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Historic film: If U Don’t Fight U Lose

The video you see was put together after the Queensland state election in 1977.

The video you see was shot and edited under difficult circumstances over 35 years ago, after the Queensland state election in 1977. It was compiled by the CLCC Media Committee. Apologies for the lack of picture clarity and dropout during this video. We wish to give special thanks to Peter Gray and Elizabeth Alvey at the Fryer Library for helping recover this video from the National Film and Sound Archive. There is an original sequence shot in this film by Michael Fanning with 16mm B&W film on 22 October 1977. Unfortunately the picture quality is dark and it is difficult to make out the desperate and fearful attempt by the young street marcher to avoid arrest by Qld police – a common occurrence in those days.

‘If you don’t fight you lose’ tells the story of the democratic rights struggle from Aug till Christmas 1977 during the export of uranium and ban on street marches imposed by the Bjelke-Petersen government. Over 2,000 were arrested in this period alone.

It shows the resistance to the export of Uranium from Hamilton No 4 wharf in Brisbane and the thousands of arrests that followed in Brisbane. This video tells the story of the democratic rights struggle from August until Christmas 1977 during the export of uranium and ban on street marches imposed by the Bjelke-Petersen government. It shows the resistance to the export of Uranium from Hamilton No 4 wharf in Brisbane and the thousands of arrests that followed in the four months that followed.

The documentary was produced by the Media Committee of the Queensland Democratic Rights group (Leslie Mannison, Joseph Monsour and Ian Curr).

The video reflects the attitude of defiance that existed at the time on the streets and especially within the Civil Liberties Co-ordinating Committee that organised the marches in 1977-79. This was the longest period of mass defiance in Australian history (with the exception of the Aboriginal Struggle 1788 –    )

It was edited at the Griffith University film unit in late 1977. It was first screened publicly in early 1978.

We wish to acknowledge the people who participated in making this video. It was shot on Toorubul and Jagera Land, sovereignty never ceded. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land. Songs included in this video are by Pete Seeger – We shall not be moved and Pete Seeger – “Solidarity Forever.”

Ian Curr
LeftPress
October 2013

Leaflet urging people to march against the street march ban on the eve of the state election on 11 Nov 1977. 197 people were arrested in the valley of death.

If_You_Dont_Fight_You_Lose_Page_1 If_You_Dont_Fight_You_Lose_Page_2

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