(«Proletarian»; Nr. 16; Spring-Summer 2020)
Our Comrade Peter Mc Arthur died of a heart attack on September 25, 2018 in Toronto (Canada). He had just turn seventy a few days before.
Authentic proletarian, faithful to his class, he had worked in several trades – in factories, on the railways, as a corrector, and so on. But for thirty years and until retirement he worked as a taxi driver in Toronto.
Endowed with a strong sense of humor and a lucidity that to some people could appear for cynicism (which was not the case), his curiosity led him to be interested, in addition to politics, in a variety of topics such as cosmology where his knowledge allowed him to argue with some scientists pretending to be Marxists.
Gifted with artistic sensibility, occasionally he wrote poems, while being a lover of rock bands and singers of the seventies.
Suffering from heart problems he professed a strong skepticism towards bourgeois medicine that had nearly killed him twice (by prescribing drugs that had been proved toxic). Unfortunately he was not taking enough care of him using to say “I know my body is a temple (bible quotation) but I am an atheist”.
His first political engagement in the seventies had been with the Spartacist movement. After breaking with them he came across in a seller (Stalinist) of second hand books of a copy of the Communist Program, our theoretical journal in English.
Enthusiastic about its reading he decided to get in touch with the International Communist Party and he became part of the small group in the early 80s working to build a party section in Canada.
The crisis that struck our organization at that time shattered the group before this prospect could materialized. As in other places, Canadian activists and supporters dispersed in all directions, some abandoning political activity while others, while maintaining their political convictions, remained isolated. This was Peter’s case. He did not get back in touch with us until a few years ago (regretting that he did not do it before).
Despite his isolation in English speaking Canada, he strove to distribute the party press at rare events and gatherings.
A few months ago he ironically told us that he had made “a mass distribution”: handing out forty leaflets and sale of several Proletarians in a demonstration gathering 75 people!
But above all he devoted his efforts to the publication of Proletarian as well as the translation of party’s texts and statements – hoping that in a not-too-distant day our theoretical journal Communist Program could reappear.
Recently he got in contact with Canadian activists and supporters of the IGCL ( International Group of the Communist left) with whom he conducted fraternal but intransigent discussions..
At the end of August ‘18t he had received an eviction notice from his home (in a block of buildings to be transformed into a shopping center); he sought to set up a struggle committee in connection with the increasingly difficult situation that is the lot of proletarians on the question of housing.
The few tenant’s strikes that have taken place in Toronto since the beginning of 2018 against evictions or rent increases, show that this prospect was not unrealistic, even though many residents had already left. Sadly he had not the time to see his efforts materialize.
The comrades who knew him will not forget his dedication and commitment to our militant work.
His disappearance is a heavy loss for the party; but we are convinced that young forces will appear sooner or later to continue his fight, thus rendering him the best tribute possible.
International Communist Party