Get in touch with us if you need a DVD copy of Collateral Murder. We are distributing copies of the video along with the Afghan War Diary documents. Contact us.
Report from the Bay Area (also see Collateral Eye Opening…):
Our team set up just after dark on Shattuck Avenue, outside a closed store, and started letting passersby know they could watch this video with us. As our crew set up the projector, movie screen, and loudspeaker we also started giving out flyers: “More War Crimes Exposed – Now What Do We Do?” and on the back, the Open Letter of Reconciliation and Responsibility to the Iraqi People written by Ethan McCord and Josh Stieber. (Ethan and Josh were both members of Bravo Company 2-16, the unit shown in the video as it murders 12 Iraqi civilians. Ethan is seen in the footage, the soldier running for help with a wounded Iraqi child in his arms).
You can see a few minutes of our street screening last night (last week too) here. Last night’s street screening was an intense 90 minutes for our crew. Showing the war on the city walls, we were reaching out to people not knowing how they’d respond. Wikileaks’s fantastic job of subtitling and brief narrative notes really helps the truth come clear to any viewer.)
First, there was no predicting which “types of people” would stop and stay to watch the Wikileaks video. Their faces were sometimes emotion-filled and sometimes emotionless as they watched the Apache helicopter rain down death on the streets below, and listened to the soundtrack of the soldiers’ voices as they shoot, and shoot, and shoot, and the men’s bodies fall, and the children in the van are wounded. A lot of people stayed to watch and talk: high school youth, journalists (mainstream and Pacifica), couples on movie dates, a homeless military veteran, Norwegian tourists, UC graduate students, Spanish-speaking immigrants. After people had watched most or all the video we mingled, offering flyers and asking for donations and sign-ups, having a lot of face-to-face conversations. People talked about the horror of this war (this Wikileaks video being but a snapshot of the war’s daily progress). About the ways Americans largely do NOT know up close what the war actually looks like, and the human cost of it seems so far away. About how it could make a difference if more people see this video (a teenager kept asking: why don’t they show this on TV, why don’t they show it to us in school?) and about World Can’t Wait’s call for much-needed anti-war resistance, and how to bring forth a far more powerful mass movement to stop this war.
We had to run to make more fliers, as every time we re-started the DVD new people would cruise up and stop. Also we had made a few copies on DVD and sold them quickly, $5 each, because right after seeing it themselves for the first time, people wanted to show it to their own friends.
Some passersby walked by slowly, stopping just long enough to see what we were doing – but then as they kept going they’d start talking about it. A guy commented to his friend “Oh that’s Wikileaks, the helicopter video.” Couples would start exchanging views about the war in Iraq. A group headed into a restaurant would be chatting about wine and vacations — then suddenly they were talking about Wikileaks and what each other thought about the whistleblowers leaking war documents.
We didn’t pay much attention to people who didn’t bother to even look or stop. We focused on those who noticed, and stopped to see, and we wanted to personally talk to as many of them as possible. Again, we seemed to meet two kinds of people. One group knows the name Wikileaks but mostly only from a news tidbit or a headline, and almost none of them had actually tracked down the video to watch it for themselves. The second group didn’t recognize the name Wikileaks at all (although once they heard what it is, and what has happened and why we were showing the DVD on the street tonight, many of them cared the most). So for both kinds of people we think this is a really important step we can help them take: to see the video, to claim some of the truth that’s been kept from them — and be encouraged (and challenged!) to now become a carrier themselves and bring this truth to others.
We’re going out again next weekend and we’re inviting more people to come help do this with us. If we had ten crews and ten projector kits we would want to be in ten places all over the Bay Area. People not only need to see this video. People need to know that they have a real role to play in walking the video’s truth out into the world and spreading a movement to STOP THIS WAR.
Canopy-less Corner Cinema . . .
We recommend you do a couple of run-throughs, just outside your back door to make sure you have everything and that everything you have works together.
Under no circumstances, never, ever, DO NOT RUN A GENERATOR INDOORS!!!
You’ll need the following 5 items:
1) Power source
a) This can be a very loooooong extension cord plugged into an “available” electrical outlet, or
b) A gas-powered generator rated at 1,000 watts, minimum. Local hardware rental shops have them for $30-$50/day, and yeah, not very eco-conscious. Or,
c) An inverter — again, rated at 1,000 watts minimum — hooked up to any good fully-charged 12 volt car, or RV battery.
2) DVD player, or laptop with a DVD drive
a) If it puts out at least 1,000 lumens and you can put it on a card table, it’s good enough!
4) Sound system (hey, you gotta hear the soundtrack!)
a) A good, loud boombox is quite sufficient and simple, IF it has an AUX input — usually two jacks, L is white and R is red, or
b) A compact stereo system, IF is has an AUX input. Some people have karaoke units that have an AUX input, or
c) A car’s sound system, IF it has an iPod/mp3 player input — usually a mini-stereo plug
a) A light-colored wall
b) A king-sized white bed sheet
c) A portable movie/video screen
And of course, you’ll need a handful of the proper connecting cords, and a good power-strip helps simplify things . . .
Let’s put our system together:
Set up your card table/portable table, or even your tall step-ladder. Tape down the legs, if possible.
Place the DVD player on the table, plug it into the power-strip
Place the projector on the DVD player, plug it into the power-strip
Place the boombox, or your compact stereo on the table, plug it into the power-strip
Connect the video output from the DVD player to the video input on the back of the projector. The cable that comes with most DVD players has three colored RCA plugs on both ends. Simply connect a yellow plug into the yellow jack on the DVD player. Connect the other yellow plug into the yellow jack on the back of the projector. Don’t worry about the dangling red and white plugs. If you’re using a PC laptop, the standard computer monitor cable that connects a desktop PC with its display monitor will easily do the same when connected to the laptop’s display port and to the standard computer port on the back of most projectors. If you’re using a Mac, then you’ll need an adaptor for your specific Mac laptop and what’s on the back of your specific projector. If you live near an Apple store, or an independent Mac dealer, they’ll be more than happy to show you what you need.
Connect the audio outs from the DVD player to your boombox or compact stereo. You’ll need an RCA-type stereo patch cord. They have a red plug (for R) and a white plug (for L) on each end. If you have an extra yellow-red-white type patch cord, that’s fine also. Take the red and the white plugs on one end and plug them into the red and white jacks on the back of the DVD player. Take the red and white plugs on the other end of the patch cord and plug them into the AUX input of your boombox, or compact stereo. If you’re using a home stereo/speaker set up, then any inputs labeled “CD”, “DAT”, or “TAPE IN” will do just as well. Don’t use the “PHONO” input if there is one, it’ll only give you a badly distorted sound. If you’re using a laptop, you’ll need a long version of what’s become known as the “iPod cord” — stereo mini plug on one end, a red (R) and a white (L) pair of RCA plugs on the other. The stereo mini plug goes into the headphone jack of the laptop, and red and white RCA plugs go into the red and white AUX IN jacks of your sound system.
Set it up, if you have one. Rig up your sheet, if that’s what you’re using
If you’re using an inverter, plug your power-strip into an outlet on the inverter. Connect the inverter to your fully-charged car battery, by making sure you have the red wire clipped to the positive (+) battery post, and then by making sure you have the black wire clipped to the negative (-) battery post. Turn on the inverter, turn on your power-strip, then turn on your DVD player, your projector, and then your sound system (select AUX input).
If you’re using a generator, plug your power-strip into an outlet on the generator. Make sure it has fuel and oil. Pull the crank and start it up. Turn on your power-strip, then turn on your DVD player, your projector, and then your sound system (select AUX input). Note: You will probably want to run an electrical extension cord of about 20 feet between the generator and your power strip in order to minimize the noise from getting in the way of the many conversations you will be having . . . make sure your generator doesn’t walk off!
Adjust and focus your lens, then adjust your sound levels . . . you’re now a certified Street-Side Showings player!
One should always power down in the reverse order from powering up . . .
Turn your sound all the way down. Turn off the sound system. Turn off the projector. Turn off the DVD player, or laptop.
Recharge your battery
if you’re using an inverter
Refill your gas tank
if you’re using your own generator, otherwise, return it to the rental yard in a timely manner, so that you don’t get dinged for an extra day.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
Projector bulbs are delicate and expensive to replace. Let yours cool down at least 5-10 minutes before packing things up.
Questions? The SF Bay Area Chapter has become experts in how to do this. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org