Homage to our comrade Claude
Our comrade Claude died in July 2011 from respiratory problems at the age of 60.
It was in the 1970s that she had her first political experiences, in the frenetic post-68 period at the University of Vincennes, where she was initially a member of the Trotskyist LCR. Like many students at that university, even in those days, she had to take on a number of temporary jobs in order to support her studies in psychology. Along with other students, mainly from Vincennes, she took part in a political discussion group and discovered the positions of the ICC. These discussions led her to break with the LCR and Trotskyism. She joined the ICC in September 1975, along with a number of others from the discussion group. She was a member of the ICC’s section in France until 1990, having been somewhat isolated from the organisation over the previous two years following her move to the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.
When she decided to come back and live in the capital of France, in 1992, it was partly in order to be more closely associated with the activities of the ICC. After a whole period of difficulties when she returned to France, she took part in a number of activities (particularly interventions) alongside the ICC, and the question of rejoining the organisation was then under discussion. However she hesitated to take this step, largely because of the rapid deterioration of her health which was both a physical handicap and a challenge to her morale. For this reason, despite a growing involvement in our work and knowing that she would be very welcome in our ranks, she never formally rejoined the ICC.
In any case, whether as a member or as a very close sympathiser, we can testify to her powerful attachment to the struggle of the working class, to the revolution, and to the ICC, as underlined by her support for the organisation in its political struggles at the end of the 90s and beginning of the 2000s. We thus pay homage to her as a militant devoted to the proletarian cause.
We have many warm memories of her as a militant and a woman of great heart – spontaneous, vivacious, intelligent, extremely generous and sensitive and always willing to offer help and support.
In the life of the organisation, when the comrade was convinced of something, she did not keep it to herself. In her early years as a militant she could even be somewhat opinionated in the defence of her ideas. But this didn’t stop her from listening and learning, from enriching her point of view through discussion. She took part in a number of hard political conflicts in our ranks but never developed any resentments or rancour.
What struck many of us, who were often with her at demonstrations and other interventions, was her ability to establish contact with workers and stimulate discussion among them, even in difficult circumstances of indifference or hostility. She was often involved in carrying on discussions with small groups at the end of demonstrations, while continuing to distribute our press. She was able to put herself in other people’s shoes and find simple and convincing words which struck a cord with them without conceding anything of her convictions. No one was immune to the warmth which accompanied her words. This was a comrade known for her great depth of human feeling.
None of these qualities went unnoticed by those close to her, which of course includes militants but also her family, colleagues and friends, to whom she always showed the greatest loyalty.
We join all of them in sending you a last greeting, Claude. You leave a great gap in or hearts, and we will always hold a magnificent picture of you in our minds.