Brighton Hunt Sabs are sorry to report on the death of one of
our long term members. Chris ( how do you spell his surname?), known to
us as Old Man Chris, died over the weekend of 10th-11th February.
Chris had been involved with Brighton sabs since the 90's, helping to get the group back on its feet after a bit of a lull. He was a regular out sabbing, sometimes driving, but more often as a very good navigator. Over the years, he was invaluable in helping us to keep a variety of clapped out old motors on the road for far longer that could reasonably be expected of them. He was a regular at street stalls in the off season, helping to raise much needed money to keep us out there, where it counts, in the field.
Chris was also a stalwart of the live export demos at Shoreham and the successful campaign to close Shamrock Monkey Farm. During both he was consistent and unflinching in his support for those arrested or detained. Having been a political prisoner himself, Chris maintained prisoner support was the strong backbone of a vibrant movement. He spent many hours over the years writing hundreds of letters to political prisoners from all over the world, helping to make their days inside a little bit lighter, and reminding them they were not alone.
Chris believed strongly in the saying, "human freedom, animal rights - one struggle, one fight." As such he was a staunch anti fascist, especially active in his younger years of the 80's.
Although he was Brighton born and bred (enough of a rarity to be commented on), Chris spent time in both London ('70's) and Bristol ('80's) before returning here. He worked as a labourer and carpenter, and as a driver and roadie for bands but also spent a number of years as the cook at Brighton Unemployed Centre and was instrumental in it being a fully vegan kitchen decades before this was more widely accepted. Brighton seems smaller without him.
In recent times, Chris would still turn up to help raise funds for the sab group, despite having lost half a leg a few years back, due to an infection. He made sure to keep up to date with the latest sab news and snuck twenty quid into the collecting tin at every single fundraising event because he acted on his belief in direct action even when not out in the field. He always had a story or reminiscence from his long involvement in activism to illustrate a point or suggest ideas for action and to inform newer people of the history around them.
Chris was a good man, an activist of many years, but most of all he was our friend...and we miss him.