Taking Back the Streets: Women, Youth, and Direct Democracy

By Temma Kaplan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Searching and
Remembering

On a beautiful spring day in 1991, I went with Mabel Bellucci to march with the Madres de Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Arm in arm, a crowd of about a hundred, mostly women and young people, walked in a large circle behind a line of women wearing white kerchiefs and carrying a banner calling for justice. Many of the leaders had been marching at 3:30 every Thursday afternoon since late April 1977 in an attempt to bring to justice those who had attempted to crush a social movement by destroying nearly an entire generation of young people. 1 After the chants and the repeated circles around the obelisk, people said good-bye and strolled away. Our group, with Madre Nora Morales de Cortiñas in the lead, went to have coffee in a nearby café. Nora de Cortiñas is an energetic, slightly built woman with a sense of purpose in her step. She moves quickly but always seems to have an ear open for an odd turn of phrase or a joke. Her wry sense of humor alone seems like a triumph, since one of her sons was captured and carried off in April 1977, about a year after the Argentine military took power.

One of the few Madres to call herself a feminist, de Cortiñas seems to have egalitarian relations with people of all ages. Not one to demand deference for what she helped accomplish—creating one of the world's; most important movements for social justice and human rights—she doesn't; give deference either. In spite of all her suffering, she has an optimistic nature. As we spoke in 1991, she offhandedly remarked that her husband had suffered even more than she had. Taken aback, I asked

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Taking Back the Streets: Women, Youth, and Direct Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Prologue - Tacking Back the Streets 1
  • Chapter 1 - Staying Alive Through Struggle 15
  • Chapter 2 - Pots and Pans Will Break My Bones 40
  • Chapter 3 - Democracy in the Country and in the Streets 73
  • Chapter 4 - Searching and Remembering 102
  • Chapter 5 - Memory Through Mobilization 128
  • Chapter 6 - Youth Finds a Way 152
  • Chapter 7 - Demonstrating to Remember in Spain 176
  • Epilogue - Mobilizing for Democracy 203
  • Notes 211
  • Index 263
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