Two new films

Franco – Fragments de mémoire / Rückblicke
(Javier Rioyo and Yvon Gérault – French voice-over)

The ‘Transition’ – Franco’s Appointee
(Spain 1975-1981 – French)
NB The man to the left of the picture, directly behind Juan Carlos 1, is Carlos Arias Navarro, Franco’s Director-General of Security and, later, his Minister of Interior and Prime Minister, otherwise known as ‘The Butcher of Malaga’ and responsible for the deaths of untold thousands of anti-Francoists. J He was never brought to justice for his crimes against humanity. Juan Carlos 1 appointed him the title of Marquis of Arias Navarro, Grandee of Spain

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The World That Never Was

Review of
The World That Never Was: A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists and Secret Agents

by Alex Butterworth
482pp, Bodley Head, £25.00
(The Guardian, 27/3/2010 — with an additional note ‘On Infiltration…’
Click here for the PDF

The Upper Clyde Shipyards (UCS) Struggle (1971 – Cinema Action)

UCS1 is perhaps the most lively of Cinema Action’s campaign films. Its short length carries considerable conviction. Most notably, the determination of the shipyard workers is conveyed by the cut to black and the fade-in on union leader Jimmy Reid announcing to a sea of faces, framed by cranes, that the yards are under the workers’ occupation. Reid’s colleague Jimmy Airlie’s more reflective appeal brings the film to a nonetheless forceful conclusion.
A joint shop stewards’ committee successfully ran the occupation of Upper Clyde shipyards for fourteen months until February 1972. It was an unprecedented response to the government’s plan to liquidate the yards. Since the only other media contact by the shop stewards was press conferences, Cinema Action’s footage inside the yards is unique. Class Struggle: Film from the Clyde (d. Cinema Action, 1977) tells the whole story of the dispute and the occupation. Cinema Action returned again to the Upper Clyde in 1983 for Rocking the Boat which caught up movingly with veterans of the 1971-2 action

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Not a Penny on the Rents (1968 – Cinema Action)

Tower blocks, older terraced housing and flats under construction. A speaker denounces the rent increases of the Greater London Council (GLC) as benefiting only the council’s moneylenders. He warns Horace Cutler, head of the Council’s Housing Department, that the tenants will not pay any rent increase. Posters in the windows of council houses protest against the increase.
The speaker argues that the rent increase is wanted by the council to pay for future building and that this should not be funded by current tenants. The Centrepoint building and Tottenham Court Road. He calls on the council to occupy the building and convert it into flats. Slogans supporting a rent strike and calling for unity. A target appears over a drawing of Cutler and is shot at.
Protesting tenants in Trafalgar Square and under Charing Cross Bridge. Some describe the effect of the increasing rents. Speakers at a tenants’ meeting announce the numbers from various estates of those who are withholding the rent increase. They contrast these figures with the low numbers given incorrectly in the press. The first speaker strongly criticises the press and characterises the campaign as one of working class solidarity. A bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night. Tenants chant a protest song and burn an effigy of Cutler.
An organiser of the Transport and General Workers Union for Smithfield and Billingsgate markets describes the union’s response to resolutions supporting the tenants’ campaign. Delegates are being sent to petition the council alongside tenants’ representatives and, if eviction is threatened against union members, industrial action could be taken. A large night time march by tenants’ associations and union members. Speakers encourage the tenants in their direct action and propose representation by tenants to protect their own interests

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Venezuela: 43 arrests on union march in Maracay


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43 people have been arrested in a demonstration for labour and human rights and the return of collective contracts in the city of Maracay, Aragua state, Venezuela. Among the detained are three members of the human rights organisation, Provea, and  an editor of the anarchist newspaper El Libertario. Protests, please, to the Venezuelan Consul in London: