and his brother Jim, his closest political collaborator until Jim’s death from cancer in 1992, were key figures in the radical anti-imperialist wing of the movement against the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Their early political development was influenced by individuals who had been part of or close to the Trotskyist movement in Australia during and after World War 2, and this helped them to understand and oppose the class-collaborationist politics of both Stalinism and social democracy.
I am sad but proud to be saying these few words at the funeral of comrade John Percy. It is difficult however. How do you sum up the life of a man who dedicated his whole adult life – 50 years – to the socialist movement and to the central task of building a revolutionary cadre party. 50 years without a detour or break. Not only is this such an amazing example of dedication to the conviction of the necessity and rightness of this cause, but John contributed so much to actual, real and great achievements. His achievements were those of his party.
Many comrades in their tributes have noted how John was never a pushy or limelight seeking leader. One of his most endearing but powerful attributes was they he was able to fuse being himself, able to present his own ideas, with being a member of a team; a leadership team but also the big team that was the party as a whole. He was himself and he was a member. He led by example in upholding a key norms expected of all members – selling the newspaper. And he did this, I can say without doubt, in a way more consistent and exemplary than any other member who ever spent a decent amount of time in the party. Continue reading
In honor of John Percy, comrades and family have decided to establish a John Percy Memorial Fund. John’s library was extensive and he enjoyed collecting radical posters and propaganda from various campaigns since he first got involved in socialist politics in the mid 1960s. John also loved documenting radical and socialist history and wrote Volume 1 of the History of the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance. John was in the final stages of the second volume which will be completed by his comrades and published soon.
The John Percy Memorial Fund will be established to raise funds to cover some of the costs of the Funeral, help with publication of the second volume of the History of the DSP and Resistance, a memorial plaque for John (in the Domain or Glebe) and help with preservation of his poster collection and extensive library.
Donation can be made through the Addison Rd Community Centre.
BSB – 062212
Account No. – 0090 4115
Description must read John Percy Memorial Fund