Thousands of people are sending love to the ‘world’s oldest rebel’

Harry Leslie Smith
Fréa Lockley

The 95-year-old author, activist and campaigner Harry Leslie Smith is currently in hospital. So thousands of people around the world are sending him love, because the self-declared ‘world’s oldest rebel’ is such an inspiration.

“The world’s oldest rebel”

On 20 November, Smith went into hospital in Canada. His son is giving regular updates on his progress:

He is an inspiration to many for his untiring work defending the NHS, supporting refugees and his powerful words about peace. As Smith himself said, he’s also “the world’s oldest rebel”:

The hashtag ‘#IStandWithHarry‘ is trending on Twitter as thousands of people around the world send their love and solidarity. From Jeremy Corbyn:

To activists and campaigners:

There’s good reason to wish him love and a swift recovery. Because the man is truly a legend. And his son says the messages mean a lot to him right now:

A rebel with a cause

Smith is a war veteran and a powerful advocate for peace. In 2013, comments he made explaining why he wouldn’t wear a poppy again went viral. His book Harry’s Last Stand: How the world my generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it is a bestseller. It’s a powerful critique of the impact of “NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food poverty, the cost of education”.

Smith’s analysis of the current political climate and the echoes he sees with events leading up to the outbreak of war in 1939 show his wisdom. In 2017, he wrote in the Guardian:

Because I am old, now 94, I recognise these omens of doom. Chilling signs are everywhere…

And continued:

After years of Tory government, Britain is less equipped to change the course of history for the good than we were under Neville Chamberlain, when Nazism was appeased in the 1930s. In fact, no nation in Europe or North America has anything to crow about. Each is rife with inequality, massive corporate tax avoidance – which is just legitimised corruption – and a neoliberalism that has eroded societies.

He’s also a powerful advocate for refugees:

And he has offered continued support for a Cobyn-led government:

His ongoing support for the NHS has also been unshakeable:

So get well soon Harry, because we love you and we need you. So many of us wish you well and we won’t stop until you’re well again.

Featured image via screengrab/YouTube

Get involved

  • Send your message to Harry using #IStandWithHarry, so that he knows we’re rooting for him

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