How Scottish workers sabotaged Chilean dictator Pinochet


This video says about itself:

NAE PASARAN (2013) – Official Trailer

In a small Scottish town in 1974, factory workers refuse to carry out repairs on warplane engines in an act of solidarity against the violent military coup in Chile. Four years pass then the engines mysteriously disappear in the middle of the night. Forty years later they re-unite to look back on what was gained and what was lost.

Director: Felipe Bustos Sierra Producer: Rebecca Day (SDI Productions) Executive Producers: Sonja Henrici & Noe Mendelle Editor: Anne Milne Animation Director: Frederic Plasman Camera: Julian Schwanitz Sound: Jack Coghill

Highlights: Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 DOK Leipzig 2013 – Official Selection and Animadoc Dove Award Nomination Arcipelago 2013 – International Competition The Short Planet – Rome London Short Film Festival 2014 – Official Competition Glasgow Short Film Festival 2014 – Scottish Competition Tribeca Film Festival 2014 – Official Competition

By Felipe Bustos Sierra in Scotland:

The cots who downed Pinochet’s war planes

Saturday 2nd December 2017

Felipe Bustos Sierra tells the extraordinary story of working-class international solidarity that has inspired his documentary Nae Pasaran

I first met Robert Somerville at his Motherwell tower block flat five years ago this month. I had known of the story of the workers at Rolls Royce East Kilbride for decades but found out their names only recently. Robert and his fellow shop stewards led one of the longest and most efficient boycotts against the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, although it has taken five years to find out how much they accomplished.

From 1974 to 1978, they refused to repair and return Avon jet engines from the Chilean air force.

These engines had powered the Hawker Hunter jets that bombed the Moneda Palace in Santiago on September 11 1973 and put an end to the first left-wing democracy in Latin America.

The Chilean military-led coup and the death of President Salvador Allende marked the beginning of 17 years of dictatorship, systematic human rights abuse and press censorship. The National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have estimated that there were around 30,000 victims of human rights abuses in Chile, with 27,255 tortured and 2,279 executed.

Six months after the coup, aero-engine inspector Bob Fulton, nicknamed “Tank commander” for his years as a WWII tank mechanic, noticed the job sheets for the first Chilean engine on his desk. With the help of his colleague Stuart Barrie they alerted anyone working on Chilean engines: “These engines are blacked. We’ll not work on them.”

By the end of the day, eight engines of the Chilean air force were found throughout the factory and work on them stopped.

The works committee, of which Somerville and John Keenan were representatives, backed Bob’s decision which was supported by the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) executive.

No jobs were lost and, after a year of deliberation with the management, the Chilean engines were loosely assembled, put into crates and left to rust in the yard. The longest boycott in the history of Chilean solidarity had begun.

On the August 26 1978 at 2am, two lorries and an iron crane with fake licence plates from an fictional transport company were let into the yard and took away the engines. The workers were told soon after that the engines were back in Chile and already in service. It was the last they heard about the matter, with little indication as to whether they’d had any impact.

The “blacking of Chilean engines by Scottish workers” had become one of the old myths of the Chile solidarity movement shared at solidarity events throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, well beyond the time of the engines’ disappearance.

Robert, John, Bob and Stuart have told me this story in their own words, from their own — at times, very different — memories over the last five years.

At the end of our initial meetings, they each had the same question, “Do you think we can still find the engines?”

For the last five years, I have researched and filmed in Britain and Chile a documentary called Nae Pasaran (They Shall Not Pass) — an investigation into the true impact of the boycott.

The film, for the first time, includes interviews with Chileans who crossed paths with the engines, for better or worse, and provides painstakingly documented evidence that the boycott was a triumph kept hidden by the Pinochet propaganda machine.

Based on our research, the Chilean ambassador bestowed, in 2015, on three of the workers the highest honour given to foreigners by the government of Chile. The Scottish pensioners became Commanders of the Republic of Chile.

Finally, earlier this year, we discovered the lost engines in Chile and managed to bring one back to Scotland. It’ll be returned next year to East Kilbride as a monument to the workers’ solidarity.

While we have reached our goals, including hearing the true impact of the boycott straight from the mouth of one of Pinochet’s last surviving generals, our goals have in the end taken us well beyond our financial resources.

We are currently running a fundraising campaign to allow us to complete the documentary.

It concludes on December 20 2017. We would be grateful for any contribution made.

Felipe Bustos Sierra is a Chilean filmmaker, born in exile in Belgium and now living in Scotland. To donate visit www.naepasaran.com.

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‘Grenfell’ flammable cladding in Scotland


London Grenfell Tower inferno survivors and local residents lobby a meeting of the Kensington and Chelsea council demanding it resigns

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 6 October 2017

GLASGOW CLADDING SCANDAL

HUNDREDS of residents have received letters confirming Glasgow tower blocks have the very same combustible cladding that rapidly spread the fire in the Grenfell inferno, which claimed the lives of so many men, women and children.

Glasgow has the highest population of tower blocks in the UK, with an estimated 96 high rises due to be refurbished. Initially Glasgow City Council said that there was combustible cladding found on 57 private high rise buildings. Last month the authority said further investigations had reduced that total to 19.

Now Glasgow City Council has written to residents of three separate buildings within Glasgow Western Harbour warning them that the buildings in which they are living contain the same combustible cladding as the Grenfell Tower.

The Grenfell Tower fire occurred on 14th June, meaning that for the past three and a half months these residents have been unknowingly residing in potential fire traps. The flammable cladding: Aluminium Composite Material, known as ACM has been banned in Dubai while Australia is considering a ban on its import today.

SNP council leader Susan Aitken has apologised for not telling homeowners and tenants sooner. This, however, will come as cold comfort to those residents whose lives and the lives of their families have been put in to such serious danger.

The letters state that the developer of their properties has ‘verified that limited ACM is present on the building.’ Dated October 1st it tells residents that they should ‘seek specialist fire safety advice’.

Glasgow residents are already living in fear after reporting regular fires in their own tower blocks.

Almost every resident of Glasgow tower blocks interviewed by Scottish local paper the Sunday Herald said there had been fires in their high rises.

Earlier in the year, a tower block at 30 Kingsway in Glasgow caught alight. It is still blackened by smoke — the damage stretching up eight or more floors. One resident, who lives with her mother on the 18th floor said she could smell smoke and then spotted the fire out of the window.

She remained indoors, was not evacuated and the fire was put out but she was left shaken and in fear of her life. She said: ‘What happened in London is a disgrace. I keep thinking about those babies and wee ones. I’m left terrified and so is my mum. I want out but they won’t rehouse me.’

Grenfell Tower-like disaster in Scotland?


This video says about itself:

Not another Grenfell in Glasgow

8 August 2017

We can’t risk another tragic incident like the fire at Grenfell happening in Scotland. To date, no real fire testing has been conducted on any cladding in high rise flats in Scotland.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Glasgow: Tenants in the dark about cladding risk

Thursday 21st September 2017

Council silent on use of Grenfell-style material on some towers

FIRE services and residents of some private high-rise blocks in Glasgow have not been told that the buildings are covered in combustible cladding like that on the Grenfell Tower, it was revealed yesterday.

Council chiefs were aware of the issue but did not make the information public immediately, MSPs heard.

A search has revealed that flammable cladding — similar to the material believed to have fuelled the Grenfell fire, which killed around 80 people in west London in June — had been used on an undisclosed number of properties, said Glasgow City Council assistant head of planning and building standards Raymond Barlow.

The council has only recently notified Holyrood ministers about the matter but has told neither the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service nor the tenants and owners, he added.

“We’re simply saying we’re supplying the information to Scottish ministers and then we wish to see what they wish to do with the information before we take it further,” he told members of the Scottish Parliament’s local government and communities committee.

Committee convener and MSP Bob Doris asked him: “So, combustible cladding has been found in some private properties?”

The council official responded: “Yes, it’s just not public information yet.”

Mr Doris replied: “It’s now public information because you are telling us.”

Mr Barlow said it was a “national issue” and that was why he was making it known through the ministerial working group.

Mr Doris agreed that while it was a “national issue,” the council also bore a “a direct local responsibility” to flag up potential dangers to those potentially affected.

He voiced hope that reassurances to building owners and tenants “might be able to be given speedily” and warned that the committee might want to question council officers again on the matter.

The committee convener said afterwards: “It was deeply concerning to hear a Glasgow City Council official say that combustible cladding has been found in private high-rise homes.

“People who are currently living in private high rises and who listened to this today will, of course, be worried about their safety in their homes.

“We don’t want this to cause undue alarm, as these buildings may well be safe, but people who live in these homes deserve answers.

“That’s why we’ve asked Glasgow City Council and the Scottish government to urgently provide us with more information on the extent of this issue and we will put these concerns to the minister when he appears next week.”

402 dead Scottish Catholic orphanage children discovered


This video from Britain says about itself:

11 September 2017

Bodies of hundreds of orphan children who died at a home run by Catholic nuns ‘are found buried in a mass unmarked grave’.

Up to 400 children who died at a Scottish orphanage are believed to have been dumped in a mass grave, research has revealed.

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul ran the Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark from 1864 until it closed in 1981.

The nuns previously acknowledged that children had been buried in 158 compartments in the town’s St Mary’s Cemetery.

After the babies’ mass grave discovery at a Roman Catholic children’s home in Ireland

From the Daily Record in Scotland:

Bodies of 402 children discovered to be buried in mass grave near Scottish orphanage run by nuns

The nuns who ran the Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanarkshire previously acknowledged that 158 children were buried there

By John Jeffay

18:49, 10 SEP 2017

About 400 children died at a ­Scottish orphanage run by nuns and were buried in an unmarked grave, research has revealed.

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, who ran the Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanarkshire, had previously acknowledged that 158 ­children were buried there.

But research, including a trawl of more than 15,000 official records, has revealed 402 babies, toddlers and ­children died there between 1864 and when it closed in 1981.

Children who died after being sent to live at the orphanage were buried in an unmarked mass grave a mile away at St Mary’s Cemetery in Lanark.

Headstones mark the graves of the nuns and staff members buried nearby but no stone or memorial has ever recorded the names of the dead ­children.

Former first minister Jack ­McConnell, who apologised to victims of care home abuse on behalf of the then Scottish Executive in 2004, said: “It is ­heartbreaking to discover so many children may have been buried in these unmarked graves.

“After so many years of silence, we must now know the truth of what happened here.”

The order of nuns who ran Smyllum, where orphans and children of desperate Catholic families were placed, previously claimed they had records of 120 children who died there and were buried in 158 lairs at a ­cemetery.

On average, one child died every three months there, with many believed to be buried in unmarked graves at St Mary’s Cemetery.

Former residents of the orphanage have accused the nuns and staff who ran the home of beating and neglecting some of the children.

Their allegations formed part of the campaign that inspired the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The charity who ran Smyllum gave evidence to the inquiry earlier this year in which they claimed that abuse ­allegations were a “mystery” with “no evidence” of mistreatment.

The care given at Smyllum will be scrutinised during the second phase of the inquiry starting in November. ­Relatives of children who died at the orphanage are also calling for an ­investigation at St Mary’s using ground-penetrating radar to establish how many bodies are buried there.

The probe, carried out by the BBC Radio’s File on Four programme and the Sunday Post, involved scrutiny of death certificates.

In 2003, burial records given to campaigners by Smyllum bosses suggested 120 children had been buried at St Mary’s but relatives believed the figure was too low.

Research by Janet Bishop of the ­Association of ­Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives, found 402 certificates listing Smyllum as the place of death or normal residence.

No details are recorded apart from their names, date of birth and when they died. Causes of death included accidents and diseases of the time such as tuberculosis, flu and scarlet fever. Some died of malnutrition.

Janet Docherty, the widow of former resident Frank, said: “He always feared there were more kids buried there and this is proof of that. He would have been content that it has come out now.”

Good fulmar news from Scotland


This video says about itself:

PuffinsIsle of May, Scotland

27 July 2016

The Isle of May is located in the north of the outer Firth of Forth, approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) off the coast of mainland Scotland. It is a renowned bird wildlife sanctuary and while there are a range of interesting birds to observe there is no doubt that the main attraction are the puffins.

From the Isle of May nature reserve in Scotland:

Fantastic Fulmars

Posted on August 4, 201 by Bex Outram, Assistant Reserve Manager

The number of our serene tube-nose Fulmar has risen, with an increase of 10% on sitting birds. The overall population is 341 pairs, the sixth highest count; the highest population count being 381 pairs in 2010.

Our Fulmars are still very much present on the island at the moment feeding chicks. Both adults are now able to go on fishing trips bringing food back for their young, which are now large enough to fend for themselves. The defence strategy of Fulmars is to squirt an oily substance from their beak towards any unsuspecting intruder that gets too close; something a seabird doesn’t want is to have oiled feathers as they won’t be able to fly. The chicks are now at that stage where they are able to project this far enough to keep them out of any harm. It is an amazingly effective defence strategy and there are few predators that are brave (or stupid) enough to try and predate a Fulmar.

These superb seabirds are also more prone to ingesting plastics than many other seabirds due to their foraging strategy. They will often feed on carrion and pick bits of food off the surface in feeding frenzies. With such an abundance and variety of plastics in the ocean it can be very hard to differentiate between what is food and what is potentially harmful.

They seem to be having a good season and we hope that this success continues for one of our under-appreciated but quietly brilliant seabirds.