British miner activist Dave Hopper, RIP

This video from Britain is called DAVE HOPPER speaking at 2016 Durham Miners’ Gala

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Dave Hopper: A pillar of strength for the workers

Monday 18th July 2016

Tributes pour in for Durham Miners’ Association ‘colossus’

DAVE HOPPER, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA), died on Saturday just a week after chairing the 132nd Durham Miners’ Gala.

The 73-year-old reportedly died of a heart attack at his home in East Boldon on Saturday afternoon.

He was a giant within the trade union movement nationally and internationally — honest, outspoken, principled and uncompromising in his socialist beliefs.

Tributes have poured in, including one from Jeremy Corbyn, who Dave introduced to more than 150,000 people at the Gala on July 9.

“Dave Hopper of Durham Miners was a pillar of strength for the working class. A huge loss — he will be greatly missed,” Mr Corbyn said.

Easington MP Grahame Morris said: “He was a colossus and will be sadly missed.

“He was to the end the driving force that helped to galvanise and maintain support and pride of place for the Durham Big Meeting in the calendar of great working-class gatherings.”

Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck and former president of the National Union of Mineworkers, said: “Sad news I’m afraid. My very good friend the legendary Durham Miners general secretary Davey Hopper died this afternoon. RIP comrade and friend.”

Joe Rollin, chair of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign said: “Davey was a giant of the trade union movement, a formidable figure maybe known best for his quick wit and sometimes brutal put downs of our opponents.

“However, for those who knew him best Davey was one of the most caring and kindest trade union leaders.”

Former Yorkshire miner Paul Winter said: “I first met Dave in the late ’80s. I was at my lowest ebb having been transferred from my family [pit] branch Dodworth to Grimethorpe. I spent an evening in his company which to me then was like a breath of fresh air.”

The survival and success of the Durham Miners’ Gala is very much down to Mr Hopper and his comrade and friend Dave Guy, DMA president, who died four years ago.

As the deep coal mining industry was wrecked, other areas of the National Union of Mineworkers abandoned their annual galas, but the DMA leadership was determined that theirs would continue.

Union legend

Miners’ leader Davey Hopper stood in the proud tradition of dedicated, socialist trade unionists. His passing is a sad loss to our movement.
John McDonnell
Shadow chancellor

Saddened to hear of the death of Davey Hopper, a stalwart of the union movement who spent his life fighting for social justice.
Frances O’Grady
TUC general secretary

A real shock to hear of the death of Durham Miners’ Davey Hopper. We so enjoyed his company at the Big Meeting last weekend. RIP my friend.
Andy McDonald
Shadow transport secretary

Friends can never be replaced but can be honoured and placed in our tradition as an example to everyone.
Mick Whelan
Aslef general secretary

Terrible to hear Davey Hopper is no longer with us. An amazing comrade and such a friend to the paper. RIP Davey, humbled at the time you took for us year after year.
Ben Chacko
Morning Star editor

Davey Hopper — along with Dave Guy — was driving force behind endurance and expansion of the Durham Miners’ Gala. Irreplaceable.
Richard Burgon
Shadow justice secretary

One of the brightest lights of the trade union movement went out on Saturday July 16, but his spirit and legacy live on.
Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners

Dave Hopper: May his life and values of peace, justice and social solidarity be an inspiration to future generations.
Grahame Morris MP

See also here.

5 thoughts on “British miner activist Dave Hopper, RIP

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