[WSMDiscuss] Peter Waterman obituary
ginvargas at gmail.com
Wed Jun 28 11:04:44 CEST 2017
Luarence dear, thanks for this beautiful say about Peter!!!
2017-06-28 2:12 GMT-05:00 Laurence Cox via WSM-Discuss <
wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net>:
> Strongly constrained and rewritten by Guardian editors – a more
> substantial one will be in the next Interface.
> *Peter Waterman obituary*
> *Laurence Cox*
> My friend Peter Waterman, who has died aged 81, lived many lives, as a
> communist activist, labour studies academic and global justice networker,
> among others.
> He was born in the East End of London. His father, Alec, was a Polish Jew
> who changed his name from Nasibirski to Wasserman, then Waterman; the
> family of his mother, Ray, had used the surnames Shatistky and Gold. Alec
> worked in many trades before managing Collet’s bookshop and selling
> homeware. Ray was a secretary and author of two semi-autobiographical
> After attending local schools and joining a journalism course at Regent
> Street Polytechnic (now part of the University of Westminster) in 1954,
> Peter became English editor and chief subeditor of World Student News for
> the International Union of Students in Prague (1955-58). Following national
> service he married Ruthie Kupferschmidt whom he met on an Aldermaston
> march. The couple had two children and settled in Oxford. Peter took an
> Oxford University diploma at Ruskin College and a degree in philosophy,
> politics and economics, supporting his family with a year’s truck-driving
> in between.
> He returned to Prague to work for the World Federation of Trade Unions
> <http://www.wftucentral.org/> (1966-69), but after witnessing the Soviet
> crushing of the Prague Spring, he “left both the communist world and the
> world of communism”.
> Peter then took a master’s degree in social science, undertaking West
> African studies at the University of Birmingham, with a thesis on the
> Nigerian trade union movement. He worked at Ahmadu Bello University in
> Nigeria (1970-72) before moving to the Hague, where he worked until he
> retired as a senior lecturer at the Institute of Social Studies
> <https://www.iss.nl/>, specialising in unions of the developing world and
> other social movements. Ruthie worked as a Montessori teacher and, later,
> an artist.
> The couple separated in 1986 and Peter decided to engage seriously with
> feminism. In 1990 he began a relationship with the international feminist
> writer and activist Virginia (Gina) Vargas, and Peru
> <https://www.theguardian.com/world/peru> became his second home. Retiring
> in 1998, Peter remained involved with global labour solidarity initiatives.
> An early enthusiast for the internet and its possibilities for activist
> communication, he made most of his writing available free online. His work
> has also been published in 10 languages and he was invited to speak at
> activist and academic events around the world. Peter and Gina married in
> 2012 and he published his autobiography in 2014.
> In recent years Peter was active in the social movement journal Interface,
> with the Indian Institute for Critical Action-Centre in Movement
> <http://www.cacim.net/twiki/tiki-index.php?page=AboutUs>, the Global
> Labour Journal <https://escarpmentpress.org/globallabour>, and Democracia
> Global, in Peru, among others. He was independent-minded and provocative,
> but always funny and charming.
> Peter is survived by Gina, his children Danny and Tamara, and his
> grandchildren, Joëlle and Nick.
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