There have been lots of political libertarian books published in 2006. Many have been presented at the Edinburgh Independent and Radical Bookfair, organised by Wordpower Bookshop. Wordpower has also published “Rainbow City: Stories from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Edinburgh” in July 2006. Famous authors such as John Pilger launched “Freedom Next Time”, whereas Greg Palast premiered “Armed Madhouse” and Mark Thomas presented “As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela: Underground Adventures in the Arms and Torture Trade”. **Eva Merz’**s social-inclusive art project “Get a fucking Job – The truth about beggars” sparked controversy in Aberdeen, but helped to defeat the banning of the beggars, many of whom struggle with current or previous drug addiction. Michael Albert from Z-Net impressed the audiences at his talks with his new utopian book _“Realizing Hope: Life Beyond Capitalis_m” whereas AK Press released “Rebel Alliances – The Means and Ends of Contemporary British Anarchisms” after Benjamin Franks worked for about 14 years on this issue for an academic research project. Class War founder Ian Bone surprised the people with his “Bash the Rich” autobiography, whereas Martin Lux describes his “Antifascist” activities in Britain in the 70ies and 80ies.
So far, this year has seen a variety of political documentaries and movies being released: Ken Loach launched his film on the Irish Independence Struggle: “The Wind that Shakes the Barley_“_, and John Pilger‘s 35 years long career is summarised in “Documentaries that changed the World”. Other mainstream films include “V for Vendetta“, “An Inconvenient Truth”, “KZ”, “Wal-Mart – the High Cost of Low Price”, “The Road to Guantanomo” and “Syriana”. Locally, Pilton Video has collaborated with “EAST – Edinburgh Against the Stock Transfer” group of council tenants to produce the 43min long documentary “Smoke and Mirrors”. Pilton Video has also started a digital archive of all documentaries and videos the group has produced since 1981, so far 322 recordings of community projects, campaigns and activities are available to order for a small fee.
Theatre Workshop in Edinburgh run two productions this year: “One Hour Before Sunrise”, a play about torture in an Arab Jail, in October and “Babylon Burning”, a community project about the Iraq War with a 100 person strong cast, in June. The Birds of Paradise theatre company toured Scotland with their production “Mouth of Silence” about landless refugees of the civil war in Guatemala. “Petrified Paradise” was performed by the A Moment’s Peace Theatre Company at the Arches in Glasgow, and dealt with the detention of asylum seekers. Worth mentioning is also the renaming of the Perrier Comedy Awards – the Boycott Nestle campaign achieved the withdrawal of the company from their PR stunt of sponsoring comedians at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. However, the company still refuses to answer the questions about the underlying unethical corporate behaviour of the parent company which the protesters were targetting.