Obituary: Peter Kelly

Liverpool SF are sad to report the death in May of Peter Kelly. Pete had been a member of both the DAM and SF, and was heavily involved in Anti-Fascist Action in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. He was arrested several times for his beliefs, most notably for his part in an AFA action in Rochdale which led to long-running court proceedings, and most spectacularly for painting slogans on a Liverpool Conservative club when he was just a young whipper-snapper!

In recent years he had drastically cut back his political activity to become a full-time carer for his parents. He died very suddenly of a thrombosis. He was only 42.

Pete came to anarcho-syndicalism after being a member of the Revolutionary Communist Group. He was active in Liverpool’s squatted Mutual Aid Centre and was a strong supporter of the struggle against British rule in Ireland. Pete was a mainstay of the Troops Out Movement and a founder member of the Phoenix Support Group, a local organisation which raised funds and gave practical help to Irish republican prisoners and their families.

Pete retained his political beliefs to the end, and had a massive library, literally lining two rooms, floor to ceiling, of his small terraced house in Anfield. It contained works on politics, history, philosophy and his other passion, art. Pete was a self-taught painter and could (and did!) hold forth at length on the merits or otherwise of various schools.

A large man, he often presented an incongruous sight en route to anti-fascist demonstrations – crammed into a minibus seat or sitting in the back of a transit van, shaven head, Doc Martens, yet immersed in a book on Baroque art or somesuch. Fantastic! He was a great character.

The very big turnout at his funeral was both gratifying and surprising for Pete’s family, and was a mark of the esteem in which he was held. He is sorely missed. Friends, family and comrades are planning a celebration of his life in October.

Liverpool SF

Published August 29, 2009