by Barry Sheppard
July 8, 2010
North Star A Memoir
By Peter Camejo
Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2010
North Star A Memoir by Peter Camejo, who was an important figure in
the radicalisation of "the Sixties" and beyond, up to his untimely
death in 2008, should be read by veterans of the socialist movement
and wider social causes. It also should be read by new activists
thirsty for understanding of previous struggles in order to better
equip themselves for present and future battles.
Also, the book is a good read. The first chapter is set in 1979, out
of chronological order from the rest of the book. It explains how the
CIA attempted to get Peter arrested in Colombia, on a leg of a
speaking tour in South America. If he had been imprisoned there it is
possible that he would have been "disappeared". Without giving away
the story, Peter escaped this fate through an unlikely intervention,
quite a tale in itself.
As Peter explains, the two of us met each other in college,
collaborated and then joined the Socialist Workers Party at the same
meeting in Boston in November 1959. I was 22 and Peter 20. We became
leaders of the party's associated youth group, the Young Socialist
Alliance. In 1960 and 1961 a dispute over the Cuban Revolution broke
out in the SWP and YSA. The majority in both groups supported the
revolution and its leadership (with criticisms). Peter and I
supported the majority position, and became its primary spokespersons
in the YSA. As a result, I became the national chairperson and Peter
the national secretary of the YSA and we moved to New York. Soon,
along with others from a new generation, we joined with people from
older generations in the leadership of the SWP.
Peter left the SWP in 1981. After that he remained active in
promoting various attempts to rebuild the US left culminating in his
running as the Green Party candidate for governor of California in
2002 and 2003, and then as independent candidate Ralph Nader's
running mate in the presidential election of 2004.
His experiences as a leader of the YSA and SWP, and his subsequent
activities, form a major part of his memoir. In this review I will
concentrate on this aspect of his memoir. There are three political
threads that run through the book. One is that social change comes
about through the action of masses of people. Related is the theme
that attempts to circumvent mass action by the activities of small
groups engaging in what they think of as "exemplary" actions of a few
are an obstacle to social change. Two variants of this viewpoint are
ultraleftism and sectarian abstention. The third theme is the need to
break from the stranglehold of the parties of "money", as Peter puts
it, the Democrats and Republicans.
Peter's experiences as a leader in the anti-Vietnam-War movement are
vividly portrayed. One is his speaking before a crowd of 100,000 on
the Boston Common as a spokesperson of the Student Mobilization
Committee Against the War in Vietnam as part of the 1969 Vietnam
Moratorium. There is a gripping account from a political opponent
from the Democratic Party describing how Peter was by far the best
received speaker of the day. In fact, Peter was the best public
speaker of our generation in the SWP and YSA, and, I think, of the
youth radicalisation as a whole.
Peter had moved from New York to Berkeley, California, in late 1965,
at the request of the SWP and YSA. The San Francisco Bay Area had
become a centre of the new student movement, and the University of
California at Berkeley especially so. Peter enrolled in the
university, and quickly rose as a leader of the antiwar movement and
the student movement in general there.
He outlines three different perspectives that emerged in the antiwar
movement. One was that the movement should orient toward the
Democratic Party. The Communist Party put forward this perspective,
but also would endorse mass actions especially during periods between
elections. Another was associated with the national leaders of the
Students for a Democratic Society, who, while calling for the first
massive action in 1965, had subsequently turned their backs on mass
action and increasingly championed small vanguard actions and then
minority violence. The third approach, which we supported, was to
further mass actions in the streets independent of both capitalist parties.
To do this, we focused on building broad antiwar formations around
the "single issue" of opposition to the war. All, regardless of their
political views on other questions, were welcome to join. Within such
coalitions, Peter explains, we argued for taking an "Out now!"
position, calling for immediate withdrawal from Vietnam. It took some
years before "Out now!" became the widely accepted goal of antiwar
Another key point we raised was non-exclusion. While independent of
the Democrats and Republicans, we argued, the antiwar movement would
welcome politicians from those parties who were against the war, on
the principle that the movement had to be non-exclusionary. In
practice, there were very few such politicians. It was on this basis
that the large antiwar demonstrations that reached into the hundreds
of thousands were organised.
An aspect of our approach was to build antiwar committees both
locally and nationally by putting decision making in the hands of the
activists themselves. Votes would be taken by the assembled activists
after open debate. Most often our mass action perspective would carry
the day, which led many others with opposing perspectives to charge
that we had mechanical majorities of our own members at such
meetings. But we never became anywhere near that large, although we
did grow substantially during this period. Our arguments simply made
sense to the majority of antiwar activists. This approach also raised
the self-confidence of the participants, who became more dedicated to
building the mass actions as a result.
Peter concludes that the SWP played a crucial and positive role in
the antiwar movement. Peter himself was an important part of that effort.
There is a riveting chapter on what became known as "the battle of
Telegraph Avenue". This street abutted the Cal campus. In May-June
1968 there was a massive student-worker uprising in France that
galvanised the world. Our young French co-thinkers played an
important part in these events. We organised support meetings and
picket demonstrations in solidarity. In Berkeley, Peter met with
other campus leaders to organise a big meeting on Telegraph Avenue.
The SWP and YSA reached out to involve other organisations, but Peter
was recognised as the main leader of the event.
The rally was set for June 28. The Berkeley City Council voted down
the organisers' request to shut down a short stretch of the avenue
next to the campus for the event. So there was agreement that the
participants would stay on the sidewalks. Monitors were stationed to
help keep the crowd on the sidewalks. But then the police attacked.
The students fought back as best they could. The next days and nights
were marked by increased police violence, all of the city of Berkeley
was placed on night-time curfew, and mass meetings of the young
people who fought against these violations of their rights to free
speech and assembly. Finally, the city backed down and allowed the
rally to proceed on Telegraph Avenue on July 4.
Peter's account of how this victory was won makes for exciting
reading, but more important are the lessons to be drawn. There was a
big difference between the physical showdown between the mass of
student protesters and the cops, and the actions of violence -- even
bombings -- carried out by small groups believing they were
"sparking" the mass movement. In contrast to such futile "offensive"
actions, the protesters of Telegraph Avenue were defending their
fundamental rights. All of their decisions were made at mass meetings
after open debate. Their most important decision was to defy the city
authorities by going forward to hold a rally on July 4, come what
may. They knew that this could mean a violent confrontation with the
police. They had already suffered casualties, and understood what
this could mean. It was this resolve that forced the city council to back down.
An important aspect of the leadership of the SWP and YSA and Peter
himself was to reach out to the citizens of Berkeley, the fight for
public opinion. Initially, this was against the students. But through
careful tactics aimed at bringing the truth of the situation to the
public, that the city authorities were trampling on rights guaranteed
in the US constitution, the mood in the city swung over to support
them. The over-reaction of the police, by attacking bystanders and
even people in their homes, was a factor. Police always go too far in
such situations, but this truth had to made widely known.
In every way, Peter's leadership was geared toward mass mobilisation
and mass action.
Twin parties of money
The third thread that runs through the book from beginning to end is
the need to break from the Democratic and Republican parties. This
was an aspect of our insistence that the antiwar movement be focused
on independent mass actions in the streets not subordinate in any way
to the twin parties of "money". It was projected in the small example
set by SWP election campaigns, from the first one Peter and I
participated in, Farrell Dobb's 1960 presidential campaign with Myra
Tanner Weiss as his running mate, through Peter's own campaigns for
mayor of Berkeley, US senator from Massachuset and his 1976 campaign
for president with running mate Willie May Reid. After he left the
SWP, Peter supported the independent campaigns of the Green Party,
including Ralph Nader's 2000 run for president, Peter's own campaigns
for governor of California in 2002 and 2003, and as independent Ralph
Nader's running mate in 2004.
Peter's last battle was to keep the Green Party independent from the
Democrats, a fight which he lost at the national level as is well
documented in the book, although some local Green Party groups do
maintain their independence.
A comment is in order here. There are some splinters of the
Trotskyist movement who have attacked Peter's support of independent
Green Party election campaigns. Their argument is that the Greens are
not a socialist party, nor do they have a base in the trade unions.
These groups (including the rump which still uses the SWP name), say
they would vote for a Labor Party if the trade unions organised one,
claiming that it would be a workers' party. They point to Lenin's
position in 1919 that the newly formed British Communist Party should
vote for the Labour Party.
They leave out that Lenin also said that the British Labour Party was
a bourgeois party through and through, and an imperialist party to
boot. He urged the young CP to vote for this imperialist capitalist
party anyway, to reach out to the British workers whose trade unions
had created it. The weird logic of the sectarian argument ends up
urging a vote for the Labour Party of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown,
while opposing a vote for the anti-imperialist, pro-working class
Ralph Nader. It is true that the US Green Party is a petty bourgeois
(and thus bourgeois) party, but it is not a party of the big
bourgeoisie nor is it an imperialist party. Unfortunately, on a
national level it is now on a slippery slope towards supporting the
imperialist Democratic Party. In many countries, the Greens have
already gone over to finance capital.
A bright spot Peter points to was the 2000 campaign of Nader for
president on the Green Party ticket. Tens of thousands packed Nader
rallies in many cities, more than those of the two capitalist
parties. These rallies were mainly young. A central aspect, evident
in the shouts and applause of these young people, was their
identification with the big anti-globalisation demonstration in
Seattle the year before. A new movement had appeared, inexperienced,
new to radical ideas, but moving in an anti-capitalist direction
and full of the energy and enthusiasm of youth. Peter doesn't mention
this background to the Nader campaign, but this must be an oversight.
We both were present at the Oakland, California, Nader rally and saw
these anti-globalisation young people firsthand. Nader reacted to the
shouts of the crowd, absorbing their energy, and his speech became
more and more radical, which furthered the excitement of the audience.
This anti-globalisation movement was cut short by the chauvinism and
warmongering whipped up by the Bush administration, the Congress to a
person, and press after 9/11. The movement continued elsewhere, but
was silenced in the US. This was the major factor in the success of
the subsequent Democratic Party anti-Nader campaign that reached into
the Green Party itself. Figures like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Medea
Benjamin and Michael Moore capitulated. Not content with only their
ideological campaign, the Democrats launched a series of despicable
dirty tricks to keep the Nader-Camejo ticket off the ballot. This
part of Peter's book graphically explains the obstacles we face in
breaking the two-party stranglehold.
Peter writes that in 1984 he made a "major political mistake" in
supporting the campaign by Jesse Jackson in the Democratic Party
presidential primaries. A detail that Peter omits was that after
Jackson lost, Peter supported the Democratic candidate Walter Mondale
in the general election. After Peter left the SWP in 1981, I hadn't
had contact with him. In 1984, I happened to be walking by a Mondale
street rally in New York, and ran into Peter, who handed me a vote
Mondale leaflet. This seemed to me at the time to validate charges by
the SWP leadership that Peter had moved way to the right.
Later, Peter and I talked about this. He said he wrongly supported
the Mondale campaign as part of his tactic of trying to work within
Jackson's Rainbow Coalition in hopes that it would lead to a mass
break with the Democrats. Peter writes, "This error on my part lasted
until I came to my senses and realized that, with few exceptions, the
Rainbow Coalition was just another name for keeping progressives in
the Democratic Party."
An important appendix is a short essay on the origins of the
two-party system, going back to the foundations of the United States,
and up through the Civil War and beyond. He shows that in fact the
present Republican and Democratic parties emerged from a single
party, the Republicans, after the Civil War. This appendix should be
reprinted as a pamphlet for the new generations who will become
radicalised in the future.
There is a chapter on how Peter became a stockbroker, and how he
helped set up a firm, Progressive Assets Management. The idea was
that Peter would invest money for those who didn't want to invest in
firms doing business in apartheid South Africa, polluters and so
forth. There was an element of self-deception in this undertaking, as
the control of the economy by financial capital makes it virtually
impossible to know where investments go, except for some start-ups
like solar power firms. This chapter is interesting, however, in
explaining the obstacles the powers that be put in the way of Peter's
progressive projects. His outline of how workers' pension funds are
controlled by capital is revealing.
When my companion, Caroline Lund, and I reconnected with Peter it was
after we had left the SWP some years earlier. We had moved to the San
Francisco Bay Area. It was in the early 1990s when we first talked.
In discussing what had happened to the SWP, Peter said that the
fundamental question was that the program of the SWP was wrong. Since
this theme is a major one in his book book, and since I disagree with
him, I will take this up in some detail, both to disclose my bias and
to explain Peter's views in the latter part of his life more clearly.
Peter told me this disagreement represented a "profound difference"
between us. I agree.
Peter writes, "With the rapid growth of the SWP and YSA during the
antiwar movement, an ideological crisis had manifested itself within
the SWP. The older, primarily worker-based segment of the party had
grown concerned that the SWP would be changed by its newer members,
most of whom were middle class youth. Many of the older members
opposed our support for what they saw as contemporary issues, such as
gay liberation, and in general were nervous that the SWP might
abandon its roots in Trotskyism and begin to alter its 'program.'"
This is wrong on several counts. A minor distortion is the assertion
that our newer members "were middle class youth". Most of our
recruits in this period had come from the campuses, were students.
Students come from all classes, from the bourgeoisie like Peter, from
"middle class" families (working farmers, small businesspeople,
lawyers, self-employed and so forth) and from blue- and white-collar
workers. After the Second World War, there was an explosion in
education which drew in millions from working-class families. Most of
our recruits came from this latter section which was the majority
among students, but we recruited from all these backgrounds.
To Peter's main point. The "worker-based" older cadre had come to
grips with analysing the Chinese and Vietnamese revolutions prior to
the radicalisation of "the Sixties" but which greatly influenced our
generation. These revolutions had come to power under Stalinist
leaderships, something which our program had deemed extremely
unlikely. The SWP modified its program accordingly. A new challenge
was the Cuban Revolution, unfolding as Peter and I joined the SWP,
which was led by non-Stalinist but not socialist forces (they became
socialists in the course of the revolution). Our program was further
modified as we embraced the Cuban Revolution, an important context of
the youth radicalisation.
Our fundamental strategy and tactics in the antiwar movement (well
explained by Peter) were first developed by the "older, primarily
worker-based" party leadership, and which the younger leaders then
also helped shape. It was the older comrades who developed the
party's positive appreciation of Black nationalism against the
opposition of almost all other socialist tendencies, and developed a
far-reaching program for the Black liberation movement. It was
younger leaders who analysed the worldwide youth revolt, developed a
new program in relation to it, with enthusiastic support of the older
comrades. The same was true of the new women's liberation movement.
The younger members and leaders had the full support of the older
comrades in all of these "contemporary" issues.
Opposition to our embracing of the new issues of the 1960s
radicalisation did develop in the party and YSA. This came not from
the older comrades (with one or two exceptions) but from a small
minority of the newer members, who did charge that the party was
abandoning its program. This was a reflection among our student
recruits of outside forces, especially the national leadership of the
Students for Democratic Society, who did turn their backs on the
youth radicalisation in a "workerist" direction. This small minority
of our student youth was soundly defeated in the SWP and YSA.
There was some opposition to our fully embracing the gay liberation
movement from some older comrades and some younger ones, too. This
had nothing to do with fearing for our program, but was an expression
of prejudice, pure and simple, in the wider working class at the time.
These examples and others refute Peter's assertion, and a later one
that the party's program was "rigid".
Peter makes some correct generalisations: "Not only is a political
program an evolving concept, but it requires continuous discussion
and debate in order for it to be effective. And it must, most
important of all, be tested against reality. In other words, the
program of an organization trying to bring justice to the world must
be a process rooted primarily in the living mass struggles of the people."
But his next sentence reads, "It is not a written document put
together by intelligent people in the past."
Marxist written documents "from the past", beginning with the
Communist Manifesto, are essential to understand the present and to
effectively intervene in it. The "living mass struggles" of the
present grow out of those of the past. The written programmatic
documents of Marxism are rich with the lessons of these past
struggles. They do show development of course, since they reflect
changing reality, but they also provide continuity. Neither reality
nor Marxist theory (program is another word for theory) is always
just coming into existence independent of the past.
Peter's own history attests to this. Peter didn't invent the need to
break with the Democrats and Republicans. He learned this from the
program of the Socialist Workers Party. His book has a chapter on
Stalinism. He was taught to understand Stalinism by the SWP, which
based its understanding on the programmatic work done by Trotsky.
When Peter and I joined the SWP the two larger socialist groups, the
Communist Party and the Socialist Party, rejected the need to break
with the Democrats and rejected Trotsky's analysis of Stalinism. The
"single issue" and mass action perspective of the SWP in the antiwar
movement was an adaptation of the united front tactic developed by
the early Communist International, codified in "written documents".
What Peter learned about Malcolm X from the SWP was developed from
"written documents" of the Bolsheviks on the national question. And so forth.
Peter's position appears to reject the basic program of Marxism. He
writes that Marx was right on many things. "Marx said human history
can be understood like any other scientific process", he says. He
goes on to list other positive aspects of Marx's thought. "Marx
raised the idea that humans can transcend the brutality, violence,
and abuse that have characterized most of human society for at least
the past few thousand years. He laid out a view that attempted to tie
society's past evolution to how it might evolve in the future."
Marx wasn't the first to raise that society can transcend the present
order. All socialists before Marx believed this, and were devoted to
the cause of the working people and the oppressed. Marx's unique
contribution was his program of how this will (not "might") come
about. He didn't "attempt" to do so, he did so. His program in its
essence is that the modern working class that capitalism has produced
is in an irreconcilable class struggle with the capitalists, and will
lead all the oppressed in a revolution that will overthrow capitalist
rule and take state power. It will use that state power to build over
time a society without classes. To accomplish this historical task,
the working class will have to develop consciousness of itself as a
class and form a political party (or parties).
Peter nowhere affirms Marx's program, and appears to reject it by
omission. That is, he rejects much more than the SWP's program. In
the place of program and theory he presents an agnostic view: "The
science of social change is permanently evolving. We will learn what
works that is what is 'true' by the inevitable conflict of ideas
and by testing those ideas against reality". What "works" is what is
"true" a restatement of American pragmatism. We don't yet know what
"works", including Marx's program, Peter seems to be saying.
Third American Revolution
Peter believes, as do Marxists, that a Third American Revolution is
on the historical agenda. An important part of his book is devoted to
the idea that this revolution will be an extension of the first two,
the War of Independence and the Civil War, which centred on the fight
to extend democracy. "I am convinced the struggle will appear as a
fight for democracy and will develop around very concrete issues of a
defensive nature", he writes. In the mid-1970s, as he was first
developing his new ideas, Peter told me that the coming revolution
will be fought around democratic demands, "not class demands".
Peter's view is reflected in the title of his book, North Star. He
took this term from the name of the abolitionist newspaper published
by the great former slave Frederick Douglas in the fight against slavery.
Democratic demands will be very important, including the unfinished
democratic tasks from the first two revolutions such as ending the
continued oppression of Blacks. But so will the specific class
demands of the workers, including the need for them to take state
power, or there will be no revolution. The Third American Revolution
will be a proletarian revolution for socialism.
The first two American Revolutions consolidated the rule of the
capitalist class. The Civil War clinched this by overthrowing and
expropriating the slave owning class. In class terms, the Third will
overthrow the capitalist class and consolidate the rule of the
working class through the formation of a democratic workers' state
and the expropriation of the capitalist class. The workers' state
will gradually move toward the withering away of all classes and the
Peter is right that we should assimilate the democratic victories of
the War for Independence and the Civil War and identify with their
leaders. But our American revolutionary heritage goes beyond that. We
identify with the suffragettes, the decades-long battles against Jim
Crow, and their many leaders including Susan B. Anthony, W.E.B
DuBois, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. The first stirrings of the
labour movement in the later 1880s, the Industrial Workers of the
World and the Socialist Party, the formation of the Communist Party
and the SWP are also part of our heritage, as is the great labour
upsurge of the 1930s. These movements threw up leaders we seek to
emulate, too and they put class demands at the centre of the coming
revolution. Malcolm X was moving toward socialism when he was gunned
down. Martin Luther King saw at the end of his life that it was
necessary to begin fighting for economic, working-class demands he
was assassinated assisting striking Black sanitation workers.
Our generation of "the Sixties" also developed leaders and
organisations of women, gays, youth, Blacks, Chicanos, socialists and
more, who combined democratic and working class demands.
I realise that my reaffirmation of Marx's view of the dynamic of
class struggle under capitalism and its outcome is a minority one
within the broad progressive movement and even among socialist
organisations, and that many readers of Peter's book will agree with
him. This is quite true today, in the aftermath of the disintegration
of the Soviet bloc, the feebleness of the labour movement in the face
of the capitalist offensive, and the shrinking of and divisions
within the socialist movement.
All this is not say that Peter does not accept many Marxist concepts.
He applies an analysis of the conflicting class forces (and fractions
of classes) that have created the two-party system to great effect in
his appendix on the subject. But he does not do so in relation to
capitalism today and the question of what class forces will
accomplish the Third American Revolution he looks forward to. We have
to wait and see what "works".
There has been a degeneration of the SWP, signs of which appeared in
the 1970s, and which accelerated after 1980. Peter attributes this to
Trotskyism itself, which inevitably produces sectarianism, splits and
cults. He points to undoubted true examples. But there are glaring
contradictions to his view. If the SWP was always inflicted with
these diseases (since it undoubtedly was Trotskyist), there was no
degeneration, only a continuation. The SWP that Peter and I joined
was not sectarian. It certainly was not a cult of an individual. Its
leadership team was composed of very independent and strong
individuals, such as James P. Cannon, Farrell Dobbs, Tom Kerry, Murry
and Myra Weiss, George Novack, Evelyn Reed, Karolyn Kerry, Joe Hansen
and many others. The European Trotskyist parties on the whole were
not sectarian or cults, and aren't to this day.
The picture of the SWP and his participation in it and the movements
of the radicalisation of "the Sixties" Peter outlines are positive,
overall. He clearly enjoyed those days and regards them as a high
point of his life. This stands in contrast to many who left the SWP
and have become bitter about their own youth.
I've taken the space to explain my differences with Peter because
they are fundamental, but in spite of these differences we remained
friends. I supported Peter's attempts to further the struggle against
the parties of "money" in the 1990s and 2000s, which he explains in
his book. The 2000 Nader campaign, and his own election campaigns for
governor stand out. One instance I particularly remember was in his
2002 campaign. Peter had championed the cause of the undocumented
workers vigorously in this campaign, as he did before and after. My
companion Caroline Lund and I joined a long march of 500 such workers
in Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, on a cold day, which ended up
in a spirited rally addressed by Peter in Spanish.
From time to time Peter would telephone me to get my opinion during
these campaigns. He also would call me to check my memory of events
as he was writing the book. There are factual errors that crept in,
probably because he was pressed for time and did not have the
opportunity to consult the written record, but most do not affect the
thrust of the book. One, however, should be corrected, as it
misrepresents the views of an important figure in the Marxist
movement, Ernest Mandel.
During the first days of the Nicaraguan revolution, a current of the
Trotskyist movement relatively strong in Latin America led by Nahuel
Moreno, which had split from the Fourth International, had formed an
armed column called the Simon Bolivar Brigade. The Simon Bolivar
Brigade entered the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, which was
demographically and geographically separate from most of the country,
and attempted to set up local governments there. The Sandinista
leadership of the revolution was concerned, of course, and moved to expel them.
Peter writes that Mandel, a central leader of the Fourth
International in Europe, supported the Simon Bolivar Brigade. I was
part of the FI leadership in Paris at the time, and know this is not
true. The whole of the FI repudiated Moreno's adventure. A close
friend of Mandel's in Mexico, Manuel, who was also a leader of our
group there, was dispatched to Nicaragua to explain our position. It
is possible that Peter confused something that had occurred years
earlier during the Portuguese revolution when there was a temporary
political agreement between Mandel and Moreno.
However, the false picture Peter presents of Mandel's and other
European leaders' view of the Nicaraguan revolution extends beyond
the Simon Bolivar Brigade. These leaders wholehearted supported the
revolution, and sent many delegations to Nicaragua to learn about it
first hand and returned to build solidarity in their countries. Peter
also claims that at the November 1979 World Congress of the FI, the
majority of the European leaders expressed hostility to the
Sandinistas. There were two resolutions on Nicaragua presented to the
congress, but both were in support of the revolution, while having a
I wish Peter had checked with me on this, because I am sure that if
he had he would have realised that his memory of these events was faulty.
Peter's honesty and selfless devotion to working people and all the
oppressed marked his entire conscious life, and these qualities shine
through the book. When my companion, Caroline Lund, was dying of ALS
(Lou Gehrig's disease) in 2006, we held a big party for people to say
goodbye to her. Peter was there, and a photo of him, Caroline and
myself was taken, which I treasure and still keep. At that party
Peter did not yet know of the cancer that was developing in his body,
and which would take his life. Peter also spoke at Caroline's
memorial meeting, and noted that she was a very kind person. This was
one of Peter's personal qualities, too.
[Barry Sheppard was a member of the US Socialist Workers Party for 28
years, and a central leader for most of that time. He is the author
of The Party: The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988 -- A Political Memoir.]