The World War Two veteran had been shaken by images thousands of
miles away in Santiago of Hawker Hunter jets bombing La Moneda
presidential palace in the Sept. 11, 1973, military coup that
toppled democratically elected socialist president Salvador
Despite risking his job, Fulton refused to let the engines
through maintenance and, with fellow trade union workers, led an
act of international solidarity against the coup and ensuing
dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Documentary "Nae Pasaran", meaning they shall not pass, takes a
look at the boycott of Chilean air force engines by the
engineers in East Kilbride and the impact it had.
"It's very rare ... for anyone ... to find out decades later
that something you've done ... actually pays off and affects
positively the lives of others," film director Felipe Bustos
Sierra told Reuters.
The son of an exiled Chilean journalist living in Belgium,
Bustos Sierra said he first heard of the Scottish workers'
actions as a child.
"I suppose as I got older that story stuck with me because it
connects directly with the most iconic image of the coup in
Chile which is the Hawker Hunters flying low over Santiago, and
firing ... into the palace," he said.
"The idea that Scottish workers on the other side of the world
had managed to, I suppose, dent that image in some ways was
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The workers labeled the engine parts "black", meaning they would not
be touched on the factory assembly line for months. They were then
put and left outside, until they disappeared in 1978. The workers
were told they had gone back to the Chile.
"That's the only information they got ... for years until we started
making this film," Bustos Sierra said.
"Nae Pasaran" shows Fulton, now in his 90s, and colleagues, who were
honored by the Chilean government in 2015, look back on their
actions and hear stories from Chileans jailed after the coup. A
Pinochet-era general is also interviewed.
The documentary, which got an ovation at a festival in Glasgow and
is released in Britain in November, has yet to be screened in Chile,
where Bustos Sierra said he had seen positive comments on social
media about it and some who thought the story was "science fiction".
He hopes for a 2019 cinema release there.
"I think somebody taking that sort of action today would probably be
in more jeopardy than Bob was back then," he said, when asked if
such defiance was still possible. "But I think the idea of a
peaceful civil disobedience still stands today."
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Alison Williams)
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