Marie Vesco was killed by a car on Wednesday 4th June while cycling to Brighton. Active in various London social centres, Whitechapel and Brixton Food Not Bombs, she now had plans to open a new social centre.
Marie was part of a group of twelve cyclists who left Brixton in the early hours of the morning to join the Smash EDO demo. They were on the A23 by Burgess Hill when an impatient gas guzzling imbecile swerved across two lanes straight into Marie, then another car hit her. She died instantly, there was nothing her friends could have done. The driver of the second car got straight on his phone as soon as he came to a halt - not for an ambulance but to call his lawyer. He then started pushing Marie's mates around. One driver has been arrested.
Marie was just a few days away from her 20th birthday, and a massively popular figure on the London activist scene. She was a warm, loud, fun, vivacious figure with an infectious laugh that was always ready to help others. Until recently she lived at the Rampart2 social centre, where she was always on hand help with skipping for food, cooking and helping out.
Part of the Food Not Bombs group, just the day before she died, they'd been outside McDonalds in Brixton with a sound system and a load of free vegan burgers for the Climate Day of Action. She had plans to start a social centre of her own.
When the news of her death was broken to the crowd that had just escaped the clutches of the police on Brighton's Level there was a minute's silence for her.
Her friends, as well as the wider activist community, are devastated by the news of her death. She had done so much for other people in her life in such a small time, we will never know what else she could have achieved. Her friends have said that they take some consolation in the knowing that her life will inspire them and others to carry on the causes that she left behind.
In many other countries drivers-to-be have to pass a First Aid course before being eligible to enter the driving test. Taking that obligatory minimum of skill and awareness into account most of these countries also have the criminal offence of Omitting Necessary Aid. If you could have helped and you chose not to you are breaking the law. Calling the lawyer before the ambulance would be a ticket to prison.
She always managed to look so glamorous, even when up to her elbows in potato peelings. I'll miss her.