29/07/2017 Witness


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 29/07/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



But if there is no resolution, the Straits will go on. Sima Kotecha,


BBC News, Birmingham. Now on BBC News it's


time for Witness. Hello. I'm Lucy Hockings. Welcome to


Witness here at the British Library in London. This month, we have


another five people have witnessed extraordinary moment so sad. We will


be talking about the legalisation of homosexuality in Britain, 50 years


ago. They breakthrough for when in the men's world of racing, and in a


moment, the Russian Ballet star, Rudolf Nureyev, who defected to the


West. But first we go back to a turning point for China. China was


wrapped in a civil war between communists and their opposers. I


never even thought about joining the commenters.


TRANSLATION: I am 99 years old, and they still have not changed my mind


about that. -- joining the communists will stop the country was


weak and divided. For most people, life was wretched. Someone had to


rescue China from these miserable conditions. There were two men


willing to try. One was the leader of the nationalist troops. The other


was Mao Zedong, who wanted to turn China into a communist state. The


two men were to become bitter rivals.


TRANSLATION: We worshipped him back then. We were probably influenced by


Germany's worshipping of Hitler. We worshipped him to. I was ahead of a


battalion in nationalist army, and fought against the comments in the


civil war. Chinese people fight each other, it was a complex situation.


It was all about which path China should take to the future. We


thought they were Chinese traders. During the civil war, both sides


made mistakes. I was involved in one of the last big battles. When we


suffered 200,000 artillery shells. But I survived all of that. The


Nationalists had the military advantage, but our soldiers were to


spread out. -- too. Mao Zedong one and Chiang Kai-shek loss. But Mao


Zedong did not win completely, and Chiang Kai-shek did not lose


completely. By the autumn of 1949, the communists had driven the


Nationalists out of all the major cities. They fled to the island of


Taiwan. TRANSLATION: You could say leading


mainland China was the lowest moment in his life. But he never accepted


defeat. I worked with Chiang Kai-shek very closely for five


years. I really respected him. He was very strict. But he was always


very good to me. Chiang Kai-shek's life was very ordinary. He would get


up every day at 6am. He didn't smoke or drink. He was very disciplined.


He issued a lot of orders. To be honest, so many that it was hard to


keep track of them. Some people say Chiang Kai-shek was a dictator. But


this is unfair, and it is slender. But because we were still against


the communists in mainland China, he did impose martial law. This, that


is antidemocratic, but it was to protect Taiwan. -- slander. His goal


was not just to make Taiwan independent. He wanted to achieve


freedom and democracy for the whole of China. He never gave up. He told


us, don't ever think we have lost the mainland. Marxism will


eventually fail. History proved him right. Chiang Kai-shek died in


Taiwan in 1975. The Djere went on to become the head of the army and


eventually became the country's Premier. In 1961, Rudolf Nureyev


defected to the West. -- the general went on.


I remember him as a great dancer, a great personality in many ways. He


had enormous technical prowess, enormous charisma. This kind of


style of dosing is unique movements and stage presence, sending we have


not seen before and very rarely since. -- silent dancing. -- style


of dancing. Issues you the geography two -- in cheesy the choreography


and genius. -- it shows you. I went to Leningrad to see performances at


the Kiev Theatre where he was performance in. He was recognised in


Russia, the USSR, and by all the great dancers. Then we went to


London and I started to negotiate with the Russians, and they agreed


to send this company to England for a season. This is an original poster


for the first appearance of the Kirov Ballet. Amongst the you


concede Rudolf Nureyev. But he never turned up this on. He went to Paris,


and Ron Paris, they were coming through to London, and we didn't


expect anything else at the airport. On the 16th of June, 1961, Rudolf


Nureyev seller for the airport to fly to London with the rest of the


Kirov Ballet company on their tour. He did not know that Soviet


authorities had decided he was a security risk, and were planning to


send him back to Russia, instead. At the last minute, rather than bought


the plane to Russia, Rudolf Nureyev broke away from his mind and asked


authorities for asylum in France. He jumped over the barrier and decided


to defect. The Rudolf Nureyev defection caused a worldwide


sensation. He became known as the man who had pierced the Iron


Curtain. I think the simple question of being by nature, by temperament,


not wanting to go back to Moscow in Russia. He was totally disinterested


in politics. He was interested in art. The idea of communism is... He


was not a defector for these reasons. At the tender age of 23,


Rudolf Nureyev phantoms of the centre of the media spotlight, which


would not them for years to come. What sort of parts do you want to


Dantz first of all? -- Ganz. -- dance. I'm a romantic Ganz, and I


would like to try every different way. It was a great dancer, of


course. But he was able to Madam Mariah is the world of Baz I -- he


was able to mesmerise the world of ballet. He transformed the whole


aspect, the whole scene of ballet. It is impossible to overestimate the


influence. It was unique, certainly, to this very day. Rudolf Nureyev


died of convocations from AIDS. On July 1990, Indigenous Canadian spent


months in a stand-off with the country's security forces over plans


to build a golf course over a burial ground. To see the text coming and,


we even had the fighter jets flying over us. The mood was very tense. --


tanks coming in. This is all for a golf course. This was all for some


group of rich people, the elite and their playground. Like many other


indigent people is, we call the earth our mother. It is a place


where our ancestors rest. It is extremely important. They wanted to


extend their nine hole golf course into an 18 hole of course. But at


the same time, they also wanted to dig up our burial ground to extend


their parking lot. We set up a blockade on a secondary to grow them


act -- blockade on a secondary dirt road. Our lineage goes round


mothers, and it is our duty to protect the land. It is the men's


responds purely to protect the people. We said we would go to the


front and the men said they would watch us and protectors of anything


happen. On the morning of July 11, we were interrupted at 5:15am by a


SWAT team and so we went to wards the front of the barricade and


towards the highway with our hands on the edge make sure that they saw


we had no weapons. But they still matters with a lot of aggression,


and a lot of force. What is said to them was that this is our land, and


we have every right to be here. They were not too happy with that. That


is why they wanted to talk to a man. It is against the women were being


very unreasonable, to them. Originally, people said they would


be no weapons, but there were individuals who carried their


weapons and we could not do anything about it. We said it was a peaceful


barricade. Around 830, deeply started firing tear gas and


concussion grenades at us. Concussion grenades, for those who


do not know, sound like gunshots. They are quite a loud noise. I had


to tell some of the people I was weird to run, you know, let's run


for cover. It was scary because we did not know if anyone was killed,


on both sides. The police force continued to block the roads of


people coming in or out. They prevented food, medicine, and they


were quite aggressive and always provoking. It was a siege after 78


days. A siege. When we did decide to ended we said


we had enough and went back to our homes. December 30 sixth was


supposedly when it finished. A big melee happened. Some of the soldiers


had their bayonets on because they were totally afraid of the people


who were coming out. There were a lot of arrests on that day. They


were still not surrendering because the land is viewed as still not


settled. I mean, the golf course sparked a discussion about the real


issues that indigenous people have been fighting for four centuries,


which is possession, protection of our languages and culture, of our


life. So it work up people. I would say it was up people. They are still


campaigning for indigenous rights. You can watch Witness every month on


the BBC channel, or catch up on 1000 radio programmes online. Next, back


to July 1957, when the British Parliament passed a bill to


decriminalise to the sexuality. For that being gay in this country was


not just illegal but widely seen as a disease. Witness went back to meet


the radio presenter Pete Price who was sent for a version therapy to


try to cure him of his homosexuality. It was very difficult


growing up in the 60s as a gay man because to touch another man, to


hold, to feel, to have emotions, you could go to prison. For many of us


this is revolting, then dancing with ham. Homosexuals in this country


today rake the law. -- men dancing with men. The queer bashers were out


and people committed suicide, it was a very sad time. I was 18, going on


19, when my mother found out that I was homosexual and she took it


badly, then went to the doctors. The doctors told us, there is a queue. I


have now since found out it was called a version therapy. Didn't


know anything about it, so Mum said, will you do with? I said, yeah, for


you I'll do it. They put me in a mental institute. In those days they


were called a loony bin, or psychiatric ward. There were bars on


the window and I was very, very frightened. I went into see the


psychiatrist and he had an old-fashioned tape recorder, the


real to Reel, and he described all of the sexual acts that gay people


did, using very graphic language, to make you feel disgusting. Then they


put me in a room. I still didn't know what would happen to me, I


really didn't know, except they asked me what I drank and in those


days I drank Stout, Guinness. There was a male nurse, no windows, and


they have a stack of what they called "dirty books". There were


many in swimming costumes. There was nothing erotic about it. I was


supposed to look up the books, listen to the tape, which the notice


was operating, with his vile conversation and he was giving the


Guinness. Halfway through the hour he injected me, which made me


violently ill. So I asked, could I use the bathroom? He said, no, just


use the bed. I was violently sick and defecated on the bed and I am


lying in my urine faeces and vomit and feeling incredibly ill. I was


frightened young man, 18, going on 19. I was very, very scared. I


wasn't thinking of a cure, I just thought I was going to die because


this was torture. At the end of 72 hours I had nothing left. I just


wanted out and I decided I'd had enough. I am volunteering to leave.


I rang a Powell of mind to get me out and I thank. -- pal of mine. I


stamp of filth. I had a bath and I must have been in there for eight


hours, trying to scrub the filth off me. After the treatment I decided


enough was enough and Daewoo Corp one day and said, I am what I am,


have got to be who I am and accept who I am.


I channelled the way I was through my entertainment. All the big stars


I've worked with. They learn to be who I was and I became outrageous


and that was the way I got accept the. -- acceptance. You're lovely.


Got a brother? I think I've been happy with myself as a homosexual,


but I actually don't leave I belong anywhere. I can never forget what


they did to me, ever. Pete Price still presents a popular evening


show in Liverpool. Finally, in 1977 racing car driver Janet became the


first woman to compete in the prestigious Indianapolis 500 motor


race. She speak to Witness about competing in a male dominated sport.


Race drivers are special breed of American folk hero. They have always


been men, until Janet Guthrie. I had no house, no husband, no jewellery,


no insurance. I had one used up race car. I was playing in a


millionaire's sport from the very beginning and not having been born


with a trust fund I learned how to build my own engines and be my own


-- do my own bodywork. I thought there was a reasonably good chance


that I would be successful at it, because I wanted it a lot. I loved


the sport. It was the passion of my life, really. Part of the fun is to


accept the risk and deal with it gracefully and well. You have to


have an interest in what it's like out there at the limits of human


capability. I was saying to myself, you know, you really must come to


your senses and make some provision for your old age. That was the point


at which the phone rang and a voice completely unknown to me said, how


would you like to take a shot at the Indianapolis 500? It was sometimes


said that the Indianapolis 500 wasn't the most important race, it


was the only race. That's how most of the United States feels about it.


Over 400,000 people showed up. You can't imagine how many people that


is until you see them in person. When I got my big chance at the top


levels of the sport, it made a huge commotion. They simply haven't had


the experience of running against a woman and they were sure I was going


to kill them all. All I had to do at the beginning was open up a


newspaper and there was some other driver saying that his blood was


going to be on the official's cans. Seriously, when I say commotion, it


was big. -- hands. I was so happy. I was happy that I had put a car in


the field for the Indianapolis 500. I think a lot of drivers would tell


you the first time you make the field at Indianapolis is the moment


you will never forget. Of course any figure out what you really want to


do is win the thing. You're thinking, who's behind you, what are


their driving habits, who is ahead of you, what mistakes are they


likely to make on the first -- and on the first lap you really want to


keep yourself out of any trouble. In that race I had a mechanical


failure. When we finally decided the car was not going to be fixable, I


left the pits and headed back to the garage. There was a lot of


enthusiasm in the stands at that point. Janet is not a new, the car


racing. My best shot at Indianapolis was ninth, with a team I formed and


managed myself. I best finish in IndyCar racing was fifth at


Milwaukee. I wasn't racing to prove anything about women. Because the


fact that I was a woman in my opinion had nothing to do with it. A


racing driver was what I was, right through to my bone marrow. In 2006


Janet Guthrie was in the ready to the international motor sports wall


of fame. That's all from us this Month. When the next week at the


British library. We will have five extraordinary counts of history


through the eyes of the people who were there. For now, goodbye.


Download Subtitles