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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 April 2007

International Human Rights film festival

Days of Glory

Directed by Rachid Bouchareb

THIS OSCAR-nominated World War Two drama follows the journey of North African (Indigénes) soldiers fighting their way through southern Europe helping to liberate France, their 'mother country'. Not only do they endure the horrors of war but they are subjected to racism and suffer exploitation and injustice at the hands of the very people they are fighting for.

Hundreds of thousands of 'indigenous soldiers' fought against the Nazis under the French flag but have largely been forgotten in the official histories. Their military pensions were frozen in 1959 during the Algerian revolution. A law passed in France in 2002 promised them restitution but no funds were authorised until this year.

Those north Africans who settled in France were treated as second-class citizens. Their children, growing up on impoverished estates and experiencing high unemployment and racism, have expressed their alienation in running battles with the police. Right-wing interior minister and French presidential candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, referred to these youth as "scum".

The treatment of the Indigénes has echoes with the Gurkhas that fought in the British armed forces. Some veterans never received a pension and those that have, only get a fraction of what is paid to their British counterparts.

On 8 March this year, the Blair government said Gurkhas would receive equal pensions with other British soldiers but only present and future serving Gurkhas.

Gurkha veterans recently watched Days of Glory in London. On 28 March, 2,500 of them marched to Parliament and delivered a letter to Tony Blair calling for citizenship rights and equal pensions.

Dave Carr
Days of Glory is on general release

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In The Socialist 4 April 2007:

Children suffer in low pay Britain


Socialist Party editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brown's pension robbery

Blair: No solutions to crime or crowded prisons

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade


Socialist Party reviews

One Life: Ricky Tomlinson

In The Line of Fire

Days of Glory


Education

Take national action to defend education

Labour's market policies damage education

Privilege and privation in our schools

NUS leadership abandon fees fight


PCS takes industrial action

London strikers close passport office

PCS members take industrial action

Anger on Newport picket line

Upbeat London rally


Campaign for a New Workers Party

How to stop the BNP: Build a political alternative

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Ammanford home care workers march

Frustration at demo delay

We shall not be moved!


Asylum

Save Sadiq Abakar

Leicester protesters challenge Home Office


Workplace news and analysis

Trade union leaders heckled over inaction

Action needed as Ford bosses close Leamington plant

Celebs fail to save Burberry

Greenwich: "We've got to strike"

Burslem postal workers strike again


Northern Ireland

British government and local parties retreat on water charges

We Won't Pay Campaign


 

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Related links:

Human rights:

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triangle150th anniversary of the Paris Commune

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