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

By Temma Kaplan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Memory through
Mobilization

In the week before the Madres' thousandth march around the Plaza de Mayo on 27 June 1996, the Madres' House, on Hipólito Irigoyen down the street from the Congress building, resembled a cross between a socially active convent and a youth center. Simply dressed women scurried about in search of lists they needed to continue their work. Phones rang, and women lowered their voices out of habit, protecting the anonymity of their callers. Journalists waited patiently for the audience promised to them. Teenagers, some with violet hair and black leather jackets, came looking for wires or paint for the huge folk figures and signs they were preparing for the demonstration. A low buzz provided background noise for the action, punctuated by louder questions and statements about Hebe de Bonafini. De Bonafini, who has been the leading spokeswoman for the Asociación de Madres since the 1980s, is a hero to some and an abrasive autocrat to others, including some former allies. Nevertheless, like her or not, she represents the Madres' insistence on telling about the atrocities of the Argentine dictatorship of 1976 to 1983 and continued acts of repression in the present.

At the Madres' House, Hebe de Bonafini was a subject of concern: she had lost weight, her voice was cracking, and her doctors said she must cut back. Outsiders visiting the Madres sat in the small dining room that serves as a waiting room. A journalist and a cameraman chatted as they waited for Hebe de Bonafini to come so that they could take pictures for an article that would help publicize the march. The other Madres offered tea and went about their business.

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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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