RED HAMMER (from FLIRTING AT THE FUNERAL)

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© Chris Keil 2012

“RED HAMMER”

A play by Dave Leaper

ACT ONE

SCENE ONE

As the lights come up on a stretch of isolated country road, we hear the sounds of a bus pulling away from a stop – hiss and clap of the door, EEH-AW screech of a klaxon, the roar of the motor shifting up through the gears, quickly fading. TESSA and CHRIS are standing stage right, looking around as though trying to work out where they are. They are dressed in jeans and combat jackets; both have heavy back-packs which they now heft up on to their shoulders.

CHRIS: Do we know how far it is?  Did you understand what the bus-driver said?

TESSA: [Shrugging] You’re the one that’s good at languages.

CHRIS: Give me the map, would you? And the phrase-book.

TESSA: People really stare here, don’t they? We must look like Martians…

CHRIS: They know we’ve come to help. You can see how friendly everybody is. I bet they’re amazed that comrades are turning up from all over Europe.

TESSA: [Amused] Comrades!

CHRIS: It’s the right word, Tess, for once! This is one of those moments in history, like 1917, or 1936.

TESSA: [Sings, a fragment of a Beatles song] “You say you want a revol-oo-oo-shun…”  What happened in 1936?  

CHRIS: [Laughs] Moron! Spain, the International Brigades!

TESSA: Only kidding.

An old woman enters from stage left. She is dressed in dusty black, wearing a head-scarf. She has a large straw basket on her head, which she is steadying with one hand.

CHRIS: Excuse me! Senhora… Bom dia!

OLD WOMAN: [ She stops, lowers her basket to the ground, stares at CHRIS and TESSA] Bom dia! [Her voice is harsh; she sounds suspicious and unfriendly]

CHRIS: Bom dia! Can you tell me… the commune, Red Hammer – Martelo Vermelho?

OLD WOMAN: Martelo Vermelho? Martelo Vermlho?

CHRIS: Yes! Si! Martelo Vermelho. [He turns to TESSA] What’s ‘where’ in Portuguese? [She makes an exaggerated How-would-I-know gesture] Dammit! Hang on, Onde? [He riffles through the phrase-book] Donde? No, Onde. Onde Martelo Vermelho?

The OLD WOMAN shakes her head, muttering to herself. She replaces the basket on her head and crosses the stage. As she is about to exit, she stops and turns to CHRIS and TESSA, gesturing for them to follow her. The three of them leave stage right.

The lights dim. A revolutionary song plays in the background: “Venceremos, venceremos, com as armas que temos na mao…”  As the lights come up again, CHRIS, TESSA and the OLD WOMAN reappear stage left. They are in a farm yard, against a background of delapidated buildings. A red banner, with a rather crudely-drawn hammer painted on it, hangs from an upper window. An old-fashioned cart piled high with straw is stage right. The sunlight is very bright; we hear the sound of cicadas. Two men appear from stage right. TIO CHICO is an old peasant, stooped, dressed in heavy work-clothes. His companion, PEDRO, is young, good looking. He is wearing jeans, black T-shirt, sunglasses; he has an urban, sophisticated manner.

PEDRO: [Noticing CHRIS and TESSA] Ola, camaradas! Bemvindos ao Martelo Vermelho! Sie sind Deutsch?

CHRIS: No, English.

PEDRO: So, comrades, welcome to Martelo Vermelho! Red Hammer! [He gestures around him proudly, beaming at them]

TESSA: Thank you. Man, it’s hot! [She sets her back-pack down, undoes her combat jacket and takes it off. She is wearing a white T-shirt and, rather obviously, no bra. TIO CHICO watches her with an expression of intense interest]

PEDRO: So, you have come to see the revolution?

CHRIS: Maybe to take part, hopefully.

PEDRO: Take part? Ah, participar! [He turns to TIO CHICO, speaking rapidly in Portuguese. TIO CHICO wheezes with toothless laughter as he replies, gesturing at TESSA]

CHRIS: [Smiling, wanting to share the joke] What is he saying?

PEDRO: He say today, here in Portugal, everything is revolution – everything! [CHRIS nods, smiling, not really understanding. TESSA is looking round her, not listening to the men] OK, I show you to the bunk-house. Come!

TESSA: [As they pick up their back-packs and follow him off-stage] Is there somewhere I can get a shower?

PEDRO: [From off-stage] Sure, of course! The river! [Laughs]

TIO CHICO remains centre stage, staring after them. He pushes his hat back and scratches his head, muttering to himself enigmatically.

SCENE TWO

This scene consists of a series of vignettes as various characters cross the stage, engaged in various activities. These entrances and exits are brief and discontinuous, suggesting the passage of time.  There is considerable scope for improvisation and physical acting throughout the scene. The lights dim to black briefly between each vignette, and the quality of the daylight gradually progresses from the harsh brightness of midday to the gold of early evening.

CHRIS: [Pushing a wheelbarrow as he follows two young men across the farm-yard, calling out to TESSA, as she is led away by a group of middle-aged women] Do you know what you’re supposed to be doing?

TESSA:  Haven’t a clue. Raising revolutionary consciousness among the oppressed rural working-class.

CHRIS: [Raising his fist in a gesture that is somehow ironic] Power to the people! 

YOUNG MEN: [Both raising their fists and chanting enthusiastically] O povo – unido – jamais sera vencido!

  Lights dim

PEDRO: [Calling across the farm-yard] Mister Chris! Come with me, we have to fix the tractor!

  Lights dim

CHRIS and TIO CHICO enter stage left. Both are carrying shovels. TIO CHICO is miming vigorous digging motions as he walks. CHRIS looks at him, shrugs, then imitates the gestures with his own shovel as he follows him off-stage.

  Lights dim

TESSA: [muttering to herself as she pulls a large sack behind her. Her hair is tangled, and her T-shirt is grimy and stained with sweat and sticking to her, as she follows the same group of women, who don’t seem tired at all] The people – united – will never be defeated. Fuck me!

  Lights dim

Chris and TIO CHICO enter stage right. They are both wheeling barrows piled enormously high with manure. CHRIS is having trouble keeping up with TIO CHICO. His barrow wobbles alarmingly, and seems on the point of tipping over.

  Lights dim

TESSA marches across the stage surrounded by a large group of women. All are carrying shovels or pick-axes across their shoulders, and they swing past with the air of a military parade. TESSA stumbles, and one of the women claps her on the back, shouting encouragement.

  Lights dim

PEDRO: [To CHRIS] I was four years in Moçambique. I seen things you don’t want to know. I done things you don’t want to know. [He sighs, shaking his head, staring at the dusty ground. CHRIS glances at him, not knowing what to say. PEDRO brightens, straightens up, claps CHRIS on the back] But now fascismo is dead. Now we have revolution! Now we fight for bread and land. A luta continua!

They exit. The lights dim to black as the uproar of the cicadas rises to a crescendo

SCENE THREE

A large room, lit intermittently by oil lamps, encroached by shadows. The centre of the stage is dominated by a long trestle table, covered in earthenware pots and bowls, wine bottles, glasses, candle-sticks, enormous loaves of bread. There are about fifteen or twenty people, men and women, sitting round the table eating and drinking, everyone talking at once.  PEDRO is sitting facing us across the centre of the table, with TESSA and CHRIS on either side of him.

The light is extremely chiaroscuro – bright candle-flames casting deep shadows. The scene is reminiscent of a Last Supper, maybe by de la Tour.

PEDRO: [Clinking a knife against the side of his glass to call for silence] Camaradas! Comrades! [A few people seated nearby pay attention; most carry on eating, drinking, talking. PEDRO raises his glass,  gestures right and left, at CHRIS and TESSA. His voice can only just be heard above the uproar] Bebemos aos nossos amigos ingleses! We drink to our English comrades! Viva Inglaterra! Viva Portugal! Viva a revoluç?o!

CHRIS: [Shouts, quite loudly; he has drunk a lot of wine] Long live the revolution! Power to the people! [His words have fallen into one of those momentary lulls that sometimes happen in a noisy crowd, and there is a sudden and absolute silence as everyone at the table looks at him. He takes a big gulp of wine, looking round the table with an uneasy grin, his voice dropping almost to a whisper] Power to the people…

YOUNG PORTUGUESE MAN: [Raising his glass rather obviously at TESSA] Viva a revoluç?o!

SECOND MAN: [We hear his voice but it’s not clear who has spoken; his back is to  the audience] Viva a revoluç?o sexual!

Raucous laughter, but also some raised, indignant women’s voices

OLDER WOMAN: Basta d’isso!

TIO CHICO: Sexual! Sexual!  

OTHER VOICES: [Rising above the general hubbub] Viva o Martelo Vermelho! Viva o partido communista! Abaixo com essa puta de partido communista! A revoluç?o sexual!

ALVARO DIAS: [A middle-aged man, silver-haired, distinguished looking, rather severe, bureaucratic. He addresses CHRIS and TESSA. General conversation continues around the table, but more quietly] I join Pedro to welcome our English friends.

PEDRO: Thank you. [He turns to TESSA] This is Mister Alvaro Dias of the PCP – Portuguese Communist Party.

TESSA: Thank you, that’s so kind!

ALVARO: You have come to see our revolution?

CHRIS: We’d like to take part, participate.

TESSA: We’d like to help.

ALVARO: Participate! You have a good understanding of Portuguese political process? Maybe it’s the same in your country? 

PEDRO: They have socialist government in their country.

CHRIS: Well, not exactly. It’s certainly not revolutionary. I think you’re very lucky in Portugal.

ALVARO: Very lucky! Poverty, oppression, bad education, bad health, colonial war..

CHRIS: [Stammmering, feeling out of his depth] But surely that’s what the revolution will set right…

ALVARO: Secret police, political prison, torture…

CHRIS: A chance to start again, a new dawn…

PEDRO: A madrugada que eu esperava. [Turning to TESSA] The dawning that I waited for.

TESSA: [Taking his words as a compliment] That’s beautiful. Thank you!

ALVARO: No investment in infrastructure. Foreign ownership of key industry. The Six Families…

CHRIS: The Six Families?

PEDRO: The one who own everything.

ALVARO: For example the big estates, like this one, before PCP collectivise it, and the factories…

PEDRO: Before the people collectivise it.

ALVARO: Pedro of course is crypto-Maoist, like all students.

PEDRO: You would like us join PCP social-fascist party? [Both men are smiling, but there is a strong undercurrent of hostility]

TESSA: Who is the social-fascist party?

PEDRO: Mr Alvaro will explain.

ALVARO: The Maoists.

PEDRO: The Communists.

CHRIS: Are you a Maoist? [PEDRO shrugs, a qualified affirmative] That’s great! So am I! [He raises his fist a little self-consciously, lowers it]

PEDRO: [Amused] You are Maoista? It’s a big party in England?

CHRIS: Well…

TESSA: [Leaning against PEDRO. The wine is going to her head] It’s tiny! [She makes a one-inch gesture between thumb and forefinger] It’s this big!

PEDRO: [He grins, fills her glass] Here in Portugal it’s very big!

ALVARO: [Scornfully] Very big for bourgeois student. MRPP have one member is a worker? I don’t think so.

PEDRO: Social-fascists like to own the revolution. They think it belong to them.

ALVARO: Bourgeois students go home to big house after revolution.

PEDRO: Mister Alvaro is very comfortable in Paris before the revolution. I didn’t see you four years in Moçambique.

ALVARO: I was exile.

PEDRO: Like I say, very comfortable.

CHRIS: [Pours himself more wine, watching the body language between TESSA and PEDRO] That’s not fair! Look how many copies of the paper we sell. It’s not that small!

TESSA: [Sounding quite drunk] Don’t worry babe! You know what they say, size isn’t …

CHRIS: That’s cheap, Tessa. That’s fucking cheap.

PEDRO: [To TESSA] You like more cheese? I cut you some bread?

TESSA: Everything! I want everything!

ALVARO: First we have tourism of the beach, now we have tourism of the revolution.

PEDRO: The English comrades have work hard today.

TESSA: Work hard and play hard!

Gradually, the room is getting noisier and noisier. The air is thick with cigarette smoke. At one end of the table, two or three people start singing the ‘Internationale.’ At first they are barely audible, but they persist, and more and more people join in. By the time the lights have faded to black, everyone is singing. The last verse is heard in pitch darkness.

ACT TWO

SCENE ONE

The stage is dominated by the facade of a very large, hacienda-style house. The building is pink and ochre, very grand and opulent, with many ornate details – plaques, coats of arms, wrought-iron balconies, but it has not been well-maintained, and has a somewhat dilapidated air. There is a flight of steps up to an imposing front door. A large group of people has gathered in front of the house; we recognise many of them from Act One. Some sort of a demonstration is taking place – one or two placards and flags wave above the crowd – but the atmosphere is relaxed and disorganised; noisy, almost festive. TESSA and PEDRO appear stage right and join the edge of the crowd.

TESSA: What’s happening? Why are we here? [Looks up at the house] What is this place?

PEDRO: This is the house of latifundario. This one was owner of all estate. Boss of everybody.

DEMONSTRATORS: [chanting, somewhat half-heartedly] Justiça social! Fora com os ladrôes! 

TESSA: What are they saying?

PEDRO: They say justice. Away with the robbers.

TESSA: The robbers?

The crowd is getting noisier, the chanting more widespread. PEDRO has to cup his hands round his mouth and lean close to TESSA to make himself heard.

PEDRO: The bosses. They take everything from the people. The people have nothing. Also now, they stop the bank. Red Hammer cannot take money from the bank. We need money to buy, but latifundarios don’t allow.

DEMONSTRATORS: Justiça! Justiça! Poder ao povo!

TESSA: [She gestures at the big house] Are they in there, then, the bosses? Are they hiding in there?

PEDRO: Bosses far away. Vinte cinco d’Abril, fora! [Whistles] Fly to Brasil, lie on the beach, Copacabana, Ipanema. Very nice for them, very comfortable.

The massive front door of the house opens slowly, and a man appears in the doorway, at the top of the steps. He is small, pale, shabby, wearing a dark suit that is creased and stained. He puts on a pair of wire-framed glasses, unfolds the paper that he has in his hand and starts to read.

FARM AGENT: Vizinhos! Amigos e colegas! 

The crowd has fallen silent for a moment, but now bursts out in a sustained roar of abuse. They have become a mob. The FARM AGENT quails, then straightens up and continues to read. We see his mouth moving but his voice is inaudible.

TESSA: [Yelling into PEDRO’s ear] Is he one of them? He doesn’t look very rich.

PEDRO: This man is lackey, baillif. He abuse the people for the boss. Collect the money.

DEMONSTRATORS: Justiça! Justiça! Fora a PIDE! Fora a PIDE! Fora a PIDE!

TESSA: What are they saying? What is ‘peed’?

PEDRO: PIDE is secret police, very bad people, criminals. They say this man is informer, police spy.

DEMONSTRATORS: Abaixo com os ladroes! Abaixo com a PIDE!

The mood of the crowd is becoming more menacing. The FARM AGENT has stopped reading from his piece of paper. He glances behind him, as if debating whether to bolt back indoors. The sound of a truck pulling up is heard stage left, and a moment later a group of four soldiers appear. They are dressed in olive-green fatigues and forage caps. They’re carrying automatic weapons, and look relaxed and competent. All four have long hair, a couple have zapata-style moustaches One of them is smoking a cigar. They push through the crowd and trot half way up the steps of the big house. The soldier with the cigar raises his right arm high in the air, making a V-for-victory sign.

OFFICER: Viva o MFA! Viva o 25 d’Abril! Viva a revolucão!

DEMONSTRATORS: [After a moment’s silence] Viva! Viva!

TESSA: [Smiling excitedly] Who are these guys? They look like Che Guevara!

OFFICER: Viva o MFA – Sempre com o povo!

PEDRO: They are Movimento das Forcas Armadas. They make the revolution, so we don’t go no more to Angola, Moçambique. They fight for the people.

The soldiers are talking animatedly to the people at the front of the crowd. We don’t catch what they’re saying, but the mood is friendly, though intense, the soldiers making their points with vivid gestures. The OFFICER puts an arm round the FARM AGENT’S shoulders and gives him a theatrical hug, so vigorously that the little man is lifted off the ground, his legs dangling. The crowd roars with laughter, but the mood is much more good-humoured suddenly. The OFFICER pivots the FARM AGENT round and propels him back through the front door of the building, swiping his hands together in a gesture of dismissal as the door swings shut, grinning and puffing at his cigar. The crowd is becoming a collection of individuals and small groups again, chatting, laughing, moving about, as the soldiers mingle with them.

PEDRO: They don’t want trouble. Two weeks ago was a guy killed in the north of here, near Castelo Branco. We don’t want this here [TESSA nods]. We’ll go and talk with them. 

PEDRO and TESSA push their way through the crowd to the soldiers, where PEDRO quickly gets into an animated conversation with them. Though not in uniform, he seems immediately to be with them; they form a group of tall, relaxed young men, everything about them contrasting strongly with the dumpy, awkward peasants surrounding them. TESSA stands slightly apart, not able to join in the conversation, but smiling and nodding when the soldiers smile at her.

OFFICER: [Bowing at TESSA with a manner that is only partly ironic] A revolução fica mais bonita cada dia!

TESSA: What did he say?

PEDRO: He say the revolution become more beautiful every day.

TESSA: Tell him I agree!

PEDRO: [Smiling at her] Maybe I don’t tell him.

There is much handshaking and back-slapping, and the OFFICER kisses TESSA’S hand. People are leaving in twos and threes, as TESSA and PEDRO make their way stage right.

PEDRO: Good people. They was just now in Moçambique. They know some friends of mine, people in my regiment. They told me Nuno Silva is dead. And Oscar Antonio Lopes. I didn’t know that [Exeunt].  

SCENE TWO

The same location in front of the big house, no one around. There is now a tangled web of bright red grafitti, spray-painted all over the facade of the building: 

PCP!  MRPP!  A LUTA CONTINUA!  VIVA O MARTELO VERMELHO!  

TESSA and CHRIS enter stage right, walking slowly. There is a strong feeling of separateness in their body language. CHRIS sits down on the front steps of the big house. He puts his head in his hands for a moment, then straightens up. TESSA walks on a few paces, then stops and looks back. She fidgets, kicks at pebbles on the road.

CHRIS: I’m not yours though, am I?

TESSA: My what?

CHRIS: Your best friend. 

TESSA sighs, turns away. There is a long silence.

CHRIS: You spend every minute with him.

TESSA: I’m here now, aren’t I? You said you wanted to talk, so here we are. We’re talking.

CHRIS: We’re not talking [He lets out a long sigh; visibly tries to pull himself together] I don’t understand. What’s so special about him? He’s so bloody flash, apart from anything else.

TESSA: [Irritated] Flash? What’s that supposed to mean?  He’s not flash at all, he’s really sensitive. Apart from what else, anyway?

CHRIS: [Imitating her] Sensitive? All that macho stuff? Don’t you mean sexy?

TESSA: [Defensive, annoyed] Maybe. Maybe I do think he’s sexy. [She softens, trying to engage him] Actually I think everything’s sexy.

CHRIS: [Stares at her] What do you mean?

TESSA: [Emphatically] Everything about this place is sexy!

CHRIS: Not like Sheffield, then.

A short silence; they both snort with laughter.

TESSA: [With huge enthusiasm] Come on, Chris, you know what I mean! This place, here and now, this moment in time.. [She gestures flamboyantly, searching for the right words] …these people.  Music in the cafes at night, and revolution in the air! You can smell it! Of course it’s sexy! It’s pure fucking sexy!

CHRIS: [Quietly, almost to himself] I don’t feel very included in all this…

TESSA: You know what I mean! It was your idea to come here.

CHRIS: …sexiness. [He looks up, responding] I know it was. I thought this was about politics, about making a mark, about direct action. 

TESSA: [Brightly] It is!

CHRIS: I thought we were together.

TESSA: [Less confidently] We are.

CHRIS: We’re not.

TESSA: We are!

CHRIS: Are you sleeping with him, while we’re on the subject?

TESSA: Listen Chris, we’re friends…

CHRIS: Who?

TESSA: Aren’t we?

CHRIS: Who? 

TESSA: You and me.

CHRIS: Friends.

TESSA: Yes!

CHRIS: That’s great. That’s fucking great! So I’ve been demoted! Thank you very much! Thanks for letting me know! So tactful!  So… sensitive! So we’re friends now, are we?

TESSA: Best friends! Life-long friends!

CHRIS: Too kind. [He puts his head in his hands again] You have no idea how bad this feels.

TESSA: Please don’t.

CHRIS: What, feel bad? Don’t feel bad?

TESSA: Yes. Don’t feel bad.

CHRIS: What am I supposed to feel? You dump me, in public. You don’t talk to me about it, you just – go off with someone else.

TESSA: But I haven’t! I’m here. Look at me!

CHRIS: [Looks up at her] You’re here, but you’re not here with me. Not like I’m here with you. [He sighs] Except I’m not, am I? I’m here on my own.

TESSA: I thought the revolution was about being free.

CHRIS: Very convenient. Free to hurt other people.

TESSA: Free to be yourself. I’m not doing anything to hurt you.

CHRIS: Why am I hurting then? Why aren’t you free with me? Do I stop you being yourself?

TESSA starts to say something, then stops, chewing her lip. There is a long silence. Finally, she walks over to where CHRIS is sitting on the steps. She hesitates, then sits down beside him, although there is a significant space between them. She looks at him, shifting uneasily, as though debating whether to move closer. PEDRO enters from stage left.

PEDRO: Finally, I find you! We have dance tonight, in Café Vitoria, in the village! [His glance flicks between TESSA and CHRIS, noting how differently they are reacting to him. TESSA is immediately glad to see him, getting to her feet with an instant, beaming smile. CHRIS remains seated on the step, hunched into himself. PEDRO smiles at TESSA]. We have music, dancing! Everyone must be very happy! Mister Chris! You like to dance? 

CHRIS shrugs.

TESSA: Sounds great!

PEDRO: Mister Alvaro, he don’t like to dance. 

TESSA: He can talk politics then. While we dance.

PEDRO and TESSA look at each other, sharing a moment that is intimate, complicit. They become aware of  CHRIS’s hostile silence and move apart a little, disengaging.

CHRIS: That’s your idea of revolution is it – dancing?

TESSA: What’s the problem? Why can’t you do both?

CHRIS: What? Dance your way to socialism? [Laughs] Boogie on the barricades!

PEDRO: No more problems! Now we have freedom.

CHRIS: Freedom to dance. What a great achievement. World capital must be shaking in its boots. Or maybe they’re putting on their dancing shoes – the bankers and the lawyers and the stockbrokers… Get on down!

PEDRO: Freedom to dance. Now I understood what you say. It’s beautiful! We are free to dance, after so many years!

CHRIS: With other people’s girlfriends.

TESSA: Freedom is indivisible.

CHRIS: More than you could say about you and me then.

TESSA: What?

CHRIS: Indivisible. Not the word I’d choose.

PEDRO: [Looks from one to the other, not able to follow the conversation] You talk too fast!

CHRIS: Not as fast as you, it turns out.

PEDRO: No, my English is not so good.

CHRIS: Must be body language then. The language of dance. What does it mean, anyway – freedom is indivisible? What’s that supposed to mean?

TESSA: You know what it means.

CHRIS: I know what you think it means – freedom to dance off into the sunset with our friend here.

PEDRO: That’s right, dance in the sunset! As oito horas, eight o’clock. Ciao baby, I see you there! And you Mister Chris, maybe also? You come to Café Vitoria, talk with Mister Alvaro, maybe. [He waves, grins, leaves stage left]

CHRIS: Maybe not.

Lights dim.

SCENE THREE

Evening, warm and dark. Light streams out of the open doors of the Café Vitoria; voices, laughter, music, the chink of glass on glass. In front of the café a number of small tables are set out on the pavement. CHRIS and ALVARO are sitting at one of the tables, a bottle and glasses set between them. A couple of elderly villagers cross the stage and enter the café, nodding to CHRIS and ALVARO as they pass.

VILLAGERS: Muinta boa noite!

ALVARO: Boa noite camaradas. [He fills CHRIS’s glass from the bottle, raises his own in a toast.] A nossa saude! So, how long is it you been here – ten days? You are experienced revolutionary now. When you go home, you raise the red flag in Piccadilly Square! [Chris looks up sharply, not wanting to be made fun of, but ALVARO smiles warmly, clinks glasses, and CHRIS smiles back, relaxing.] You don’t like to dance? With the nice girls of the village?

CHRIS: Not really in the mood. [From the café, as the music pauses, we hear a burst of laughter and applause, TESSA’s voice clearly recognisable for a moment. CHRIS tenses, then drinks, emptying the glass.]

ALVARO: We have the revolution, but maybe we don’t keep it. We don’t have the discipline. Only PCP have discipline in the cadres. MRPP calls us social fascists. [He glances scornfully at the open doors of the café]. They think they are anarquista, but they are students, bourgeois, privilege.

CHRIS: Like me, you mean?

ALVARO: I don’t say that. I think you learn something while you are here. It’s true?

CHRIS: Too bloody true!

ALVARO: [Refilling their glasses] The people here need the disipline. People in the Alentejo, they don’t have the class conscious, the education is poor, there is years of propaganda from the fascists. They don’t like to be collective, they want the farm himself. PCP have vanguard role, we need to lead the people, to make the revolution. We have serious role. Our friend Pedro is not serious. He like to play at revolution. You have this word ‘Dom João’? Petty-bourgeois philanderer?

CHRIS: [Laughs bitterly] We do indeed! Petty-bourgeois philanderer! [The music starts again, louder. He raises his voice to make himself heard] Can’t you get rid of people like that? Isn’t that what the revolution’s for – clear out the shit?

ALVARO: Shit? What is shit?

CHRIS: People like… [He jerks his thumb in the direction of the open doorway] Can’t you just execute them? In the name of the people? Don’t you sometimes need direct action?

ALVARO: Direct action?

CHRIS: You know, like the Baader-Meinhof, the Red Army Faction. Identify the enemy and… [Mimes a pistol with index finger and cocked thumb] Pow! Take ‘em out!

ALVARO: [Shakes his head] Baader-Meinhof are hooligan. Children of the bourgeoisie. They don’t make revolution Are the workers with them? I don’t think so.

CHRIS: [Reaching across for the bottle and filling his glass] They provoke the revolution. They bring on the reaction that provokes the revolution. [Drinks] Bring on the action!

ALVARO: Be careful Senhor Chris. Aguardiente is not wine. Very strong. 

CHRIS: Power to the people!

ALVARO: The people must have the power, but we must have revolutionary leadership, or is anarchy. Anarquista help the ruling class, they don’t think that, but without PCP leadership, the socialists take everything, then they give it back to the bosses, give it back to the bourgeoisie. PCP is strong in Intersindical and in the farmers here also.  Maybe we let Mario Soares have the bank-workers.

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