COLIN CAMPBELL passed away on July 17, a comrade and member of Solidarity/ISO for over three years. He worked in homeless men’s shelters for 10 years, not for the money, but to defend marginalised people in society.
He supported campaigns by sex workers in Australia and Asia to organise and win safe work conditions. He was passionate about the rights and freedoms of lesbians and gay men.
He was one of eight people arrested at the Dick Cheney protest in Sydney (2007) who put his body on the line for the anti-war cause.
Colin was shy when he attended Solidarity/ISO meetings. He often invited his wife Francie to come hear the politics. He was active in the Parramatta Peace Group and contacted new PPG names and members.
It was said over and over at Colin’s funeral, by so many who came to know him, that he never gave up on anyone.
He would give money to people outside shelters to pay for a motel, or take them home for a clean bed and food.His income was limited, but he was the main donor to the PPG and a large and regular donor to Solidarity/ISO.
Colin never stopped debating. He was sceptical of ideas that couldn’t be defended, whether from his church or from his socialist organisation. He took in as his family everyone from the working class he met, anyone who allowed him to.
The rest of the working class, he just had not met yet.
Through all the high and low levels of Colin’s activism, he thanked me for “never giving up on him”. I didn’t realise, but the thanks was from someone who never gave up on others.
Colin’s funeral was packed, with people having to stand outside the large chapel. Many said that Colin would not have known that he touched so many people. They said he was disappointed with the world he saw, and disappointed with himself.
But Colin tried to be part of changing what he saw, and showed us that any person should be able to be part of this fight. He leaves behind his wife of 13 years, Francie, a beautiful person who holds the hearts of all who know Francie and Colin.
By Lan Vy Tu