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May 21, 2007 | by  | in Film |
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Giuliani Time

In the lead up the US presidential elections, Rudy Giuliani, the hero of 9/11 and America’s Mayor, has become one of the leading candidates. Today, the former Mayor of New York City is seen as a saint and even many of the left wing feel that he would make a progressive leader.

With such universal praise, it took a brave filmmaker to expose the racist, plutocratic, authoritarian Giuliani for what he really is. Giuliani Time will shock many people whose opinions of the man have been formed based on mainstream media’s portrayals.

The film looks at how Giuliani lied about his family’s connection to organized crime. Then came a far worse lie, when he was Associate Attorney General, that resulted in the oppression and incarceration of Haitian boat people. As a reward for this service to the Reagan administration, he was made the Republican candidate for Mayor of NYC, which he eventually won. His victory was helped along by the racist police union and a rightwing think-tank the Manhattan Institute (represented in the film by Myron Magnet, a total cliché of an evil capitalist). Giuliani let the NYPD run wild to clean up crime, but it had been mostly taken care of by his predecessor. The crime fighting that took place under Giuliani was about attacking the “appearance of crime”, which meant getting rid of “undesirables” off the streets; like squeegee men, panhandlers and street artists. Also there was the extreme brutality of the NYPD.

The two most famous cases were that of Amadou Diallo who, while unarmed, was shot 41 times by four cops, and of Abner Louima who was taken to a police station and sodomized with a plunger. There is a seemingly endless list of Giuliani’s assaults on the poor and on freedoms guaranteed by the bill of rights. By 2001 the tide had turned against him and he had become the most hated person in NY.

Then 9/11 happened. It may be that the worst thing that Osama Bin Laden will inflict on the world is President Rudy Giuliani.

KEVIN KEATING

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