It is with great sorrow that we record the death of our comrade Gil (Michael Gilbert).
An anarchist for some half a century, he was a stalwart of the Worthing anarchist scene for numerous years and a good friend of many of us.
Despite the restrictions of his failing health, he continued to take part in a range of political activities and managed to get up to the Anarchist Bookfair in London in October.
Although well versed in anarchist theory and history, it was not the writers and theoreticians whom Gil most admired – it was the men of action.
Men like Emiliano Zapata, the Mexican revolutionary, Nestor Makhno, the Ukrainian anarchist guerrilla and Buenaventura Durruti, the inspiring anarchist fighter in the Spanish Revolution of 1936-1939.
The attitude of all these heroes can be summed up in the anarchist slogan “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!”, which Gil heartily endorsed.
Gil certainly didn’t live on his knees. As well as his political involvement, he was a relentless crusader against every aspect of petty repression, discrimination and exploitation that he encountered in his day-to-day life.
A thorn in the side of the uncaring authorities, he was also a guardian angel for many people who came to rely on his guidance and support.
It was this practical dedication to mutual aid, to human solidarity, that made Gil such a genuine and exemplary anarchist.
Even when he died, after a heart attack, it was while doing a favour for a friend – dying on his feet, helping other people.
He will be hugely missed.