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“Cafe del Mark”
This evening the sun set over the bay of San Antonio – this is not an unusual occurrence during an Ibiza summer, which is why the Cafe del Mar is located where it is…
However, on this particular occasion it was particularly poignant as a phone call during the afternoon arrived to inform me that one of my most influential friends, from the select group with whom I spent the most enchanting moments of my early and formative adulthood, had just died.
His name was Mark Strutt and we met in Sherwood, Nottingham where we, and our subversive co-conspirators, formed the now legendary ‘Sherwood Freedom Fighters’, with the Clash and the Buzzcocks in the background.
These were pivotal times when grand schemes to save the earth were proposed, seconded and considered inevitable as we set about changing the world…
As it turned out only Mark really lived out our dream, to the extent of becoming Greenpeace’s Senior Toxics campaigner. A fact that came to light reading the Sunday Times not so long ago, because he was appearing in front of parliamentary committees on behalf of the planet…
A Google search on his name now reveals the full story of his dedication to saving the planet, and provides an insight into the fact that he was a frontline warrior who died for his cause and our future.
Five years ago he was one of the protestors on top of the SELCHP incinerator in South London, which was ultimately closed down for emitting dangerous levels of cocktails of chemicals, including enough dioxin to give one million people what the government say is the maximum safe dose every single day?
Sadly Mark’s mission was risky – fighting industry-emitted toxins at the sharp end involves high risks of contracting cancer and that is what caught up with him.
He died of pancreatic cancer diagnosed only a few months ago. He leaves a young family and a close group of shocked mates – before we even begin to consider the considerable numbers globally who admired and respected his untiring endeavours on behalf of every other planet dweller, be they fauna or flora.
So the drive to San Antonio was silent. We missed the sunset as a result of the timeless void that information of this gravity begets, but had similarly missed the funeral that had taken place in England this same afternoon.
Out of respect the sunset had put on a fabulous display, whilst jugglers of beer bottles and flaming spears, amongst other entertainers of the beach variety, kept the massed audience enthralled, as we mourned.
He’ll be missed by the ‘Sherwood Freedom Fighters’ of the late 70’s as much as the Greenpeace of today, the token protectors of Ibiza and all the rest of the old posse and the new disciples exercising his principles wherever they are in the world.
“The Good always die young….”
click as ever on images for larger versions
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