A pioneer socialist and fighter for the international working class

Memorial meeting to honor the life of Jean Brust

By Editorial Board
2 May 1998

On Sunday, May 17 the Socialist Equality Party in the US will hold a memorial meeting in Minneapolis to pay tribute to Jean Brust, a lifelong fighter for socialism who died at the age of 76 on November 24, 1997. Jean was a member of the central committee of the SEP and its forerunner, the Workers League, for more than 30 years. In all, she devoted nearly 60 years of her life to the struggle for socialism as a member and leader in the world Trotskyist movement.

Jean Brust, along with her husband Bill, occupied a unique place in the socialist movement. Her life spanned the greatest and most tragic events of the twentieth century. Born just four years after the victorious October Revolution in Russia, Jean became politically active in the depths of the Depression and the high point of Leon Trotsky's struggle against Stalinism. She rejected the nationalist and counterrevolutionary perspective of the Stalinist bureaucracy and joined the Socialist Workers Party, at that time the Trotskyist party in the United States.

From the day she committed herself to the program of socialist internationalism there was no turning back. What characterized her political work was a profound optimism in the ability of the Marxist movement to find a path to the masses of working people, and the ability of the working class, educated and led by the party, to build a new, truly humane society.

For those who are repelled by the growth of poverty and inequality, by the debased state of politics and what generally passes for culture, by the ethos of egoism and the prevailing notion that the value of a human being is measured by the market price of his or her stock portfolio--Jean's life has enormous relevance. It demonstrates both the power of Marxism and what is finest in the revolutionary traditions of the working class and the human spirit as a whole.

The meeting will held on Sunday, May 17 at 2pm at the Cedar Cultural Center (416 Cedar Avenue So., located on the West Bank) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

See Also: A Tribute to Jean Brust

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