Alex May

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our comrade Alex May. Alex was born in Birkenhead and joined the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in 1978. As an SWP member Alex recognised the importance of building the party and often travelled around the north west of England speaking at meetings.

He worked for Liverpool council as a social worker and was an active shop steward. Alex was a dedicated anti-fascist, supporter of the Palestinian struggle and a firm believer in change from below. He was also a talented artist and playwright

As an example of his dedication to the class struggle, Alex was arrested after a solidarity picket for striking women at a clothing factory in Merseyside. Defending himself in court he was found not guilty.

During the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5 he was active in support groups, collecting donations and attending picket lines. In 2004, Alex played a leading role in the six-month Liverpool social work strike. His Unison union withdrew their support for the strike and as a result Alex and two other stewards lost their jobs. Unison also charged Alex and other stewards with offences, alleging wrongful behaviour towards officials that sold out the strike.

To celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the strike Alex wrote and directed a play performed around Merseyside. He was also an avid artist and painter. After a gallery rejected his work, Alex initiated an art exhibition called “Salon des Refuses”. This exhibition invited other “rejected” artists to display their works.

In 2022 Alex developed a serious illness. During this period he never wavered in his beliefs. He attended a Stand Up To Racism picket for refugees in Wallasey on a cold February evening which faced a far right demonstration. In his final days he wrote in support of striking health workers.

“It is possible that my urgent need for a bed and treatment will be held up by the strikes,” he said. “This is unfortunate, but so be it. Please pass on the support of my family and friends, as well as myself, and wishes for success in the struggle.”

Condolences to his wife Julie, his children Lucy, Michael and Peter and his granddaughter Bronte.

Merseyside Socialist Workers Party

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