El Último Minuto, a short (6.51 secs) agitprop documentary made by the SIE (Sindicato de la Industria del Espectáculo, de la CNT – the CNT’s entertainments union) on behalf of the CNT-FAI on the nature of the class war in Spain, the need for revolutionary solidarity and for popular financial support for the militia columns on the Aragón front.
Sacco and Vanzetti — English dialogue (1971 — Giuliano Montaldo).On May 5, 1920, two Italian immigrants, Nicola Sacco, a shoemaker, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a fish peddler, were arrested by the police of Brockton, Mass., and subsequently charged with responsibility for a South Braintree payroll robbery, three weeks before, that had resulted in two deaths. Seven years later, Sacco and Vanzetti, their convictions upheld, were executed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts not, according to their defenders, because they had been proved guilty, but because they were admitted anarchists and because they had been transformed into awesome symbols. To middle class, Anglo-Saxon America, they were the Red Menace that Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer had been ranting against. To Communists, socialists and liberals, as well as to a good many New England church ladies, jurists, newspapermen and students of the democratic processes, their convictions represented what could go wrong with a system that, depending on the point of view, was everything from criminally oppressive to sorrowfully imperfect.
Severino Di Giovanni was an Italian anarchist who fled Mussolini’s Italy to settle in Argentina where he became involved in anti-fascist activity and the solidarity campaign for Sacco & Vanzetti. From May 1926 until his execution in 1931 he engaged in a campaign of propaganda by deed, funded at the end by bank robberies. The propaganda campaign involved publishing a paper, Culmine, while on the run from the police — and establishing a print shop to publish anarchist classics, including the first volume of the collected works of Elisee Reclus. In his last political leaflet Di Giovannni wrote “Be warned Uriburu (Jose Felix Uriburu, Argentine dictator) and your assassins that our bullets will seek your bodies. Let the bourgeoisie, the industrialists, the bankers and the landlords know that your possessions and lives will be destroyed and burned.” He wrote this following the government massacre of hundreds of peaceful workers during the funeral of other workers killed by the government a week earlier. Severino Di Giovanni was judicially murdered by firing squad on February 1st, 1931.
|The Partisan – Le Partisan (1969 – Leonard Cohen)|
|When they poured across the border I was cautioned to surrender, this I could not do; I took my gun and vanished. I have changed my name so often, I’ve lost my wife and children but I have many friends and some of them are with me. An old woman gave us shelter, kept us hidden in the garret, then the soldiers came; she died without a whisper. There were three of us this morning I’m the only one this evening but I must go on; the frontiers are my prison.
Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing, through the graves the wind is blowing, freedom soon will come; then we’ll come from the shadows.
Paddy’s Market lasted for 200 years. It allegedly started when a starving Irish immigrant escaping the potato famine arrived off a ship in Glasgow and tore the shirt off his back and offered it for sale. Many of the ‘hawkers’ in the market were third and fourth generation inheriting their ‘pitches’ from their parents or grandparents. In 2009, in a blatant example of cultural cleansing by Glasgow City Council, Paddy’s Market was branded a “crime ridden midden”. The City Council alleged that the nature of the market had changed and there were real concerns about the amount of crime associated with it, including drug dealing and the selling of contraband items including alcohol, cigarettes and music. “The hottest of crime hot spots in the city of Glasgow is Shipbank Lane itself,” they claimed. “Slums and outside toilets are part of the history of working class Glasgow, but we’re not going backwards to that. Unfortunately Paddy’s has moved backwards but Glasgow also needs to move on.” This view was angrily opposed by the stall holders who regarded the actions by Glasgow City Council as a means of ‘cleansing’ the area prior to Glasgow playing host to the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Glasgow has lost an important and historic part of its culture and we are fortunate that Iain Clark was able to record for perpetuity the atmosphere of a very special place.