The Message and the Means”
DVD, or STREAM, two 27-minute segments
This hour long commentary, was filmed during the protests that erupted when the Republicans first nominated George Bush for president at their national convention in Philadelphia in 2000.
The award winning video is a blueprint for the modern protest movement. It outlines how and why protests happen. Plus it offers detailed information on the sorry state of health care in America, our problems with gun violence, our eroding rights to dissent and the many varied reasons people feel compelled to protest. Tips on how to organize a protest, jail solidarity and the importance of independent media are included alongside insightful and witty commentary. Says “The Chicago Tribune:” [Speaking of video host Elizabeth Fiend] “Her documentary on the demonstrations protesting the Republican Convention in Philadelphia was pretty much the only coverage I can remember that actually told you what the protestors were protesting.”
Winner Best Documentary, Festival of Independents, Philadelphia Film Festival
From the “Alternative Press Review” by Allan Antliff :
For some years Elizabeth Fiend and Valerie Keller with help from Gretjen Clausing and Allen Fiend have been producing a wildly popular cable TV show dedicated to bringing “anarchist home economics” to Philly’s cheese-steak enthusiasts. In the summer of 2000 George W. Bush’s Republicans came to town to crown their king, and BTP rallied its forces to produce a feature on the event . . . from the protesters’ perspective.
Fiend “hosts” the show, providing snappy commentary that is squarely aimed at the establishment’s misrepresentations and double-speak.
She searches out and interviews protesters who discuss a wide range of concerns, bringing to the fore the diversity of voices fuelling the anti-Republican forces.
We also get a taste of the opposite side’s mind-set from people such as Log Cabin Republican Donald Carter who defends gay conservatism and a “Sisters for the Second Amendment” spokesperson who calls (loudly) for a piece in every purse.
The video is tightly edited and spiced up with anti-capitalist rap poetry, screamingly funny studio cuts of Fiend wringing the neck of a “rubber chicken” politician, and other vignettes. These augment on-the-street analysis of universal health care, how to end gun violence, the rightness of dissent, and other issues.
This video is designed for public viewing, with two 30 minutes segments framed by intros and closing music. Imagine crowds during a showing taking a 10 minute break for popcorn, petition signing, etc. and you get the idea. The first segment, “The Message”, communicates the issues radicals sought to air in Philadelphia through sit-downs, parades, street theatre, banners, music, songs, and speeches. The second segment, “The Means,” is an invaluable primer covering the 4 Big Things that made the Philadelphia demonstrations effective: Direct Action; How to Stage a Protest; Do It Yourself Media; and Dealing With Police Repression. Talk about your Anarchist Home-Ec!
Funny, ironic, and creative, “Unconventional Coverage” makes a rebellious sensibility accessible to the masses. I can imagine people who are new to radicalism not only enjoying it, but also identifying with it, and that’s no small feat in my estimation.