“Comrade Helen was connected to us through the great ideas of the October Revolution”

We are publishing here the tribute to Helen Halyard from the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists (YGBL), a Trotskyist youth organization in the former Soviet Union. The tribute was sent to the memorial meeting held for Comrade Helen on December 3 and read to the meeting by David North.

Comrades and friends,

We are gathered here today to honor and pay tribute to our comrade Helen Halyard, who is no longer with us.

Comrade Helen devoted her entire conscious life to the greatest cause to which a human being can devote him or herself: The liberation of the international working class from the yoke of capital, from inequality, from the predatory exploitation of man by man, from imperialist war provoked by capitalism.

For half a century and until the last days of her life, Comrade Helen marched and fought under one banner—the banner of Marxism—the banner of the International Committee of the Fourth International, and under the banner of her American section, the Workers League, which became the Socialist Equality Party.

Helen talks with friends at her 65th birthday, November 24, 2015

She played a leading role in the American section and in the whole International Committee of the Fourth International. Fighting in the front line of major struggles and at the center of political events, she provided a shining example for comrades.

Unfortunately, comrades in the Young Guard of Bolshevik Leninists, which is the section of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in the former Soviet Union, were not personally acquainted with Comrade Halyard, and we only learned more about her by reading and translating the tribute and obituary into our native languages.

Nevertheless, Comrade Helen was connected to us through the great ideas of the October Revolution, through Nadezhda Joffe, a member of the Left Opposition, who fought with her father and Lev Davidovich Trotsky for its international program, through the great Soviet and Russian historian Vadim Zakharovich Rogovin, who in seven books decisively answered the question, Was there an alternative to Stalinism in the USSR?

Helen Halyard and Vadim Rogovin in Detroit on February 22, 1995

With the death of Comrade Helen, we, and the International Committee of the Fourth International, have suffered a significant loss.

But the physical death of Comrade Helen is not the death of the ideas she represented and the Party in which she worked tirelessly.

The Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists pledges to study her rich political life. We will assimilate and apply its important lessons in our struggle to continue her cause, and build sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International on the territory of the former Soviet Union!

Her memory will live on in the International Committee of the Fourth International!

Her memory will live on in the victories to come!

Eternal memory!