[The 90’s raw: kites, Fugazi, El Salvador protest]

Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's.

00:00Copy video clip URL Eddie Becker talks to people flying kites at the National Mall in Washington D.C. First, a retired physicist who designs his own gliders. He demonstrates the kite and discusses the physics behind his designs.

09:21Copy video clip URL Becker watches an elaborate kite fighting game that a group of Thai men are playing, including a few non-Thai ringers who are not filled in very well on their roles or the point of the game. Much of the instructions are given in a mix of Thai, broken English, sounds, and gestures. The game seems to involve a “male” kite and a “female” kite which are operated by different teams. During the ten-minute rounds, the kites try to entangle each other and cause the other kite to fall to the ground, using techniques specific to each gender’s attributes. (The female kite seems to have some sort of lasso-ing capabilities.) At the conclusion of the segment, Becker gets one of the men to do promos for The 90’s.

32:07Copy video clip URL Becker goes over to Dupont Circle, where there is a concert called The Alternatives Festival, a music event designed to encourage young people to get involved in politics. It has a relatively small and spread-out crowd of people seated on the grass. Occasionally, a person will read poetry between acts. Undeterred by the noise, many park-goers play chess on the outdoor tables.

35:28Copy video clip URL Interview with Mark Andersen, of Positive Force, who puts on the Alternatives Festival. He explains the goals of the event: getting young people (mostly from the punk community) involved in working for change. He also does promos for THE 90’s.

37:47Copy video clip URL Jenny Toomey(?), also from Positive Force, says that D.C. has a very strong community of people working together, and there is a real awareness of the need to come together. She explains the origins of Positive Force, which was created by a group of high school students (including herself), who felt they didn’t have very many opportunities for political expression.

39:09Copy video clip URL Music performance by unknown band.

42:06Copy video clip URL The punk band Fugazi performs. Becker focuses mainly on shooting the crowd.

1:00:48Copy video clip URL Becker briefly interviews Fugazi members Ian MacKaye (and his mother) and Guy Picciotto, who are unreceptive to Becker’s bad questions (although they are very polite). (“Why do you do it?” “Does your mom like your music?” etc).

1:02:22Copy video clip URL Becker shoots a demonstration marching in front of several government buildings urging the U.S. to stop financial aid and support for the conservative government of El Salvador, which was in the midst of a civil war. Groups of people are chanting: “Stop the death squad, stop the war, U.S. out of El Salvador!…70,000 dead no more, U.S. out of El Salvador!” Becker attempts to interview police officers who are removing crosses that the protesters had installed on the lawn, but they won’t respond to his questions.

1:14:28Copy video clip URL Henry Hicks, of CSPES (Committee and Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), speaks about the goals of the protest. They are protesting “the death squad government, 70,000 dead in 9 years, over a million refugees, a gross continual violation of human rights…The human rights violations are getting worse. And the appropriation that Congress recently passed for military aid and for aid to El Salvador had no conditions attached to it. That is, there would be no review after six months or a year about human rights violations.”

1:17:19Copy video clip URL Becker asks two elderly ladies who are watching the protest what they think of it, and they respond, “You can’t make up your mind right away. You really have to think about everything they’re saying… This is America’s right to protest.” Meanwhile, a squad of motorcycle cops lines up in preparation for an advance.

1:21:38Copy video clip URL Faith Pendross, a Rutgers University student with extensive experience in El Salvador, discusses human rights abuses in El Salvador. “We do have blood on our hands if we don’t do anything.”

1:25:26Copy video clip URL The protesters lay down in front of a governmental building, beginning to yell “FMLN, El Salvador has gotta win!” “The whole world is watching!” and “The people, united, will never be defeated!” The chanting echoes powerfully through the chambers of the building. Conflict with the police begins when a woman wants to enter the building and the police try to remove the individuals blocking the entrance.

1:35:44Copy video clip URL An officer arrives with a bullhorn and announces that the demonstrators are in violation of their permit, and anyone who remains will promptly be arrested.

1:36:33Copy video clip URL As the conflict intensifies, the press is moved to a spot some distance away, where Becker and other reporters argue with police and each other. Demonstrators are gradually removed from the building, handcuffed, and made to lay face-down on the pavement before being lifted onto a school bus.

1:44:00Copy video clip URL An officer arrives and announces that there have been 41 arrests so far, and that arrestees face fines up to $500 or six months in prison, or both. The press is furious that their shots have been blocked by police vehicles and repeatedly questions the officer, who will not comment on the topic.

1:51:20Copy video clip URL Becker backs away to where other demonstrators have continued to march on the street. He then interviews an elderly protester, Lucille Evans, asking her if she is too old to be involved in risky politics. She is quite a serious activist, recounting her experiences in El Salvador and her commitment to petitioning the U.S. Government for change.

1:52:24Copy video clip URL Becker abruptly turns from her to shoot the bus of arrestees passing by.

1:52:58Copy video clip URL He returns to Evans, who continues to talk about her experiences in El Salvador. “Aren’t you too old to go into a revolution?” “I think that it is my responsibility. And I do feel that persons who are intensely interested owe it to themselves to get more than what our media is providing.” She carries a cross in commemoration of a child who died as a result of bombing. “Anyone who knows now the truth about El Salvador owes it to themselves to get here and to be a part of what these people are saying.”  For some unknown reason, Becker makes her repeat a summary of her statement over and over again, before having her do a promo for The 90’s.

1:56:49Copy video clip URL The demonstration concludes with speeches on the steps of the Capitol Building.

 

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