Monthly Archives: October 2008

Peter Watkins: La Commune

David Riff: The Paris Commune as Seen by Nineteenth-Century Television

La Commune by Peter Watkins is probably one of the best films I have ever seen online. It is also one of the longest. In fact, its duration is five and three quarter hours long to be exact, and the film can be found on YouTube in a breathtaking total of 26 nine-minute parts that will take between two and five days to watch. This sounds daunting, but once you start watching, you’ll find you can’t stop. Here is the first installment:

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No Country for Old Men: Pensioners Take to the Streets in Barnaul

Massive Street Protests in Barnaul: Unhappy with the Governor’s Actions, Hundreds of Old People Blocked the City’s Main Boulevard

On October 26, traffic was stopped for three hours on Leninsky Prospect, Barnaul’s central boulevard. In terms of the intensity of outrage and format, such spontaneous popular protests have not taken place in the Altai Krai since winter 2005, when several thousands of demonstrators practically paralyzed the region’s two major cities, Barnaul and Biisk. It was once again pensioners who decided to express their unhappiness with the social policies of the regional administration: they protested the plans of the governor’s team to cancel discounted transportation passes for welfare recipients.

According to eyewitnesses, the first spontaneous groups of unhappy pensioners gathered on October Square, from which they headed towards Square of the Soviets, Barnaul’s central square. It was there, opposite the regional administration building, that the old people formed a human chain and blocked traffic in both directions. Arriving on the scene, regional police commanders (the operation was personally supervised by Generals Oldak and Novikov) put patrol cars in place to cordon off the block and detour traffic. Ambulance crews were also on standby. Continue reading

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Chronicles of Perestroika

Chronicles of Perestroika

This film by Dmitry Vilensky is intended to be viewed before Perestroika Songspiel (see below). Vilensky turned two hours of archive footage into sixteen minutes of video. This footage of demonstrations in Leningrad during perestroika (1987-1991) was provided by the Petersburg Documentary Film Studio. The filmmaker is especially grateful to the unknown cameramen who recorded these unique moments in history, as well as to Sergei Gelver, who has preserved this priceless archive.

The soundtrack was composed by Mikhail Krutikov.

Vodpod videos no longer available.



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Vlad & Friend Boris: “Song for Sarah (Mrs. Palin)”

Hello Sarah Palin we wrote this song for you because we see you from Russia! Plz respond to our emails!! We like to hear from you!!
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Chto Delat Weekly Reader No. 5

More news from the invisible front in the war of all against all. This week’s topics include: Eric Hobsbawm, Paul Virilio, Steven Shaviro, and Rick Kuhn on the world financial crisis; the effects of the crisis in Russia and the government’s attempts to pretend that Russia is an “island of stability”; Sarah Palin as “absolute terror” and the idiotic oligarchy leading the US to certain ruin; the Republican Party’s efforts to rig the vote in the US; white supremacists in the US try to go respectable; the “racist” vote for Obama; ten reasons why leftists should vote for Obama; the massive turn of young Japanese to the Communist Party; and an appreciation of filmmaker Peter Watkins. Continue reading

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The Fascist Regime in the US: Police Nearly Kill Iraq War Vet at Peaceful Protest

This shocking report comes to us via Brian Holmes on the nettime mailing list. Here is how he prefaced it:

Sorry for any cross-posting, but this material from Emily Foreman is important to get out. Despite the good news from the polls we are still living under the boot here in the USA. Poor people’s lives get wasted in the war, and when they try to participate in the democracy they were supposed to be fighting for they get their skull crushed by the police. When is this gonna stop?

I just wanted to draw your attention to this video, particularly these video stills, that i shot during the Iraq Veterans Against the War protest at the final U.S. presidential debates, last Wednesday, in Long Island, NY. The video is extremely disturbing and clearly shows Iraq War Veteran Nick Morgan at the moment when his head was crushed to the sidewalk under a police horse. This story has been completely ignored in the media. He was legally, peacefully and standing on the sidewalk when the event occurred.

The still images speak volumes to this moment in history, please look at them and please get them to people (journalists, activists, veterans) who can use them!

Video links and more information are posted here.

Last Wednesday October 15th 2008, former Army Sergeant Nick Morgan, a 24-year-old veteran of the US war in Iraq, was nearly killed by riot police, his face crushed under a police horse, during a peaceful protest outside the final US presidential debates.
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Tronti and Badiou on the Crisis

Mario Tronti, Politics at Work

It is time to engage in a new research project. Our theme is: work and politics. Yes, because it is a novelty to concern ourselves with this theme. It says a lot about the condition we find ourselves in. What until some time ago was an old conviction has today become an entirely new realisation: either the workers constitute a political force or they do not exist. And the political inexistence of the workers is of course the problem of the Left, but it is also the problem of society and the state, it is the real theme behind the crisis of civilization. If we don’t put it in these terms, we will not find the compass that we seek in order to orient ourselves in the open seas of world-capitalism, once again thrown into turmoil by affairs that are entirely its own.

Translated by Institute for Conjunctural Research. Full text at link.

 

Alain Badiou, Of Which Real is this Crisis the Spectacle? (Le Monde, 17 October 2008)

The only thing that we can hope for in this affair is that this didactic power may be found in the lessons drawn from this grim drama by people, and not by the bankers, the governments who serve them, and the newspapers who serve these governments. This return to the real has two related aspects. The first is clearly political. As the film has shown, the “democratic” fetish is merely the zealous servant of the banks. Its real name, its technical name, as I have argued for some time, is capitalist-parliamentarianism. It is advisable, as several political experiments have begun to do in the past twenty years, to organise a politics of a different nature. Continue reading

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