The Commemoration at Calusca in Milan and the messages of solidarity

The Commemoration of comradeMauro Stefanini was held on Saturday 28th May at the Calusca bookshop in Milan.

The room in which the Commemoration was held was packed with comrades, family and friends, united to give a last salute to a man who was profoundly loved and appreciated by all who had the fortune to know him.

The Commemoration started with a speech from a comrade of the party who outlined Mauro’s biographical profile: a profile from which emerged a life naturally dedicated to the fight for justice, a passionate and militant fighter for Battaglia Comunista. Mauro led a very rich life, both emotionally and intellectually, divided between his commitment to the party, his love for his family and a boundless curiosity for everything to do with humanity, an interest which was as intense as it was wide. Music, literature, history, natural science...there was not one area of knowledge or of art which Mauro didn’t explore. Mauro precisely confirmed the maxim of the great writer Terence: “Nihil humani a me alienum puto” Nothing which is truly human is alien to me, a sentence reiterated and confirmed by Karl Marx, and when applied to Mauro could be nothing other than the pure truth.

The Commemoration continued with various speakers who came to show their grief and pay their respects to Mauro’s family and his party.

Speakers came from numerous organisations of the internationalist communist left, including the GIO (Canada and the USA), Los Angeles Workers Voice (USA), the GIS (Germany), the Circulo Comunista Internazionalista (Argentina), Rivoluzione Comunista (Italy) and Marxist Pages (Italy). Comrades were present from the CWO (Britain), from Bilan and Perspectives (France), from the GIK (Austria), from the FICCI (Mexico-France), from the ICC, and a French comrade from the communist left who had known Mauro for many years read out a personal statement.

All comrades from abroad came with the same message, for them ‘Mauro was the Bureau”. It was Mauro, infact, who in 1983 proposed to the comrades of the CWO the formation of the IBRP. It was always Mauro who was responsible for the achievement of the internationalisation of the party, who maintained contact with groups abroad and who travelled the world to forge new links. It was Mauro who spent numerous years going to the Lutte Ouvriere festival in France, even on his own.

After the messages had been read out the microphone was opened to anyone who wished to make a personal statement. Those who did spoke of Mauro’s deep humanity and political gravity, and time and time again the image sprang up of a great communist: a man affable and extremely warm, but strong, steadfast and rigourous in his political conduct, a man who had vast experience and an extremely deep theoretical knowledge, but who would take a megaphone and the red flag onto the streets.

The meeting closed with two songs which Mauro often requested, “Internazionalisti”, the anthem of Battaglia Comunista, and ‘The Internazionale”. Both were sung in a lively way by a comrade of the party, followed by a toast of red wine offered to all present. Music and wine: two things which Mauro loved about life and appreciated greatly.

Below we publish the messages of solidarity which were sent or delivered from organisations which adhere to the Bureau or are sympathetic to the Bureau, and also from organisations which have a different political divergence to ourselves but who knew Mauro and who wished to express their appreciation of his work and of his political qualities and his humanity. Numerous people, moreover, gave their messages as individual comrades and many non militants of our party wished to express to the party and to Mauro’s family their solidarity.

Unfortunately, for reasons of space, we are unable to print these messages, which is deeply unfortunate since they painted a picture for us of great relevance: Mauro was truly held in the highest esteem, he was loved, and he leaves an emptiness which cannot be filled, just as none of us can escape the inexorable flow of time or the habitual day-to-day aspects of our lives.