Michael Rubin Presente

Michael Rubin was a committed member of the System Change Not Climate Change coordinating committee and active in the local SCNCC group. Jack Gerson, a longtime friend and comrade of Michael’s, wrote this remembrance.

Michael Rubin died peacefully, at his Oakland home, in hospice, on December 17, 2022. For over 55 years, Mike Rubin had been a fixture in the Bay Area left.

  • in socialist groups: the Independent Socialist Clubs and its successor the International Socialists, then Workers Power, and finally, for the last nearly 40 years, in Solidarity.
  • In the electoral arena, where he was a fixture on the Green Party Alameda County Council and, before the Green Party, as a Peace and Freedom Party activist.
  • In the labor arena, where he spent many years as an SEIU shop steward and as a delegate to the county central labor council.

People come and go. But Mike Rubin was always there. Fiercely committed to opposing the capitalist parties. Present at every large demonstration and innumerable smaller ones, continuing to march until his failing health sidelined him permanently. Rooted like an anchor. It won’t be the same without Mike. He made his mark, and he will be missed.

Mike is survived by his wife, Jan Arnold, herself a long-time left-wing political activist. And by his son David, an astrophysicist on the faculty of the University of Hawaii, of whom Mike was rightly proud.

At left and labor meetings for years to come, we can be sure: Mike Rubin Presente!


Jack Gerson is a retired Oakland teacher and union activist who writes on issues related to education, politics, public health and the pandemic .

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On Sept 19, 2023 ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City, climate activists gathered for a rally and civil disobedience outside Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels wave of actions resulting in multiple arrests. Activists demand Bank of America to “Defund Climate Chaos and Defend Human Rights” Photo: Erik McGregor (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

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Illustration by Stephanie McMillan. Used with permission