In January 1986, Rupert Murdoch moved his printing operation, News International, from Fleet St to Wapping in East London. Over 5,000 print workers, clerical staff, cleaners and secretaries were sacked in one day. He broke the traditionally strong printers union and banned the NUJ – the results of which we can see today.
Despite the Sun is an investigation into the year-long dispute, which shook the print industry. Produced from the point of view of the residents and print workers, the camera records the effects on residents harassed by the police and Murdoch’s lorries alike and cavalry-like charges of police horses on the picket lines. Vital questions are raised on the ownership and control of the media, access to it, the organisation of work and impact of the so-called ‘new technology’. Get the DVD.
One of the first camcorder activist tapes, Despite the Sun sold over 400 copies and was (thankfully) ‘bootlegged’ by the picketers and sold on the picket lines. An important historical account of a dispute that will resonate for many years to come and one that was almost totally ignored by the media.
During the three month production of this video Despite TV had equipment damaged, many light bulbs truncheoned and three members were assaulted by police.
Sean Cubitt: Despite the Sun is “I think, one of the most gripping pieces of political documentary to be made in this country in the last 50 years, it’s a phenomenal piece of work.”
“they all went scooting round through people’s houses and so on to get stories that the national media weren’t getting, and it’s a fabulous piece of work”
“So it was very important aesthetically as well as in terms of its politics.”
Thousands of students, trade unionists, community groups and others marched through the streets of London in protest following the brutal spending cuts issued by the Tory government yesterday.
Students from University College London and surrounding universities initiated the march on their campus and were soon joined by thousands of others united in the cause. Banners on display reflected the diversity of those protesting, including unions such as Unison, the National Union of Teachers and the GMB. The procession passed through Central London and ended up at a rally outside Downing Street. Simultaneously thousands of demonstrators were also gathered at a rally at Lincoln’s Inn Fields where Tony Benn, as well as other trade union and movement leaders addressed thousands of angered protesters. The Lincoln’s Inn Fields protesters later marched towards Downing Street.
Local protests were also organised around the UK; a clear indicator of the public’s outrage at the proposed rebudgeting of the country’s coffers.
Waffle Bank Investment Bank is a skill exchange programme using Belgian waffles as currency. The process encourages participants to consider what skills they bring to the table and find ways to connect and share these.
From gracing the covers of a Pink Floyd album to dominating the Skyline of London, Battersea Power Station is one of the capital’s greatest cultural icons. Yet since being decomissioned in 1983, the building has steadily deteriorated while waiting for development plans to come into fruition. Spectacle has been following the ongoing proposed plans for the iconic building.
In 1996 campaigners from ‘The Land is Ours’ occupied the river front site of an old distillery and oil depot on York Road, London SWl1, Wandsworth. Building a sustainable Eco village with gardens and public amenities.
Today, however on the site of the “Pure Genius” Land is Ours Eco Village stands Battersea Reach flats.
There is new footage of the site 15 years on, as well as the original film from 1996 now on the Spectacle Archive page:
Demo against the Killing of Ruhullah Aramesh in Thornton Heath in 1992
Ruhullah Aramesh, a twenty-four year old, Afghan refugee was attacked in Thornton Heath on July 31, 1992, by a gang of twenty yelling racist epithets. They beat him with iron bars and wood planks until his skull was crushed.