Rose Gentle Calls for Blair to Be Sacked - Report Back from 'Dear Mrs Blair'

On 19th December in Glasgow Camcorder Guerilla screened the UK premiere of 'Dear Mrs Blair', a film and message to the wife of the warmonger in charge of the country from a mother grieving the loss of her son in a war for capitalism.

[ announcement | report | report with pictures | online versions of video ]

In the film Rose is backed up by her community and family, and addresses Cherie Blair, mother to mother, asking her for a response to her grief, pain and rage. At one point in the film Rose says, 'Would you want your son coming home in a coffin covered in the Union Jack, I don't think so'. The film shows Gordon as a child, in a school play, Gordon in training, Gordon in his stepping out parade, photographs, Gordon's friends, lads like him, alive and kicking a ball around the estate streets of Pollok, and the film also shows Rose recalling her last words to him, she remembers him calling her and telling her, 'This place is crazy, we nearly got shot the other night, bullets were passing past our heads'. And she recalls watching the news and hearing that a patrol had been attacked and a soldier killed, seeing a burned out military vehicle and a dead soldier lying on the ground beside it. And then four hours later, army reps came to her door and informed her that Gordon had been killed. And she realised the boy shed seen on television, lying dead on the ground, had been her son. The film honours Gordon, pays testament to his character. He was a star athlete, did voluntary work when he couldn't get a job, had a 'heart of gold'. Rose explains that her campaign is exactly what Gordon would have wanted her to do and that if the same had happened to any of his friends, he would have done the same. Tens of friends and relatives of the the Gentle family came to the screening and crying could be heard in the audience when the film was screened. Afterwards, Rose took the mike and made it clear that Blair and co might think that the campaign was ending with this video, but in fact, it was only just beginning and that she hoped other families would be joining her too because, 'I won't shut up, I'll never shut up, I'm gonna keep going until I get justice for my son and all those boys out there'. She also called for Blair to be removed, saying he had to come out and we had to get him out. She received a standing ovation. She has a new firmness and confidence, the film has helped consolidate the campaign and honour Gordon, send his memory throughout the whole country and further. Rose Gentle, her campaign, her family, her community, are unstoppable. One of the speakers who followed, writer AL Kennedy re-affirmed the relentless pursuit of those who must have justice for their dead loved ones. She said, for every person who is killed in this war, every person, they are never forgotten. Their friends, their families, can never forget and they carry that memory and the pain of that loss and that this propels them to take action. A.L Kennedy also calculated just how much blood for oil had been shed, according the volume of blood a human body carries and how much of it must be shed before someone dies. She calculated the bloodshed at 'a minimum Total Blood Spilled of 92,811 pints - or a touch over 11,600 gallons of human blood on Blair's hands, the hands of the man who still runs our country'. Full article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1038831,00.html Enough to fill the Glasgow Film Theatre we were sitting in over and over and over. Scholar and Scientist Mahmood Al-Savvagh also spoke searingly, about the ongoing torture and abuse of inmates in prison camps all over Iraq, noting that Abu Ghraib was just the tip of the iceberg. He also highlighted the fact of the Occupation still controlling the profits of Iraq's oil sales, exporting the oil to re-fuel the occupation and to pay for mercenaies and the continued killing of his people. The Reverend John Mann also spoke. He has been serving Pollok's Christian community since January and gave a profound eulogy at Gordon's funeral. Featured in the film, he says he had just three words for Bush and Blair, which he prayed would be etched into their hearts for evermore: 'Shame On You'. Rev Mann re-iterated his own sense of shame for the actions of his government, and also condemned Hollywood plans to make a blockbuster of the Battle of Fallujah. He said: 'Gordon didn't get up and dust himself off after he was blown up', stressing, the war isn't a movie and its carnage and terror cannot be belittled or glossed over. Ewa Jasiewicz, a human rights activist and journalist who had spend over eight months in Occupied Iraq told the story of a Major she had met in Basra who had lost his humanity. Major Clements was the face of the British Occupation's civil division. He was the face so to speak of the Occupation, the man you would go and visit if you had a problem, if one of your loved ones was killed or injured by an occupation soldier. When asked if there would be compensation for the families of those shot dead in a riot a few days ago, he said that 'If you're in a riot, your comiting a criminal act, so there wont be any compensation. Basically condoning and approving of extra judicial killing. He also outlined an incident outside the Occupation HQ when a demonstrator had clambered onto the bonnet of a car and had been poised to smash a brick through the windshield. He said, 'One of our lads shot him in the legs, personally I would have shot him dead'. He declared this openly, remorselessly. Ewa said that Campaigns like Rose's were essential in encouraging soldiers to disaffect and refuse their orders as they appealed to and promoted the humanity of soldiers having doubts about the war. In order for refusals to start taking place in earnest, there had to be a visible and vocal movement that would show disafffecting soldiers that they would be returning to congratulation and consolation and not condemnation. Ewa also said that the next time there's a demo in Pollok (Gordon's community) then there shouldnt be 500 protestors, there should be 5000, 50,000, people should come up from London to Pollok and see the poverty there. Everybody should be coming out to Pollok more often. The audience were all encouraged to send ready-to-go postcards to Cherie Blair asking her to 'listen to Mrs Rose Gentle's plea, mother to mother, and to help her bring British soldiers back home from Iraq'. People were also asked to lobby Members of Scottish Parliament, the Defence Secretary and given info on how to join and support CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Coalition Against the War, and Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees. Every attendee also receievd a copy of Maxine Gentle's (Gordon's sister) letter to Tony Blair http://www.stopwar.org.uk/article.asp?id=190804 Local and national TV also covered the film's release. All in all, it was an incredibly successful event and fuelled the fire of Rose's Campaign and the ever-increasing anti-war anti-military resistance in Scotland, where the Blackwatch are recruited, from some of the poorest communites in the UK, and where army recruitment officers are allowed to prey on young people in schools (something Rose agreed she'd be fighting against). Also, Rose said she'd be taking the campaign into the realms of the anti G8 resistance which is building up for the yearly world-carve-up shindig to be held this June in Gleneagles, Perthshire http://www.dissent.org.uk/ The Camcorder Guerillas 15 minute film 'Dear Mrs Blair' can be found at http://www.camcorderguerillas.net/dearmrsblair.htm Finally, a report back from the showing of FTA (Fuck The Army) http://www.5minutesonline.com/1D/FTA.htm at Mono by the Camcorder Guerillas 2 weeks ago. It went down a storm. A 'Guerilla' informed that the event was attended by 80-100 people and that the reaction of The audience was one of 'total astonishment'. He went on to say,'People couldn't believe how much of a movement there had been and just how involved Jane Fonda was'. He said people left feeling 'really encouraged and motivated'. It was a hit. Free copies of FTA were available at the 'Dear Mrs Blair' premiere and were snapped up within minutes. Rose said she thought the film was great, nodding and smiling with approval when it was announced. Free copies of anti-war Country album 'Touch a Name on the Wall' by Annie and the Vets also went rapidly http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/annieandthevets

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Comments

"Dear Mrs.Blair" film online

By broccoli

The film "Dear Mrs.Blair" can also be viewed online via the Media Gallery link above, or via the Internet Movie Archive:

Quicktime version:
http://tinyurl.com/6x4sr

Windows Media version:
http://tinyurl.com/3ko4e

or shorter clips for modem users:
http://www.archive.org/download/mrsblair-clip1/clip1-qt.mov
http://www.archive.org/download/mrsblair-clip2/clip2-qt.mov
http://www.archive.org/download/mrsblair-clip3/clip3-qt.mov


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Re: Rose Gentle Calls for Blair to Be Sacked - Report Back from

By Anonymous

my name is john maxwell cusen to rose keep it up we are oll be hind u and will do enithing to help u no mater how long it tacks to bring back ower boys home