A capacity crowd packed out the Dobhar community centre in west Donegal last Saturday night to enjoy the latest film night held by the local community project Alternative Community Cinema.
The evening saw the people who gathered enjoy a sit down meal and musical entertainment by the band ‘Wee Small Gods’.
The main focus of the event, which was free admission, was the showing of ‘Even the Rain’, a feature film set in the year 2000 about the protest of the Bolivian people against their governments plan to privatise their water supply.
The evening also had guest speakers Ciaran Campbell of the trade union MANDATE and Donegal independent TD Thomas Pringle address those gathered on the current issues in Ireland regarding water charges and the ongoing protests and action against austerity measures.
Deputy Pringle compared the similarities of the attempt to privatise the water supply in Bolivia to that of the plans to be implemented by the government in Lenister House and explained there was more to the comparisons than met the eye.
“Just as was the case in Bolivia, the plan by our current government to implement water charges is a precursor to the privatisation of our most essential resource,” Deputy Pringle said.
“They are basically aiming to commodify and privatise the most basic of lifes necessities and the first step on that road is water charges. All this is being done in an aim to raise money to pay off the debts amassed by reckless bankers and an elite few and it must be resisted at all costs.
“What should be a big eye opener for the people watching this film is the fact that the private water company involved in the Bolivian water issue, Veolia, is already operating in Ireland and if we continue to ignore the actions of our government and their march towards privatisation, companies like Veolia will effectively own our water and dictate the price of every single drop.”
Speaking at the event Ciaran Campbell of MANDATE commended the film night project saying it had great potential.
“MANDATE are delighted to be involved with such a project” he said. “This type of event is a great opportunity to be able to educate the people first hand without the truth being manipulated by certain interests through the media.
“It is understandable that the public think that many of the unions have sold out, but we in MANDATE believe the ongoing move by the government to privatise public services and utillities is one which wholly wrong and must be resisted. “Privateers like water companies are not there in the interests of consumers but profits and they also use their workers as mere commodities to make more money for themselves by lowering working conditions and rates of pay. Hopefully this film tonight shows the people we can resist such privatisation by standing together.”
“It was fantastic to see so many people pack into to hall for the event and the genuine interest there was in the subject. The film itself showed what can be achieved when communities pull together and we have strong community spirit here in Ireland so it gives great hope for the future despite what the government continues to throw at us.
“The people are coming out in greater numbers now for events and issues such as this which is great to see. The only weapon the government has against us is fear and we are not afraid anymore. So I hope the people come away from events such as this film night feeling empowered to do something about these issues” Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig said.
“I would just like to thank those who attended the event, everyone who helped make the night happen including the staff at Ionad Naomh Padraig, Dobhar, the speakers, the band, those who provided the food and indeed anyone who helped in any way and we look forward to holding similar events in the future.”