Comrade Tongogara, who dedicated his life to the cause of freedom

Police brutality, national-liberation struggles and socialist revolutions: Tongagara supported every serious struggle against racism and oppression around the world.

Comrade Tongagara was someone who well understood the connection between racism and imperialism, never forgetting that the fight to rid humanity of the scourge of the former could never be successful unless it was united with the fight to overthrow the bloodsoaked rule of monopoly capital. An inveterate supporter of the oppressed, his energy in the cause of freedom was boundless.

Lalkar is sad to announce the death of Comrade Tongogara, who breathed his last on 11 May this year.

Born Danny Morrell on 6 February 1942, he adopted the name Tongogara after the great Zimbabwean fighter Josiah Tongogara who fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe from the clutches of the racist white minority regime of Rhodesia.

He lived all his life in the north London area of Tottenham, devoting himself to various campaigns for the national liberation of the oppressed peoples – from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola and Guinea Bissau to the Irish struggle for self-determination and the reunification of Ireland forcibly partitioned with its six northern counties occupied by British imperialism.

Comrade Tongogara participated in countless demonstrations and pickets against racial discrimination, as well as against the racist violence of the state and deaths in police custody.

He was a founder member and leading light of the Free Mumia Abu Jamal Campaign, working tirelessly for the release of this courageous African-American writer and journalist, who has for years been languishing in American dungeons despite having been proved innocent of the crime with which he was charged. He also celebrated every year the life of Claudia Jones, the distinguished Caribbean-American British communist.

He loved serious study, avidly reading the works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, VI Lenin, Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong. He regularly attended meetings of the Stalin Society, which promotes the achievements of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin during three long decades of extraordinary difficulty and exceptional opportunity.

He was an ardent admirer of Mao Zedong and the achievements of China under his leadership; a passionate supporter of the liberation struggle of the heroic Vietnamese people against the predatory war waged against Vietnam by US imperialism. His support for Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan socialism was unwavering.

He was a loyal member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and attended Marxist study classes organised by the party, always willing to travel across London to join other comrades selling Proletarian, the party’s paper, as well as the anti-imperialist journal Lalkar.

We had ample opportunity to work with Comrade Tongogara on several campaigns. It was a pleasure to have him by our side during long years of struggle for the liberation of the proletariat and oppressed peoples.

His passing away is not only an occasion to mourn his sad demise but also to celebrate a life well lived in the cause of the emancipation of the proletariat from the system of exploitation of one human being by another and one nation by another.

With these few words, we say a final farewell to Comrade Tongogara. May his work and example inspire the younger generation of workers.

A red salute to Comrade Tongogara!