Question Authority

Leo Murray, Red Pepper 2021

Our mother, Dr Dinah Murray, died aged 75 on Wednesday 7th July. Best known for her pioneering work as an autism researcher and advocate, Dinah was also a lifelong socialist and pacifist, and we spent our childhoods immersed in emancipatory struggles. Daughter of CND co-founders Tony and Jill Greenwood, and a goddaughter of Clement Attlee, Dinah gave us our family motto: ‘Question Authority’, alongside an understanding that the British state can be benevolent or profoundly malign depending on one’s position in relation to it. My earliest memory of the police is of them dragging a woman across the road by her hair at Greenham Common, where Dinah helped devise a range of creative tactics of resistance, from balloon barriers to the haybale staircase used to clear the barbed wire fence.

Dinah was also a key London organiser against the Poll Tax, and in particular helped to spread the non-payment mass civil disobedience sparked in Scotland. We were there in Trafalgar Square on 31st March 1990, under mum’s “Why not throw your own little spanner in the works?” placard, and only got out just in time because Dinah knew that the arrival of mounted police meant imminent state violence. Mum spent her final months in Scotland, having moved there following the Tories’ general election win in 2019 and the retrenchment of the Labour Party back into feckless neoliberalism.

Rest in power mum.

Bruno, Leo and Fergus Murray

Dinah sits holding a clock over her head, showing it is nearly twelve o'clock. Around her, a crowd of people is busily protesting.
Dinah at Global Climate Strike. Photo by Panda Mery

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