Lost video “Aug 13” on “Battle of Lewisham 1977” found in Spectacle Archive

Late July 2017, just a few weeks before the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Lewisham Spectacle found the “lost” video of the anti-fascist film “Aug 13: What Happened” in its extensive and unique video archive. The Spectacle video archive contains over 3000 hours of video on social justice, urbanism, human rights, housing, anti-racism, alternative and radical media from 1977 to the present day. Much of the late 1970s and 1980s content was shot in and around East London which was a very different place then.

The film “Aug 13” was found, high on a shelf, among a group of U-Matic tapes Despite TV had gathered for a film, never finished, for the 50th Anniversary of the 1936 Battle of Cable Street when the Jewish community of East London and its anti-fascist allies blocked the streets in order to prevent Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists marching through.

August 13 1977 the Battle of Lewisham from Spectacle Media on Vimeo.

The film depicts the infamous events of 13 August 1977, the so called Battle of Lewisham, when the far-right National Front (NF)  attempted to march through South East London which led to clashes with anti-fascist groups, and later between demonstrators and the police. The footage shows the first time police deployed riot gear on the UK mainland and provides vital evidence about the demonstration and its aftermath in which over 100 people were injured.

With testimony from eyewitnesses varying, and often contradicting official reports, the battle has become a contested historical event. The film was shot by volunteers connected to the Albany Video project in Deptford. This version was restored just in time for the anniversary and is now included in the London Community Video Archive

Nearly forty years later to the day, 12 August 2017, there was the “Charlottesville incident” a counter demonstration against a White Supremacist and Neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville , Virginia, USA. Lessons from the past might help in the fight against a new virulent form of Fascism taking a grip particularly in the USA, UK and Europe.

You might also be interested in our  documentary  film

22nd August will also be the 26th anniversary of the Rostock-Lichtenhagen riots. Check out our participatory investigative feature length documentary “The Truth Lies in Rostock

The Truth Lies in Rostock from Spectacle Media on Vimeo.

August 1992 Lichtenhagen estate, Rostock, former East Germany. Police withdraw as fascists petrol bomb a refugee centre and the home of Vietnamese guest workers while 3000 spectators stood by and clapped.

Using material filmed from inside the attacked houses and interviews with anti-fascists, the Vietnamese guest workers, police, bureaucrats, neo-nazis and residents, a story of political collusion and fear unfolds.

“Aug 13” is just one of the many lost and forgotten gems to be found in the Spectacle Archive. We are always interested to explore collaborative projects based on our archives.

To find out more about our archive, which also includes 100s of original paper documents regarding independent media 1977-2000 please ontact archive@spectacle.co.uk to find out more or visit Spectacle Archive

 

 

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Fascism in East London in the 1930s- Bosco Interview

In this extract of an interview, John ‘Bosco’ Jones recounts what it was like to be living in East London in the 1930’s when there was an active fascist movement. Bosco was later a member of the anti-fascist International Brigade ( see  Bosco’s interview on International Brigade ). He went to great lengths to help the people of Spain fight against the nationalists during the Spanish civil war. However, when he was living in East London during the early 1930’s the fascist movement was growing stronger and stronger thanks to the British Union of Fascists (BUF), with Oswald Mosley in charge. Mosley was inspired by the likes of Hitler and Mussolini and when he first started campaigning he had the support of the Daily Mail and The Mirror newspapers. This support waned when riots started breaking out at fascist meetings, most famously the Rally of Olympia, which meant their party could not take part in the 1935 general election.

Anti-fascist groups were made up of many different types of people such as communists, Jews, socialists and the unemployed, these groups tended to congregate in areas of the East End of London, such as Shoreditch. Bosco himself took part in anti-fascist meetings and rallies, which were often interrupted by the BUF and fights between the two groups were common, particularly as the BUF were anti-semitic and anti-communist. After the end of the second world war in 1945 many people who were coming out of the army found they were still fighting fascism.

In the 1980’s, when Bosco’s interview took place, although the amount of active fascists had gone down he still expressed concern over Thatcher’s government banning protesting and opposing the trade unions. Bosco states this time as being “as dangerous to me now as it ever was in ’36.”

Watch the full length Bosco interview about fascism here

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Bosco Jones on the International Brigade and Spanish Civil War

 

 

John ‘Bosco’ Jones was a member of the International Brigade from 1936-1939 during the Spanish Civil War. He fought against the fascist government in Spain during this time alongside the Second Spanish Republic and was among over 2000 british people who joined the International Brigade. The International Brigade’s aims were to stop a nationalist dictatorship taking over Spain and to stop fascism from spreading to neighbouring countries such as France.

Bosco left England in ’36 and made his way to Paris where the International Brigade headquarters were. He then had a difficult journey to Spain as France had closed it’s borders to them, so they had to cross the Pyrenees mountains to get there. Many of the Brits who went to Spain were already fighting against the growing fascism movement in the UK. When Bosco and his friends heard about the treatment of the Second Spanish Republic by the government they immediately started collecting donations of food and money for them before going out to fight alongside them.

When Bosco and his fellow soldiers got to Spain they travelled in lorries to their first location and after that spent many months at a time in trenches. They fought in many battles including the famous battle of Jarama where many troops lost their lives, including many of Bosco’s friends. Even though Franco’s government succeeded in taking control over Spain the work of the International Brigade is still appreciated to this day and Bosco has no regrets in fighting against fascism.

Watch the full Bosco on the International Brigade interview here

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International Brigade 80th Anniversary

Scottish veterans at the unveiling of the international brigade memorial statue in 1985:

Spectacle was present in 1985 when the International Brigade memorial statue was erected and Scottish veterans gave their views about the war is the video shown above.  Thirty one years later, the 2nd of July marked the 80th anniversary of the start of the Spanish civil war. People gathered at the memorial at South Bank to pay their respects to the international brigade, 2100 of which were British, who fought against the nationalists during the civil war from 1936-39. The Nationalists were controlled by Franco’s government, who were fascists, and they had the support of Germany and Italy. The International Brigade was on the side of the second spanish republic and they were made up of volunteers from over 50 nations, there was an estimated 35, 000 of them. The International Brigade was made up of many different people such as communists, socialists, anarchists, jews, but they all had one thing in common and that is that they were anti-fascist. Their goal was to stop a fascist dictatorship from happening in Spain as it could have easily spread to other european countries that weren’t already controlled by fascists, such as France. Although the nationalists ultimately won and Franco continued to rule for a further 36 years it is clear that the work of the International Brigade is still valued to this day.

During the memorial held at Jubilee Gardens wreaths were laid for the 526 british volunteers who lost their lives to the cause and there was a minutes silence. Those present at the memorial included representatives from the spanish embassy, trade union veterans and the president of the madrid Association of Friends of the International Brigade. There was also performances from various artists and actors including songs from the upcoming play about the international brigade.

In the turbulent times we live in now is it possible we will need another International Brigade in the future and what form would it take?

Photos from the 80th anniversary:

IMG_5567 IMG_5576 IMG_5592IMG_5582

Watch our interview with John ‘Bosco’ Jones about being a member of the International Brigade.

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Why Germany Isn’t Rooting Out its Neo-Nazis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Far-right violence against immigrants has become endemic in parts of Germany and that won’t change anytime soon. The public and the police are too often indifferent to extremism, despite the risk it poses to the country’s reputation. Deep down, Germany still hasn’t grasped that it needs to embrace its minorities…

The rest of the article can be found here.

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International Brigades Pyrenees Walk 2012

Watch these highlights of the 2012 Pyrenees commemorative walk,  as a small group of people retrace the path of the thousands of volunteers who crossed the Pyrenees into Spain to fight the Nationalist forces led by Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

On this long journey a memorial is held for the most recent members of the International Brigaders who died and many members of the group give a reading.

If you are interested in this topic, see Spectacle’s interview with the International Brigader, Bosco Jones, focusing discussion on history of the Spanish Civil War.

MUME website is http://www.museuexili.cat/

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Germany after 1945: A Society confronts Antisemitism, Racism, and Neo-Nazism

 

The Berlin-based Amadeu Antonio Foundation is organising an exhibition about Antisemitism in East Germany. “Germany  after 1945: A Society confronts Antisemitism, Racism, and Neo-Nazism” explores the relationship between the country and the widespread anti-Semitic attitudes in Eastern Germany.

The exposition focuses on the history of the Holocaust as well as on the current right-wing extremism in Germany. Furthermore it shows initiatives to protect minorities and promote democracy in every day life .

The exhibition also features a picture of “The truth lies in Rostock“. The film was  produced in 1993 and is one of the rare documents about the riots in Rostock-Lichtenhagen 20 years ago.

“Germany after 1945”, which is designed as a touring exhibition, opens its doors on Tuesday, August 21 in Berlin. Next spring the exhibition can be seen in New York.

 

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Or visit our The Truth Lies in Rostock project pages for more information and videos.

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20 Jahre Rostock-Lichtenhagen

Der 20. Jahrestag der Pogromnaechte von Rostock-Lichtenhagen ist Anlass fuer zahlreiche Veranstaltungen und Projekte in Deutschland. Unter anderem wird mit Filmvorfuehrungen der Dokumentation “Die Wahrheit liegt in Rostock“, an die Ereignisse erinnert.

Im August 1992 griffen Neonazis und Bewohner die Zentrale Aufnahmestelle fuer AsylbewerberInnen, sowie ein benachbartes Wohnheim fuer vietnamesische VertragsarbeiterInnen an. Ueber drei Tage dauerten die rassistischen Ausschreitungen. Schaulustige applaudierten als das Wohnheim schliesslich in Brand gesteckt wurde. Die Polizei sah weitgehend tatenlos zu. Nur Wochen nach den Übergriffen wurde im Bundestag das Grundrecht auf Asyl abgeschafft.

Die Filmproduktion “Die Wahrheit liegt in Rostock” entstand 1993 mit Hilfe von Menschen, die sich zum Zeitpunkt der Ereignisse im attackierten Wohnheim befanden. Der Film beinhaltet unter anderem Interviews mit vietnamesischen VertragsarbeiterInnen, der Polizei, AnwohnerInnen, Neonazis und AntifaschistInnen. Er zeichnet nach, wie die Stimmung auch durch behördliche Maßnahmen angeheizt wurde und untersucht, warum die Polizei während der Pogrome drei Tage lang komplett untätig blieb.

Bereits Anfang Mai diesen Jahres haben sich die Macher der Rostocker Zeitschrift “Stadtgespraeche” mit dem bevorstehenden Jahrestag im August beschaeftigt. Mit Hilfe einer Crowdfunding-Initiative wurde genug Geld aufgebracht, um 10.000 DVD-Exemplare von “Die Wahrheit liegt in Rostock” zu produzieren. Anfang August wurden die DVDs kostenlos an Haushalte in Rostock verteilt.

Filmvorfuehrungen:

Leipzig: Thu, 09.08.2012, 20.00 Uhr

Bremen: Sa, 11.08.2012, 18.00 Uhr

Hamburg: Su, 12.08.2012, 20.00 Uhr

Dresden: Wed, 15.08.2012, 21.00 Uhr

Kassel: Thu, 16.08.2012, 19.30 Uhr

Uelzen: Wed, 22.08.2012, 18.30 Uhr

Bruchsal: Wed, 05.09.2012, 18.30 Uhr

 

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20 years Rostock-Lichtenhagen

Screenings of the documentary “The Truth lies in Rostock” are scheduled for the next few weeks in Germany to remember the pogroms in Rostock-Lichtenhagen 20 years ago.

In August 1992 Neo-Nazis and local people attacked the Central Refugee Shelter, as well as an apartment complex, where Vietnamese contract workers lived . The riot lasted over three days and was the worst mob attack against foreigners in postwar Germany. Stones and  petrol bombs were thrown at the apartment block and neighbours applauded when it finally caught fire. The police took hardly any actions to prevent these events. Only a few weeks after the racist attacks the German government abolished the right of asylum.

The Rostocker newspaper “Stadtgespraeche” has already commemorate the upcoming anniversary earlier this year. Thanks to a crowdfunding initative they were able to collect enough money to produce 10,000 free copies of “The Truth lies in Rostock”. At the beginning of August volunteers distributed the DVD to households in Rostock.

Filmscreenings:

Leipzig: Thu, 09.08.2012, 20.00 Uhr

Bremen: Sa, 11.08.2012, 18.00 Uhr

Hamburg: Su, 12.08.2012, 20.00 Uhr

Dresden: Wed, 15.08.2012, 21.00 Uhr

Kassel: Thu, 16.08.2012, 19.30 Uhr

Uelzen: Wed, 22.08.2012, 18.30 Uhr

Bruchsal: Wed, 05.09.2012, 18.30 Uhr

 

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Accuser les victimes: La version française de La Vérité Meurt à Rostock ressort en DVD

Rostock, ville portuaire d’ancienne Allemagne de l’Est, un week-end de l’été 1992; face à des conditions économiques rudes et un taux de chômage grimpant, de jeunes néo-fascistes s’amassent en bas de barres d’HLM dans le quartier isolé de Lichtenhagen et tournent leurs frustrations vers un groupes de travailleurs immigrés. La nuit tombée, la tension monte et les perturbateurs empoignent des pavés pour briser les vitres de l’immeuble, visant en particulier le refuge des demandeurs d’asiles (en grande partie originaire du Vietnam).

Les émeutes dureront trois jours, jusqu’à l’incendie du refuge au cocktail Molotov par les émeutiers, provoquant l’évacuation de ses habitants. La réaction de la police est inadaptée, presque conciliante envers les néonazis; sans intervenir franchement, les policiers encadrent les violences pour éviter les débordements, mais aucune arrestation n’a lieu. De la même manière, près de 3000 spectateurs assistent aux événements, certains en tant qu’observateurs passifs, d’autres apportant leur soutien aux casseurs en applaudissant leurs actes. Durant ce long week-end, une manifestation antifasciste est organisée par des habitants de Rostock; les forces de l’ordre préféreront arrêter ces pacifistes plutôt que les insurgés néonazis. Résultat : 60 des 80 individus détenus au cours du dimanche soir sont des manifestants antiracistes.

Juste après les émeutes, le parti Démocrate Chrétien modifie la Constitution et une des lois piliers de l’après seconde guerre mondiale, rendant désormais possible l’exclusion des démendeurs d’asile politiques  hors du sol Allemand. Plutot que de s’en prendre aux causes des événements de Liechtenhagen, les hommes politiques se sont attaqués aux victimes; après avoir eu leurs habitations temporaires pillées et incendiées, les travailleurs immigrés vietnamiens se trouve désormais menacés de déportation.

La Vérité Meurt à Rostock montre les évènements de ce pogrom de manière chronologique, tels qu’ils se sont déroulés. Des images amateurs filmées par les immigrés, barricadés dans leurs appartements, témoignent de l’agressivité ambiante; elles sont accompagnées de séquences au plus proche des violences, tournées de nuit par les réalisateurs du documentaire Marc Saunders et Siobhan Leary. Enfin, des interviews exclusives avec des participants aux émeutes, des réfugiés et des membres de la police présentent un tableau complet de la situation, des mentalités, et permettent au téléspectateur de mesurer la portée du racisme dans une Allemagne à peine réunifiée. Le documentaire, commandé par la chaîne Anglaise Channel 4, est un parfait exemple de journalisme d’investigation basé sur l’expertise d’une communauté.

Problèmes liés à l’immigration, contexte de frustration générale aboutissant à la montée des extrêmes, inefficacité ou indifférences des forces publiques, les questions abordées dans ce film sont autant de thèmes qui resurgissent actuellement dans les débats publics en Europe. Compte tenu des résultats records du Front National au premier tour des élections présidentielles, rééditer  La Vérité Meurt à Rostock en 2012 en France prend tout son sens. Loin d’être comparable d’un point de vue politique, des parallèles peuvent êtres tracés entre les angoisses et les tensions de 1992, et les préoccupations populaires d’aujourd’hui.

À l’occasion du vingtième anniversaire des émeutes de Rostock, Spectacle Productions ressort la version française de La Vérité Meurt à Rostock. Le DVD d’une heure vingt est disponible en vente ici.

Cliquez La Vérité Meurt à Rostock pour plus d’articles sur le blog

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