The People's Account//Milton Bryan

About The People’s Account and Ceddo Film and Video Workshop

Ceddo Film and Video Workshop was set up in the 1980s, with support from Channel 4, Association of Cinematograph, Television & Allied Technicians (ACTT) and the Greater London Council (GLC). Its original members included Menelik Shabazz, Milton Bryan, Imruh Bakari Caesar, Glenn Ujebe Masokoane and Roy Cornwall with D. Elmina Davis and Valerie Thomas joining the collective later on. Their work was characterised by a radical left-wing critique of British society’s treatment of Black British people, and by an interest in African and Caribbean politics and history.

The collective ran into trouble immediately with this, its first film for Channel 4, The People’s Account, a documentary about the Broadwater Farm uprising in Tottenham. The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) objected to the description of the police as racist, lawless terrorists, and to the description of the uprising as a legitimate act of self-defence. They demanded editorial changes and, when the filmmakers refused, the programme was pulled from the schedules, intended never to be shown on British television.