Hail to the Left – In Tribute to our Lost Heroes: Ramsey Clark and Leo Panitch

“I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today—my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

– Martin Luther King (1967) Beyond Vietnam speech. [1]


Click to download the audio (MP3 format) 

While some people may live a life well into old age, it is still hard to comprehend their absence when they are gone.

But certain personalities find themselves in a separate category altogether.

Some of these folks in particular were on a quest, or devoted to an idea, to tireless determination to help people, all with uncompromising spirit and clarity.

Some of these people, in fact, are so robust in spirit that through their mere presence they change the atmosphere of an entire room even before they’ve opened their mouths. It is difficult to imagine the room, or for that matter our lives when one of these individuals exit the stage for the final time.

One pleasant reality, however, when such a soul penetrates our midst is that with a wealth of experiences that have fortified his vision, they would enjoy a pocket of immortality through the vast rich memories of his surviving colleagues and friends.

On this week’s special episode of the Global Research News Hour, we will pay tribute to two of these legends who have passed on over the past six months but will still inspire our activism and our knowledge for years to come.

Ramsey Clark died on April 9, 2021 at the ripe old age of 93. He was trained as a lawyer and ultimately became an activist. Formerly serving in the U.S. Department of Justice under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, he retained a commitment to serving people around the world, from Cuba to Palestine to Venezuela to Iraq to American prisons who had suffered as a result of U.S. aggression. In 1992, he founded the International Action Centre to help him stand in solidarity with the world’s population.

Leo Victor Panitch, on the other hand, was an academic with roots in Winnipeg. He died on December 19, 2020 from viral pneumonia associated with COVID-19. He was 75. Panitch was a political scientist who got his PhD in London, England under adviser Ralph Miliband. He was co-editor of The Socialist Register from 1985 to the present, and served in several distinguished positions. But he was also a mentor. He also walked among activists and infused in students a hunger to rethink everything they thought they knew about politics, political organizing and more.

On the show, we will be speaking to colleagues who knew him a long time who can spell out more clearly and fondly the mark he made in their many years of dedicated work.

Sara Flounders is an American political writer who has been active in progressive and anti-war organizing since the 1960s. She is a member of the Secretariat of Workers World Party, as well as a principal leader of the International Action Center. She also frequently writes for Workers World newspaper.

Greg Albo  teaches political economy at the Department of Political Science, York University, Toronto. He is on editorial boards for a number of political economy journals and has submitted to a number of them including Monthly Review, Studies in Political Economy, Canadian Dimension and Socialist Register. He has co-edited of socialist register for a decade now alongside Leo Panitch.

Sam Gindin is a Canadian intellectual and activist known for his expertise on the labour movement and the economics of the automobile industry. He co-wrote with Leo Panitch a number of books including The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire (2012), The Socialist Challenge Today (2018), and Global Capitalism and American Empire(2004).

(Global Research News Hour Episode 322)


Click to download the audio (MP3 format) 

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

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  1. Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence ~ MLK Speech 1967 (crmvet.org) P.2; www.crmvet.org/info/mlk_viet.pdf 

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