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Harry Smith’s ‘Rallying Call to the Younger Generation’

We’ve lost a great man. Here's a look back at his passionate activism.

Submitted by Tyee Staff, 28 Nov 2018

 

Harry Leslie Smith died in the early hours of Nov. 28, 2018 in a Belleville, Ont. hospital. He was 95.

Smith grew up in Depression-era U.K. and fought in the Second World War, serving in the Royal Air Force. Smith and his wife moved to Canada in the 1950s and raised three sons in Ontario. He worked for Eaton’s in the rug trade, importing designs from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Afghanistan.

It was late in life that Smith began writing and campaigning on social issues such as income inequality and the decline in public services. He said the global financial crisis of 2008 urged him to speak up.

Smith often directs his addresses to young people, encouraging them to “fight for their rights” to avoid the gloom of the era he grew up in. His use of online media, from tweeting to podcasting, boosted his message and his popularity.

Hear from Smith himself in the video above, talking about his 2014 book Harry’s Last Stand (video from Icon Books).

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