1968 Global Revolts: Derailed by US Intelligence?

1968 Global Revolt – Part 4 World Wars

DW (2018)

Film Review

The final episode of this series has a dual focus: the 1968-71 uprisings that occurred in Japan, Chile, Brazil and France and the birth of the women’s, gay liberation and environmental movements in the US.

Like the earlier three episodes, there’s no real unifying thread in Part 4. It begins by focusing on the birth of the Japanese Red Army, from the perspective of ex-Japanese Red Army member filmmaker Tamotu Adachi. The first global “terrorist” network, the ideologically confused Japanese Red Army eerily foreshadows the birth of Al Qaeda and ISIS thirty years later.

Although the Red Army’s links to US intelligence are less well-established than those of Al Qaeda, ISIS (and Italy’s Red Brigades and Germany’s Baader-Meinhoff Gang – see 1968 Global Revolt and the Brutal 1969 Crackdown), one time US intelligence asset Lyndon Larouche called attention to their CIA links as early as September 1974 (see Japan’s Red Army Reactivated).

After becoming a filmmaker, Adachi traveled with the Japanese Red Army to Palestine where they engaged in military exercises with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. There, along with German radicals and volunteers from the Irish Republican Army, they smeared themselves with blood-red berry juice and acted out a number of fake battles for the benefit of journalists and filmmakers.

Part 4 also examines the popular overthrow of Chile’s dictator, Brazil’s failed uprising, and successful uprisings by French and Japanese farmers to prevent US military base expansion.

The film concludes with a brief history of US activists who parted company with the antiwar movement to form the women’s liberation, gay liberation and environmental movement. As historian Tariq Ali points out near the end, the 1968 uprisings in the US and the UK were primarily libertarian and focused on individual freedoms. This possibly explains why they took a much different direction in other countries.*


*The influence of US intelligence in guiding this direction can’t be ruled out, see How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left , Did the CIA Use Gloria Steinem to Subvert the Feminist MovementA C-SPAN Talk About Gloria Steinem and Other CIA Anomalies

The 1968 Global Revolt and the Brutal 1969 Global Crackdown

1968 Global Revolt – Part 3 The Explosion

DW (2018)

Film Review

Part 3 focuses on 1969 and the extreme police and military violence directed at anti-government protests in the US, Japan, Italy and Germany.

In the US, 1969 saw the occupation of derelict University of California-Berkeley property for the formation of a People’s Park and the formation of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The latter would be destroyed by heavy CIA/FBI infiltration and assassination and false imprisonment of many of its leaders. 1969 also saw the sidetracking of many US antiwar protestors into environmental activism, women’s and gay liberation and alternative lifestyles (the hippy peace, love and truth movement, Woodstock and communal living).

In Germany, the students rejecting bourgeois capitalist lifestyles formed the Kommune movement. The filmmakers erroneously describe the Baader-Meinhoff Gang (aka the Red Army Faction), responsible for setting fire to department stores and warehouses, as a fringe offshoot of the the Kommune movement. The Baader-Meinhoff Gang was exposed in the early 90s as a CIA/NATO-driven product of Operation Gladio.*

The filmmakers also mischaracterize Italy’s Red Brigades as a violent offshoot of the Italian antifascist movement that mobilized tens of thousands of workers and students. The Red Brigades, responsible for tens of thousands of false flag bombings and assassinations, was also created and run by Operation Gladio. The Italian government used the Red Brigades “terrorist” activities events to justify the adoption of extreme repressive measures, including the imprisonment of 30,000 antifascist activists.

Also disappointing is the filmmakers’ failure to identify the root cause of Japan’s anti-American protests (ie the CIA funding of their single party government). In his book Blowback, Chalmers Johnson compares Japan’s US-controlled post-war government to East Germany’s dictatorship. Also see CIA supported Japan’s ruling party during Cold War era

*Operation Gladio is the code name for a CIA/NATO backed paramilitary network that carried out thousands of false flag terrorist operations to justify repressive government legislation to suppress grassroots anti-capitalist organizing. It was exposed in a 1992 BBC documentary.

 

 

The History of Women’s Liberation

womens estate

Women’s Estate

by Juliet Mitchell

Pantheon Books (1972)

Book Review

Women’s Estate is about the history of the modern women’s liberation movement. Women’s liberation began in the US in the late 60s and quickly spread to Britain and the rest of the industrialized world. Mitchell compares and contrasts women’s liberation with the earlier feminist movement of 1880-1920, as well as tracing contemporary political influences that shaped it.

Mitchell traces the modern feminist movement to the publication of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan in 1963. In 1966, Friedan would co-found National Organization for Women (NOW) with Gloria Steinem (see Did the CIA Use Gloria Steinem to Subvert the Feminist Movement?). Mitchell classifies NOW as a “reformist” group that limited itself to winning isolated reforms (affirmative action laws, legalized abortion and access to birth control, etc), as opposed to women’s liberation groups which sought to overthrow patriarchy and male-dominated society.

Owing to the immense media attention it received, women’s liberation was the most public revolutionary movement in history. According to Mitchell, its main influences were the mid-sixties black liberation movement, the student movement and the youth (aka “hippy”*) movement.

She traces the official origin of women’s liberation to a protest at Nixon’s 1969 inauguration in which female speakers were taunted with sexually explicit insults. This was the last straw in a long frustrating period in which male antiwar activists edged women out of decision-making and relegated them to typing and tea making.

By 1970, there were women’s liberation groups in all of the developed world, except for Ireland, Austria and Switzerland.

Although women typically experience the most extreme levels of poverty and oppression, the women’s liberation movement, like the earlier suffrage movement, was mainly led by middle class women. According to Mitchell, it’s common for the oppression of underprivileged women to be passed off as natural and unchangeable.

Mitchell devotes most of the book to an analysis of the politics of oppression and the cultural factors (especially so-called “family values) that cause women’s oppression to appear invisible.

In her view, this is why consciousness raising groups were so essential to women’s liberation. By openly sharing their negative treatment by men, women were astonished to learn other women had similar, often identical, experiences. This helped them to acknowledge their individual frustration and suffering was, in actuality, a political problem.

As Mitchell puts it:

The first symptom of oppression is the repression of words: the state of suffering is so total and assumed, it’s not known to be there.


*According to Mitchell, the hippies rebelled against social manipulation and emotional repression by the political establishment without seeking specific political change.