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‘At The River I Stand’ Film Showing 18/08/2011

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.
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Please see below, advertised through Sheffield Trades Council.

 

Dear Colleagues,
WORTLEY HALL LEFT FILM CLUB.
WORTLEY HALL.
WEDNESDAY, 31ST AUGUST, 2011.
6.00 P.M TO 7.15 P.M. FOOD.
7.15 P.M. TO 8.15 P.M. FILM.
8.30 P.M. TO 9.30 P.M.

(SPEAKERS:
COLIN BURGON FORMER MP FOR ELMET (LEEDS); AND
GLENN PICKERSGILL,UNISON SHOP STEWARD.

£6.50PP INC. PIE & PEA SUPPER

TEL 0114 288 2100 & E-MAIL <info@wortleyhall.org.uk>

“AT THE RIVER I STAND” FIGHTING THE CUTS.

“AT THE RIVER I STAND” marked the dramatic climax of the Civil Rights
Movement. skillfully and reconstructs the two eventful months that transformed
a strike by Memphis sanitation workers into a national conflagration, and
disentangles the complex historical forces that came together with the
inevitability of tragedy at the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This 58-minute documentary brings into sharp relief issues that have only
become more urgent in the intervening years: the connection between economic
and civil rights, debates over strategies for change, the demand for full inclusion
of African Americans in American life and the fight for dignity for public
employees and all working people.
In the 1960s, Memphis’ 1,300 sanitation workers formed the lowest caste of a
deeply racist society, earning so little they qualified for welfare. In the film,
retired workers recall their fear about taking on the entire white power
structure when they struck for higher wages and union recognition.

But local civil rights leaders and the Black community soon realized the strike
was part of the struggle for economic justice for all African Americans. Through
stirring historical footage we see the community mobilizing behind the strikers,
organizing mass demonstrations and an Easter boycott of downtown businesses.
The national leadership of AFSCME put the international union’s full resources
behind the strike. One day, a placard appeared on the picket lines which in its
radical simplicity summed up the meaning of the strike: “I am a man.”
In March, Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Memphis as part of his Poor
People’s Campaign to expand the civil rights agenda to the economy. The film
recreates the controversies between King’s advisors, local leaders, and younger
militants – debates that led to open conflict. When young hotheads turned King’s
protest march into a violent confrontation with the brutal Memphis policy, King
left.
King and the nation realized his leadership and nonviolent strategy had been
threatened. King felt obliged to return to Memphis to resume a nonviolent
march despite the by-now feverish racial tensions. The film captures the deep
sense of foreboding that pervaded King’s final “I have been to the mountaintop”
speech. The next day, April 4, 1968, he was assassinated.
Four days later, thousands from Memphis and around the country rallied to pull
off King’s nonviolent march. The city council crumbled and granted most of the
strikers’ demands. Those 1,300 sanitation workers had shown they could
successfully challenge the entrenched economic structure of the South.
Endemic inner-city poverty, attempts to roll back gains won by public
employees, and the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us make clear
that the issues Martin Luther King, Jr. raised in his last days have yet to be
addressed.
“AT THE RIVER I STAND” succeeds in showing that the causes of (and
possibly the solutions to) our present racial quandary may well be found in what
happened in Memphis.
Its riveting portrait of the grit and determination of ordinary people will inspire
viewers to re-dedicate themselves to racial and economic justice.
Yours fraternally,
Bill Ronksley,
Secretary.

Links below:

Cir.2011-36 (W.H.Left Film Club)

At the River I Stand Poster 1

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