John Rety by anarchistinterviews.

I received very sad news this morning from Emily Johns saying her father John Rety died of a heart attack last Wednesday:

Dear Ian

I have been trying to find your e-mail and hope this gets to you. I wanted to let you know that my father John died very suddenly from a heart attack on Wednesday. He knew so many people and I am not sure how to contact them. If you could let anarchist circles know that would be very kind. We haven’t sorted a funeral yet, but will put details on the Torriano Meeting House website. I’m sure that many people would like to hear the lovely interview you did with John on Resonance.

John Rety was the first anarchist I ever met and therefor directly responsible for everything! I loved John – he had that same twinkle in his eye and that same proper East European anarchist accent at last year’s anarchist bookfair as he did when I first met him on an Aldermaston march 46 years ago.He edited Freedom, he was THE TORRIANNO POET, he played chess, he laughed and when I interviewed him on Resonance FM last year he expressed himself so beautifully by shrugs and eyebrows and body language that I had to remind him he was on the radio! For me he was the best editor of Freedom and his passing leaves hardly anyone – apart fromthe similarly indefatigable  Donald Rooum – left of that generation of anarchists who were the backbone of Freedom in the 50s and 60s like Philip Sansom, Alan Albon, Arthur Moyse and all. When I first met him he was racing around Trafalgar square with a very jaunty silk red and black neckerhief around his neck and John always had style – and my partner Jane shouts out ‘ He was courteous’ which is a rare complement to an anarchist. During the Resonance interview I asked him when he first became an anarchist? ‘During the war in Budapest’ he said after many minutes of expressive thought ‘I think I was part of the resistence( aged 9!). I pressed him further ‘ Didn’t you know if you were part of the resistence?’  ‘Well’ he said ‘ I was running around delivering packages to people hiding in ruined buildings so i think i must have been’. Our movement has suffered a sad loss – a very fine, honest,funny, steadfast human being has died. JOHN RETY.

If you click on Resonancefm on the side panel you can hear John’s interview – it’s No. 2



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5 responses to “JOHN RETY HAS DIED

  1. Freedom for our generation of anarchist was the door that opened and proved another world was possible we owe a debt to people like JOHN RETY without whom there would be no Ian Bone no Class War it is without doubt we have lost a grate man, one is open to say my hart is in sadness..

  2. whitechapelanarchist

    A very sad loss. Don’t forget you can actually watch the resonance fm interview on youtube, and see all those magnificent expressions and characteristics of the man himself, or on our blog here:

  3. Martin

    A sad loss to this world our thoughts are with his familay.

  4. James Pratt

    John Rety (1930-2010) a free spirit, translator of Flesch’s chess book on Planning, poet, writer for ‘The Morning Star’, leading voice at Speakers Corner, anarchist idealist even in old age. He loved Chinese chess but enjoyed life more and political activity most. RIP you old bugger.

  5. John lived so much of his life in public, so many people will miss him, feel that they knew and loved him. Torriano was the place to read poetry in London and a haven for me, a UK poet living in A’dam, whenever I visited London; where the old value of free speech was celebrated, which is still the newest value. John and Sue were also wonderful publishers of poetry, with their imprint Hearing Eye Press. they won’t be forgotten

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