This film is part of Free

Tariq Ali

The radical activist discusses anti-Vietnam protests, violence and the true nature of international power

1968 28 mins


At the height of protests against the Vietnam War, the Pakistani-born radical discusses activism, militancy and direct action in this filmed interview with Bernard Braden's for the unbroadcast TV series Now and Then. In terms that will be familiar to many today, Ali talks of growing disillusion with mainstream party politics, blaming economic decline and a failure to change economic direction, as well as a Labour party that has betrayed the Left. Real power, he argues, rests with international bankers.

Ali was interviewed on 17 April 1968, exactly a month after one of the largest anti-Vietnam demonstrations in London. The march and assembly in Trafalgar Square were largely peaceful, but a later protest outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square saw violent clashes with police, and some 200 arrested. Ali denies that he supports individual violent protest, but insists that real political change is all-but impossible without the use of force.