Falklands/Malvinas: My Michael Foot post the other day (he was a defender of the Falklands war) reminded me of a recenitish interesting post and discussion thread at Dave’s Place on the correct left responses then and now, including the issue of Socialist Organiser (the Soggies?) and the split in the Workers’ Socialist League. Here, for further reference, is Sean Matgamna reflecting on the issue in 2007. Here is an SPGB position, taking a kind of “third camp” between Foot’s pro-Britain and the League for the Fifth International‘s psuedo-“revolutionary defeatist” support for the Argentine dictatorship. And here, as always representing great value for money, is Nick Cohen.
Cuba: This is from Francis Sedgemore:
“He wasn’t a murderer. He wasn’t a thief. He wasn’t a rapist. He was simply a young man who wanted a better future for Cuba.” [Laura Pollan, Ladies in White]
RIP Orlando Zapata Tamayo – plumber, democrat, dissident, prisoner of conscience.
Maggots and Men, an experimental historical narrative set in post-revolutionary Russia, re-tells the story of the 1921 uprising of the Kronstadt sailors with a subtext of gender anarchy. A thoughtful homage to Soviet silent era directors and artists of the Russian avant-garde, the film explores themes of re-invention, revolution, community, and corruption.
The Kronstadt sailors had a long tradition as radicals and courageous fighters, beginning with the failed revolution of 1905 (the subject of Battleship Potemkin). Maggots and Men recounts some of the tragic and heroic events that occurred in March of 1921, when the Kronstadt sailors drafted a resolution that supported the factory workers on strike in nearby St. Petersburg. The Kronstadt sailors’ resolution unleashed a chain of events that culminated in a two-week long battle, which after heavy losses on both sides, ended with victory for the Bolsheviks.
The film documents the Provisional Revolutionary Committee as they transform, from cohesive to chaotic, as tensions rise in the weeks before battle. Scenes include the strikes in Saint Petersburg, community gardens on the island, life at the base during peacetime, the sailors presenting their resolution to an unwelcoming congress, and the two-week standoff between the sailors and the Red Army. Acknowledging a long tradition of homosexuality amongst sailors, the film has provocative sex scenes that evolve organically out of teamwork in close quarters.
Other miscellanies: Airforce Amazons.