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

By Temma Kaplan | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE
Mobilizing for Democracy

This book ends where it began, with idealistic women and young people seeking justice and overcoming fear through direct action and storytelling. Despite over three decades of work on social movements, transitions to democracy, and popular struggles for human rights, few people concerned with social justice and democracy view demonstrations by women and young people as more than episodic, a strategy to be used as a last resort when it is impossible to impede government action by any other means. But many organizers, including Hebe de Bonafini, leader of the Asociación de Madres de Plaza de Mayo, are beginning to think that the ability to move into the streets quickly is the only way societies can protect themselves against government abuses and even state terrorism. 1 Imagining a separate political sphere, a fifth estate in which ordinary citizens can put pressure on their government regarding major issues, large numbers of women and young people have voted with their feet in the public squares of their countries.

The idea of public spaces in which democracy can be enacted develops from debates that critics, including feminists, have carried out with social theorist Jürgen Habermas. 2 Applying his theory to conditions beyond the eighteenth-century bourgeois public sphere he described has led feminists and other critics to think about the variability and multiplicity of public spheres. 3 Some observers have recognized the streets, mass meetings, and holiday celebrations as places and gatherings where people act out alternative visions of society. Historian Elsa Barkley

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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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