2018 12 – the 1973 coup in Chile

Nae Passaran

Film Review by Tom Doherty

This is a small independently produced film which touched my heart, and I’m sure the hearts of those who remember the 1973 coup in Chile. It has had a limited circulation, mainly in Scotland, but I chanced upon it in Birmingham.

It is the story, narrated in the main by the working-class protagonists at that time, of how Scottish Rolls Royce engineers in East Kilbride frustrated the Chilean airforce.

After the coup of September 1973 (which some of us call the original 9/11) the fascists sent Rolls Royce engines to be serviced or repaired at East Kilbride, the only factory that could do that job. An engineer there saw that this job was from Chile. Immediately it was “blacked”. These were the days when the labour movement was strong, especially in the west of Scotland. They recognised that these engines were from the jets that had bombed Allende’s Moneda Presidential palace. No work was done on those engines and they rotted in the yard for years.

This may be a sentimental tribute to working class solidarity, but for those of us who harboured Chilean refugees after ’73 it’s a powerful reminder of what solidarity is worth. In the main, the guys who did this, now probably in their 80s, tell their own story.

It’s worth watching, if you can find it

Tom Doherty