Obituary: Leo Rosser

Obituary: Leo Rosser

We were devastated to learn of the tragic death of Leo Rosser, not yet 26 but one of our most dedicated editorial and production team members who had given us nine years loyal cooperation, an enthusiastic worker for the Anarchist Black Cross particularly dedicated to Spanish political prisoners, and an active and Popular member of the Direct Action Movement. Not least he was a street fighter against fascism into whom he gave the literal boot as fearlessly as he plunged the metaphorical knife into open and concealed enemies with his pen.

This commitment to the anarchist cause was such that he mastered the Spanish language in order to translate articles and news from latin comrades and to maintain contact with them. In addition to his other activities he found the time to write pamphlets, draw graphics and design posters.

A busy social life included his keeping in touch with isolated comrades in this country, particularly those from overseas and his numerous trips abroad ensured that he met regularly with other anarchists. Leo was a dedicated internationalist. He was as popular in other countries as he was here.

He had many friends both within and out of the anarchist movement. He was a loyal and loving companion to Louise, with whom he spent the last two and a half years of his life.

In the presence both of his family, work friends and some forty comrades of DAM and ABC, he was given an anarchist send-off at South Norwood Crematorium. His ashes will be scattered in the anarchist cemetery on Mont Juich in Barcelona, his favourite city. We were stunned by the news and will always remember Leo’s short time of life with gratitude and affection

[Tribute from Margaret and Peter]

When we first met Leo at 16 years of age, he came into 121 Bookshop and Anarchist Centre and showed us his posters ANARCHY and BRITISH JUSTICE which he’d put together by copying letters, then photocopying, and posted up these himself. We welcomed him, he came back.

He helped push out Black Flag during the 1984 miners strike when it was fortnightly, he learned Spanish, translated, made contacts in South America, wrote and visited Spanish prisoners. He took on helping out at 121, joined the DAM, attended meetings, conferences, day schools in London and around the country, in Europe and America.

While others came and went, Leo stayed hacking away at the work. When after a decade we were to move down under he came to our daughter’s birthday party and our departure combined. He wrote us letters as far between as ours in reply. With the passage of time and tyranny of distance, he remained fixed in our melancholic recalls of London.

He still had time to listen to 60s music and today’s bands like the Cramps. Movies were a popular diversion. He played music.

A good ‘un, who went through the quips and downs, hassles and laughs, injustices and riots, always organising, despite attacks, lies, frustrations, oddballs, addicts, time wasters, muggers, informers, fascists – there was always another battle in the war for freedom and social justice.

So long, mate.

Margaret and Peter

From Black Flag 198 (May 1990)