Paul Turek: passing of a working-class fighter

Our party mourns the loss of a true class-conscious proletarian and a staunch fighter for socialism.

Proletarian writers

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Comrade Paul (right) celebrating the Great October Socialist Revolution in Saklatvala Hall with his close comrade, CPGB-ML vice-chair Zane Carpenter.

Proletarian writers

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On 20 November 2020, Comrade Paul Turek of the CPGB-ML’s Wakefield branch finally succumbed to the widespread cancer that he had been fighting for some time.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Paul had been an active member of the Yorkshire district of the Socialist Labour Party (SLP), and although not expelled along with the comrades who went on to form the CPGB-ML in 2004 he left shortly afterwards, later joining our party to become one of Yorkshire’s foremost members.

He was a veteran of running stalls and paper sales, not only in Yorkshire but also in Durham, London, Wigan and elsewhere. He oversaw and addressed a large public gathering in Wakefield in defence of the NHS, he was the secretary of the Wakefield party, running branch meetings and study sessions. He had at various times been both secretary and chair of the CPGB-ML’s Yorkshire region, planning and attending monthly meetings and street stalls in Leeds.

The badges that the Wakefield communists were famous for were either made or bought from the internet by Paul (with a little help from his wife).

Comrade Paul was a warm and friendly person who could talk to anyone. On visits to London, he would often start chatting to people on tubes and trains, before long pulling other passengers into a conversation that was both serious and sprinkled with laughter. Whatever subject he started it with – football, fashions, NHS, phone bills, etc – it would always end up as a denunciation of the ills that workers daily face under the economic madness of capitalism, and a call to resist it.

Our comrade marched on May Day celebrations of the workers’ struggle for socialism, for the NHS, in support of the miners and against imperialist war. He was a staunch defender of the struggle for a united Irish republic, a supporter of Gaddafi’s Libya and Assad’s Syria. He took the Palestinian cause to his heart and always defended the Soviet Union and Comrade Stalin.

Paul was a true internationalist, a firm MarxistLeninist and it was our joy to work with him.

Paul is survived by his wife Tara, daughters and stepdaughter Bethany, Danielle and Jade, granddaughters Evie and Mia and many other family members who will remember him with love and pride.

The funeral date has not yet been set but will take place under Covid restrictions.