Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1017/28222

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 November 2018

Nae Pasaran a film about working-class solidarity by Felipe Bustos Sierra

  (Click to enlarge)

Paul Heron

This is an inspiring film and I don't doubt that if you see it you will shed a tear. It is a story of international solidarity of the working class and the power of those acts of solidarity having a ripple effect.

The 1973 military coup in Chile is a defining moment in the history of the international working class. It saw a cabal of US imperialism, the Chilean military and the neo-monetarist Chicago School of Economics scheme to bring down the democratically elected socialist Popular Unity government of president Salvador Allende.

Naomi Klein in her book the Shock Doctrine notes: "In the years leading up to the coup, US trainers, many from the CIA, had whipped the Chilean military into an anti-Communist frenzy..."

The Pinochet-led coup took place on 11 September 1973. From the start General Pinochet, apart from a few officers and soldiers loyal to Allende, had complete control of the army, navy, air force, marines and police.

The real tragedy was that Allende had refused to organise the working class into armed defence leagues so he had no army of his own.

News of the military coup spread globally. International solidarity began to grow, and so in Scotland's first 'new town', East Kilbride, a group of engineers were faced with the prospect of having to conduct maintenance on several aeroplane engines from the Chilean air force.

Bob Fulton, a shop steward, knows what these engines had done and took the simple but heroic decision that they wouldn't be doing it again. He proposes a 'no work' on the engines, and his fellow workers immediately back him.

The workers, some now in their 70s, now sit in a pub discussing with the director of the film how the events unfolded.

The chat is a mixture of 'the craic,' pride and a clear sense of what solidarity is all about. They make clear they would do it again.

Shop-floor power

As members of a strong union Bob Fulton, Stuart Barr, Robert Somerville and John Keenan have the power to stop the repair of the engines and, unbeknown to them, that small but significant decision has a direct impact in Chile - particularly for some of the prisoners held by the military dictatorship.

The documentary successfully welds historic film reel and news reports, with the aid of some skilful animation.

The film director introduces us to a leader of the Chilean Air Force who explains the difficulties pilots began to encounter as engines sat rusty and there was no way repairs would be done on the Rolls Royce engines.

Interviews with survivors of torture, who have since grown old, provide a serious gravity to the film and it is their gratitude to the workers that makes you realise how much collective acts of solidarity can reverberate across the world.

As a result of the decision to block repair on the engines they sit unrepaired in the yard of the Rolls Royce factory in East Kilbride - not for weeks, but years. In 1978, two or three of the engines are taken in the night. It transpires, and certainly it appears that they are traded for political prisoners, possibly by the then Labour government.

One of the political prisoners is interviewed on film explaining that he was released from detention precisely because those engines were released in exchange. He is sure of it.

He came to the UK, and advised Amnesty International. It grated on me that the 'worthy' operators in the 'human rights industry' never thought of telling the workers in East Kilbride.

Nae Pasaran is a film grounded in working-class solidarity. The sincerity, modesty and humour of the workers who acted in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Chile against the violent Pinochet military regime shine through.

These workers, who placed their own jobs on the line, demonstrate the risks they were prepared to take in order to take on the powerful, and show the strength we can have when part of a union.

Nae Pasaran makes it clear international workers' solidarity is a powerful act, and an act that shakes the powerful.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 7 November 2018:


International socialist news and analysis

Worldwide walkout at Google against sexual harassment

Pittsburgh Synagogue shootings: Unite to fight anti-Semitism and far right

Mexico: The movement of 68 and the massacre of Tlatelolco

CWI news in brief


Opinion

Nae Pasaran: a film about working-class solidarity

The Socialist inbox


What we think

Tories out - we need socialism!


News

Labour councils should use 14bn reserves to fight all cuts

University bankruptcy threat - kick the market out of education

Stand up against abuse - justice not racism

Care crisis cashing in


Workplace news

PCS Left Unity: Back Chris Baugh and Marion Lloyd for a fighting, democratic, lay-led union

Arriva Rail North strike hits 34 days of action

Cable workers' Halloween picket line attempts to 'scare' management into talks

Royal Bolton Hospital: Another victory against NHS privatisation

Occupy and demand nationalisation to save Devon shipyard

Unison HE ballot: Anti-union rules block action

Bradford uni strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Hundreds march to save Blackwood leisure centres

Crowds turn out for Corbyn in Rugby

Thousands march against overnight closure of Shropshire A&E

Protesters drive far right out of Liverpool

Unions and campaigners challenge Southampton cuts inside Labour and out

Support the Socialist alternative, subscribe to the Socialist

East London public square threat halted


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 November 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Film:

triangleFilm Review: Moxie

triangleJudas and the Black Messiah - taste of Fred Hampton's politics, with lessons for fighting oppression today

triangleFilm Review: The White Tiger

triangleFilm Review: Dear Comrades!

triangleTV review: Red, White and Blue

Working-class:

triangleCapitalist sleaze and cronyism

triangleNo trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game

triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

triangleTUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

Solidarity:

triangleGoodlord strike forces talks - solidarity needed

triangleInternational Workers' Day - struggle, solidarity, socialism

triangleSparks continue protests against deskilling

Workers:

triangleDefend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Military:

triangleBrazil: Bolsonaro regime plunges into a deeper crisis

Chile:

triangleChile: A defeat for the right!

Pinochet:

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Chile 1973

Amnesty International:

triangleWorkers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

5/5/21

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

28/4/21

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

14/4/21

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

7/4/21

Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

31/3/21

Labour Party

Warning: Labour Party cutters - careful who you phone!

31/3/21

Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

31/3/21

Women

Women, violence and defiance

31/3/21

Council

Socialist Liverpool City Council inspired me

24/3/21

Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

24/3/21

Film

Film Review: Moxie

17/3/21

Film

Judas and the Black Messiah - taste of Fred Hampton's politics, with lessons for fighting oppression today

10/3/21

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party - to fight for the future of the working class

10/3/21

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

24/2/21

Review

Film Review: The White Tiger

24/2/21

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999