THE former ABC Cinema in Ealing - now the Empire - can be seen advertising the film Villa Rides in the background of the photograph (bottom of page) taken during the 1968 Sikh election.

Yul Brynner starred in the epic tale of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa opposite fellow macho superstars Robert Mitchum and Charles Bronson, with a screenplay by Sam Peckinpah and Robert Towne.

Despite the star power and writing pedigree,the film was written off as a flop by many thanks to the wooden performances and uninspired direction.

RUSSIA'S recent military aggression in Georgia is a disturbing reminder of the onslaught in Czechoslovakia in August 1968, when tanks from five Warsaw Pact countries rolled in to crush the wave of liberal optimism that characterised the Prague Spring.

Soviet news agency Tass claimed the Czechoslovakian government needed assistance to fight "counter-revolutionary forces" - including president Alexander Dubcek - who had been paving the way for a range of democratic reforms.

Rail, road and airline routes out of Czechoslovakia were shut down as nearly 175,000 troops entered the country. Czechoslovakian troops were ordered not to fight, but thousands of young people took to the streets in protest and tried to hinder the progress of the Soviet military by overturning trucks to create barricades around central Prague.

A SILENT protest rocked the summer Olympics in Mexico City on October 17, 1968, when two American medallists gave the black power salute from the podium.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who finished first and third in the 200 metres final, received their medals and stood with heads bowed and wearing black socks and gloves, each raising a fist to symbolise unity with the civil rights movement.

The two men were suspended by the IOC, which saw their actions as a domestic political statement not befitting the Olympic Games.