Home > Features > In Memoriam - Obituaries and appreciations > Thank you Marijke! Having met you inspires us to continue..

In Memoriam

Thank you Marijke! Having met you inspires us to continue..

Sunday 21 May 2023, by Oksana Shine

Save this article in PDF Version imprimable de cet article Version imprimable

Tribute delivered by Oksana Shine at the funeral of Belgian eco-socialist and feminist Marijke Colle, Thursday, 27 April 2023.

For you Marijke, with a special thought for Pips and all the people who were dear to you.

I speak today on behalf of the comrades of the Anti-Capitalist Feminists to thank you for all your teaching, your comradeship and your militant commitment.

For us, it is a whole heritage of feminist struggle in Belgium that you take with you... but not without having shared it with us. With all your educationals, your interviews, your analytical texts, you have done precious and and rigorous work of leadership and transmission for years and years.

You did it in all humility, letting yourself be taught by the struggles of new feminist generations. For us, you were demonstrating that a 70-year-old woman could be much more progressive and free than a 20 year old girl. No wonder, you who had been at the forefront of the vanguard of ecological and women’s struggles within our organisation!

Being an activist in a competitive and in some ways macho environment, you had experienced it. And that’s why you often called our attention to the atmosphere in the activist spaces.

Your experience made the link between the women’s movement in the 1970s and the feminist strike movement of recent years.
You wove a purple thread between ecological, feminist and labour struggles.

In 2019, some of us were lucky enough to have your presence to organise a campaign against the political bargaining around abortion rights in Belgium.
You who 50 years ago supported the building of the first abortion centre in Flanders.

Hundreds of comrades, men and women, have been educated by you through all these years and throughout the world in ecosocialism ecofeminism and class struggle feminism.

Since the announcement of your death, dozens of messages from feminists have reached us from France, India, Spain, Brazil, Portugal, England, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands...

Many of them underline your qualities in passing on experiences and languages.
(Chichi tells me to tell you that she has finally started to learn Dutch as you urged her to do so several years ago.)

You leave us a legacy without a will.
An experience without a prescription for future struggles
But a firm and assumed invitation to defend a revolutionary anti-capitalist orientation

No feminism without class struggle!
No class struggle without feminism!

Thank you Marijke! Having met you inspires us to continue... .


If you like this article or have found it useful, please consider donating towards the work of International Viewpoint. Simply follow this link: Donate then enter an amount of your choice. One-off donations are very welcome. But regular donations by standing order are also vital to our continuing functioning. See the last paragraph of this article for our bank account details and take out a standing order. Thanks.