In Search of New Comrades

23Apr07

In Search of New Comrades, at Adbusters, by Max Dunbar

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Photograph by Nermina Filipovic.

In the late ’90s there was a film called Injustice about deaths in police custody and the bereaved families’ struggle to bring the perpetrators to trial. I saw it with a couple of undergraduate friends at the Showroom in Sheffield. South Yorkshire Police had tried to take an injunction out to stop the film being shown. To my mind, Injustice is still one of the best documentary films ever made.

Fast forward to the summer of 2006. The director of Injustice, Tariq Mahmood, is promoting his new book at a poetry night in Fallowfield. The book is the story of the Iraq war told in the style of a children’s fairytale. After the reading, Mahmood prevents the DJ from playing a record and announces that there will now be a “discussion session” about the issues raised in the book.

I ask him about the Syrian jihadis who are murdering Iraqi socialists and trade unionists. Where woiuld they fit into a kid’s book about the evils of the Iraq war? Mahmood tells me that these fundamentalists are a national liberation movement and a resistance to the US occupation. “All they have to use are their bodies,” he tells me. A blazing row ensues. Shaken with anger, I hit the bar.

Via People’s Republic of Newport and Terry Glavin

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