By Workers Power Leeds
WORKERS POWER are saddened to report the death of our friend and comrade Paul Scully, who died in hospital in March. A lifelong socialist, Paul had previously been a member of other organisations before joining Workers’ Power in 2008, immediately becoming a valued member in Yorkshire.
Brought up in Bradford, he became a prominent activist in the Anti-Nazi League in the 1990s including organising a demonstration to oppose the far right in 2001. The council and police’s attempt to suppress this antifascist demonstration aided the fascists in carrying out a racist attack that sparked the Bradford Riots. His knowledge, experience and courage during these struggles proved invaluable when it came to opposing the rise of the English Defence League in the 2010s, including a critical mobilisation in Bradford in 2010, which marked the decline of the EDL as a street fighting force.
In the face of persistent health problems, Paul never wavered in his commitment to revolutionary socialism and human emancipation. Comrades remember with fondness his ability to combine a political edge with an easy manner that made him someone able sit down with anyone, from 18 to 80, for a friendly chat. On 24 March, a full house of friends, comrades and family celebrated his life at the Red Shed in Wakefield where Paul was a regular at political and social gatherings.
Often working precariously in pubs in Wakefield and suffering from poor health, Paul was all too familiar with clashes with management, low pay, and bouts of unemployment. On top of this he would sometimes be recognised by fascists he had organised against, recently being viciously assaulted, but whatever life gave him he always got back up and lived unbowed and defiant. Paul was easy-going and always up for a laugh, preferably with a punk record on in the background, but he was also fiercely principled and would not back down if faced with any injustice or discrimination. Basic working class principles like anti-racism and never crossing picket lines were in his DNA.
His most recent job was temping at a non-union Royal Mail call centre, where he immediately began trying to organise his workmates. Despite the precariousness of his position he stood up to management insisting on the right of workers to support the strikes. This represented a golden opportunity to unionise a workplace for the CWU and Paul was the person to do it. Unfortunately, this latest fight would be his last as he was victimised after collapsing at work, hit by a new round of illness that ultimately led to his death.
Paul will be deeply missed by all of us as a friend and fellow socialist, but we celebrate his lifelong dedication to the labour movement; he was a living example of how to be brave, stand up to oppression and live by your principles—rest in power comrade.