In recent years, DSA-LA has spent a lot of time focusing on the growth of our organization. What is not stated enough is how our members would not be here if not for the people who kept our organization alive before the membership surge in 2016, who nurtured and built DSA so that we could seek refuge in it.
Aris Anagnos was one of those people, for DSA-LA, and for the left at large. Throughout his life, Anagnos contributed to our shared struggle in a variety of ways, and his generosity in extending valuable meeting space at the Peace Center has been invaluable to our organizing work in a city with far too few public spaces to nurture debate and organizing. He passed away on Monday, July 23rd, and we would be remiss if we did not share his story to all those who have been touched by his generosity, and to those who may not even know it.
Anagnos engaged in anti-fascist work by serving in the Greek army during World War II to fight off the Nazis. When the Nazis occupied Greece he escaped to the Middle East where he joined the Free Greek exile Army and continued to fight fascists in North Africa.
He moved to the United States in 1946 and from the start he was a staunch anti-war activist. He opposed the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and every successive war waged by the US war machine. He was a staunch supporter of the Cuban people in their revolution, and vocally opposed every US backed dictatorship in Latin America and his home country of Greece.
We send our sincere condolences to his friends and family. While we appreciate the enormity of their loss, we hope they take comfort in knowing that the legacy of Anagnos lives on with all of our members. We are proud to be part of a left he helped to build and we look forward to continuing his fight and building a world he would have been proud to see.