Maurice Geary

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Maurice (Mo) Geary , a Michigan socialist, died December 29th 2009, from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was 88 years old.

Background

Maurice Geary was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1921. His family moved to Michigan in 1930. He received a doctorate in educational sociology from Wayne State University. He taught at Wayne County Community College for many years and was a "proud member" of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan.

Prior to his career in education, Geary was a Catholic priest for twenty-three years. He held degrees from both University of Detroit and Catholic University. In 1966, as a direct result of his "opposition to racism and advocacy for open housing in Detroit", Geary was forced out of his parish (St. David’s Catholic Church in Detroit) and eventually from the priesthood altogether.[1]


GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee

Circa 1969, Maurice Geary, Michigan Civil Rights Commission, Detroit , was listed as a sponsor of the Socialist Workers Party led GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee .[2]

DSA picket

On Tuesday, December 4th, 2001, at the request of the United Steel Workers-Region 2, members of Detroit Democratic Socialists of America joined an informational picket at Hospice of Michigan in Farmington Hills. Approximately seventy-five people representing DSA, Gray Panthers, Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO, Jobs with Justice, Alliance for Democracy, and Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network picketed in order to show community and labor support for the nurses aides, cooks, and other ancillary personnel at Hospice of Michigan who were attempting to organize a union.

Eleven D.S.A. members marched in the picket line, including Earl Mandel, Eric Ebel, David Elsila, Maurice Geary, Helen Samberg, Lon Herman, Ed Nol, Linda Housch-Collins, Brandon Moss, Larry Schwarczynski, and David Green.[3]

DSA electoral work

In 2008 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of Americaendorsed state representative candidates Sarah Roberts (St. Clair Shores-Harrison Township), Vicki Barnett (Farmington-Farmington Hills), Lisa Brown (West Bloomfield-Harrison Township), and Jonathan Switalski (Warren-Sterling Heights). As a result, DSA members have been canvassing, phone banking, and stuffing envelopes for one of these four candidates almost every weekend since the late summer. To date, the following members have participated in at least one (and usually several) campaign dates: Brandon Moss, Selma Goode, Michelle Fecteau, Bob Alpert, Lon Herman, Maurice Geary, Helen Samberg, Bob Frumkin, Charlie Rooney, Julie Barton, David Elsila, David Green, Dave Ivers, Michael Dover, Bill Helwig, Bob Denoweth, and Marilyn Schmidt.[4]

Activism

Geary marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King. He protested the Vietnam War. He was a lifelong socialist who served on Detroit DSA’s executive board for the last six years. Mo was politically active until the end. He distributed DSA literature recently at a local theater during a showing of the new Michael Moore movie “Capitalism: A Love Story.”

Geary's other political affiliations included: Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit, Oakland County Senior Advisory Council, Michigan Alliance to Strengthen Social Security and Medicare (Geary was an expert on the Social Security program and served as chair of this alliance for several years.), Alliance for Democracy, National Organization of Women, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.[5]

References

  1. GDDSA newsletter, January 2010 Volume 11, Issue 1
  2. Undated, GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee letterhead circa 1969
  3. [1] Democratic Left, Winter 2002, page 16
  4. http://kincaidsite.com/dsa/nl-archive.html GDDSA newsletter, Nov. 2008]
  5. GDDSA newsletter, January 2010 Volume 11, Issue 1