When Droplets Become Rain

A film on the anti-austerity movement in Spain
Colectivo Miradas, 2015 (77 mins)
Director and photographer: José Gayà
Producer and assistant director: Enrique González
Music: Oscar Jareño
In co-production with Telesur

Introduction and discussion with Enrique González

Human rights vs. neoliberal “democracy”
When Droplets Become Rain is a feature length-documentary that explores the dynamics of capitalism in present-day Spain, and the increasingly disobedient social movements that are challenging the social and political landscape in the “kingdom”. The documentary is a “sui generis” road movie that takes place in five different regions of the State, portraying several social movements in collective struggle for basic human rights and needs: right to health, right to education, right to housing, right to land and labor, and right to the city and to social services.
Social movements on the move:
• We witness the occupation of a building by the Platform of People Affected by the Crisis and the Mortgage Credits (PAHC), a massive social movement that has sprung to life as a result of countless evictions that followed the housing bubble.
• We accompany the failed occupation of large estate land by Andalusian Workers’ Union (SAT), a social movement whose leader, Juan Manuel Gordillo, has been in office in the small township of Marinaleda for almost four decades, setting out a collective, participatory and alternative organization model that aims at guaranteeing social rights for all.
• We smile at the debate of young students discussing the exploitative nature of the education system, who later take to the streets to protest against the Free Trade Agreement that is being secretly negotiated between the government of the US and the unelected elite that rules the European Union.
• We feel the rage of Hepatits C patients that struggle for a life-saving treatment that is been denied by the government, in a criminal twist of the decades long process of privatization of the social health public system.
Reflection leads to action:
The documentary aims at promoting reflection, through an emotional, collective portrayal from the inside of these and other social movements, in collective action for social struggle. It offers a historical background to authoritarianism, inequality and the debt crisis in Spain, emphasizes alternative organization and increasing disobedience of popular movements affected by the so called “austerity measures”, and includes a radical critique of capitalism and its present and future consequences through the action of both urban and peasant social movements, and the voice of intellectual activists.
Increasing repression against social movements and police violence are put in the spotlight, and critique includes mainstream media, climate change denial, migration crisis and more. At the same time, When Droplets Become Rain is a celebration of collective values and organization, and offers a message of hope through popular mobilization and love for living beings and mother earth, as summarized in the title.
The film takes place in five different regions, along five areas of concern of social struggle, and portrays several social movements in action:

Andalucía – Right to land and to work
Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores and Coordinadora Unitaria de los Trabajadores (SAT/CUT) – rural and urban worker’s union struggling for land and collective self-labor, and corresponding labor party that leads for decades now the alternative anti-capitalistic government of the rural township of Marinaleda
Madrid – Right to health
Marea Blanca – social movement for the defense of public health
Plataforma de Afectados por la Hepatitis (PlafHC) – plataform of Hepatitis C patients fighting for last generation live-saving treatment
Yo Sí Sanidad Universal – doctors/activists desobedient plataform against a decree excluding migrants with no papers from health assistance service
Madres contra la Represión (Mothers against Repression) – part of the movement against increasing represion of social and political activism
Sabadell (Barcelona) – Right to housing
Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca y la Crisis – plataform of people affected by mortgage credits and the crisis
Gamonal (Burgos) – Ritght to the city and to social services
Asamblea de Gamonal – popular assembly of a workers’ barrio
La Marina Alta (Alicante) – Right to education
Moviment Juvenil L’Espenta – youth organization

Director José Gayà has spent over a decade between Chiapas, Central America, Venezuela and Cuba, documenting social struggle, alternative organization, and crimes against humanity, among other subjects. He has directed over 30 documentaries about issues such as the Guatemalan genocide, the Honduran resistance movement against the US-backed 2009 coup, Plan Puebla Panama (an extension of CAFTA that is related with the recent killing of indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, whom he was close friends with), the Caracazo (the Venezuelan 1989 uprising against neoliberal agenda imposed by the IMF and so-called liberal “democracy”), and more.
Producer Enrique González has lived for over 15 years in Caracas, where he worked as a human rights activist, was involved in alternative communication movement, and took part in several documentary projects. They both met in Venezuela, and teamed for the first time to produce this film, when coming home to Spain where they are both from.
Composer and musician Oscar Jareño is leader of the Valencian folk fussion group Felah Mengus. His brilliant work for the movie is key for the cinematographic experience sought by Colectivo Miradas.

Celebration of Nuit Debout

Less than one month ago, on March 31, the movement became real in Paris. Soon there were nightly occupations throughout France and now in Spain, Belgium and in Berlin. We now see solidarity all over the globe. Tomorrow, there will be more. Join the growing movement of all opposed to the dictates of the capitalists and their allies — students, workers, refugees, those discriminated against, the precariat, the imprisoned, the homeless and barely housed, feminists, migrants, and anti-racists. We will show films, talk, and reach out to comrades in struggle as what began in Paris continues to grow and cross boundaries as our many struggles converge.

Our celebration and conversation will begin at 6, and continue until 10 pm or longer if people desire. Long live Nuit Debout!

Skype visits with assemblies in France, a showing of Merci Patron! at 7:30, discussion, and more.
For current information about what is taking place in Europe, and now all over the world: https://www.convergence-des-luttes.org

Greece at the Crossroads

Alex Steinberg
Frank Brenner
George Caffentzis

Live via Skype from Greece, Savas Michael Matsas, Secretary of the Workers Revolutionary Party of Greece

The book, Greece at the Crossroads, concentrates on the fateful year 2015 when for the first time in generations a radical left wing party took power with a promise of ending the vicious austerity regime imposed by the EU.
The year began with euphoria about the victory of Syriza in January, continued through the spring with increasing frustration at the willingness of the new government to make one concession after another and was capped by the referendum of July. The mass mobilizations supporting a NO vote in the referendum were unlike anything seen in Greece in several decades. The landslide victory of the NO promised a historic confrontation with the EU and the capitalist system in general. But Prime Minister Tsipras overnight repudiated the results of the referendum and negotiated the most onerous agreement yet with the EU. The year ended with a series of general strikes against the Syriza government. Those actions continue in the new year.
How to make sense of these developments? What are the implications of the events in Greece for the project of fighting the austerity regime of the EU? Is socialism a viable alternative to austerity?
These are just some of questions that we will deal with in the Panel