Interesting looking book, interesting looking film, with screenings around the UK detailed here.
The work gives a series of examples of how ordinary people’s civil liberties have been trampled. They could be you, they could be me.
The film’s website urges people to take action and also asks these three questions:
How can we get the government to sit up and take notice?
What can we do to get our voices heard?
What can we do to make people realise what is going on in front of own own eyes?
These are good questions.
In answer to the first, I would say: “Don’t kid yourself or waste your time, conventional politics is a farce.” We must start exploring and learning about real democracy instead, with a view to spreading it widely from the ground upwards.
For the second, films like this undoubtedly help but we need to go further by, for example, learning from the likes of the zapatistas in Mexico and from countless other movements in Latin America in particular. Though I haven’t yet read the book or seen the film, I wonder how well the human examples used illustrate their root cause, which is the poverty of our political system, as represented by the conventional right and left alike and as captured by big capital and capitalism. And no, the answer is not to resort to extremes on either side but to promote and practice deep democracy.
In answer to the third, I would suggest that we cease trying to follow the mainstream politicians and their daily PR shows, Sky News can cover the live events for all they’re worth to anyone. (Witness Blair’s day long I’m finally saying when I’ll leave announcement). We should direct our journalism towards alternatives to conventional government, towards people stepping outside the mainstream. Not just to victims of the state, as described in this film, but also to activists who are trying to do something outside the state and in spite of it.
It’s great to see films like this being made though. Good luck to it, with the minor caveat that I haven’t yet done more than watch the trailer and read the website details of the individual cases covered.