award at the Palestinian Breakfast: 18.06.06
At the end of the Iraq war in 1991, a handful of people in Liverpool thought the anti—war movement should not disband. Bill Hunter was one. Already in his 70’s, he was still turning out for demos. When the war opened, we were outside the Victoria monument by the Army Recruitment office, and Bill turned up, unannounced. Someone passed him the megaphone. Bill unleashed a torrent of news from Spain and Italy - where millions of workers were out against the war. He always saw the world through the eyes of the international class struggle.
The dissidents continued meeting in Bill’s house, trying to figure out how to continue a campaign now that the war was supposedly over. The upshot was Palestine, from an anti—Zionist perspective. But the space for that attempt, already narrow, vanished with the 1993 Oslo Agreement. Bill would not have been surprised. His support for national liberation movements was never uncritical. The moment passed, Bill went on to Workers Aid for Bosnia, and then the dockers, somehow finding time to write his autobiography.
But with 9/11, the Middle East was back and so was Bill. Always seeking to deepen the discussion, and finding the class questions. He and Mona El-Farra had a lovely conversation in the Everyman.
Bill’s greatest strength is his open minded curiosity, and his willingness to discuss with those around him, not to score points but to explore, learn from each other, and of course if at all possible to persuade you of the error of your ways.
Carry on Bill - you’re great!