Friday, 29 September 2000

From "Radcliffe and Guatemalan Women"

By Hannah Weiner.

Health care is a business
The army kidnapped or murdered their husbands
There should be something more human about it
Women have assumed responsibility for caring for children not their own
Today with jet planes filling the skies
Women participate along with men in village meetings
If we have any vision of a flourishing economic world
They do guard duty and set up traps for the enemy
When we were still emerging as a world power
Sabotage measures digging trenches; they devise warning signals and flight plans for the villagers
Our own economic policies
Women work in literacy campaigns among women
We can again take the offense seeking a global market
They care for the gunshot wounds of the villagers
In the aftermath of the last great economic crises
Hundreds of women -- with infants on their backs -- sabotaged several miles of the highway
But today we have a new generation
Definitive liberation from U.S. imperialism and local dictatorships
Confidence is the most precious asset
She helped educate the other women and children
To exercise strong supervision and regulation
In meetings with the women she would act as translator
The lessons of financial crises
There is a lot that women can do in this struggle, which is everyone's struggle
A strong sense of business integrity
She saw members of her family murdered by the army
To protect the public at large
She became a member of the popular movement
My own alma-mater since the days of President Wilson
I started working for a living when I was eight years old, on the plantations
Have shared that tradition
I could no longer bear the expression of pain on my mother's face. She was always exhausted
In the end it's a matter of respect
My wage, when I started, was twenty cents a day
The responsibility of government
When I was eleven, two of my little brothers died on the plantation from malnutrition and sickness
Bettering the lot of our communities
We used to get up at three in the morning
Stability and continuity
For breakfast we had tortillas with salt
Larger national purposes
Customs dont permit a young girl to walk alone
My concern is with economics as a responsibility of government
For us, the earth is sacred
We will succeed
When I was fifteen, in 1973, my father was arrested for the first time
They can call on a lot of PHD's for technical abilities
It was all the rich who persecuted us campesinos
Let's make the most of them
He suffered a lot of pain and could not work in the fields
For all those women throughout the world who are torn by political and economic revolution and by attacks against home and family
We taught the children how to guard the road during the day
A truly liberating education
Soon afterwards my father was killed...burned alive inside the embassy
With an appreciation of the humanistic worlds
My mother died three months later. The military chief raped her and tortured her like they did to my brother
I am very proud of the history of Radcliffe
They placed her under a tree and her body became infested with worms
Radcliffe has done so well, in fact
The troops stayed until the vultures and dogs ate her
Most Radcliffe women today
The only thing I can do is struggle, to practice that violence which I learned in the Bible
The studies to improve women's higher education
The rich and the army say that all of us Indian people are communists.... So for our own safety...we have stopped wearing our Indian dress
We are grateful to you alumnae
In 1970-71, when thousands of workers and peasants "disappeared" political assassination became a daily reality
It was an intimidating institution
The struggles waged by the teachers movement are intense
An outward veneer of academic success
Teenagers, as well as mature and even elderly women, take part in demonstrations
A lot more self assurance than I had at first perceived
The association of Families of the Disappeared was able to operate until 1974, when its legal advisor was assassinated
I redirected my career
Along with disappearances, kidnappings and torture, women (including girls of 14 and 15 and even elderly women) are raped
We are now reaching the point in our lives
Not only are women raped, they are also blinded
A woman should not draw attention to her achievement
Yet another form of torture is the firing of machine-gun rounds into the vagina
Those of us who pursued active careers
I know that a disappearance means almost certain death
In contrast we have been freed
People turn up badly tortured. They obviously suffered terribly before they died
It is clear that young women today
It was engineered, as we all know, by the CIA. I mean the CIA says this quite frankly
They are making far fewer early marriages
Peasant self-defence league--the CUC or Committee for Peasant Unity
The super woman approach places a tremendous burden
How old was she when she disappeared? Sixty five
We would like to be later-day Renaissance women
Indians in Guatemala are among the most down-trodden human groups
To work for the virtual irradication of tuberculosis
The supposedly democratic elections are nothing but an incredible farce. You have nothing except the right and the far right
I had such a wonderful life
We do not want American military aid to Guatemala renewed
This award is really a tribute
The CUC has local committees in small settlements, hamlets, villages and even in the city where there are poor people
And was I think a great teacher
We women participate equally with men
Learning was a wonderful background
4,000 peasants participated with us demanding this wage. Many of them were assassinated, kidnapped and threatened
He taught me what research was all about
How long did the strike last? It lasted a month or more
We're coming to the close of a wonderful afternoon

1 comment:

Majid Ali said...

It is a good thing that even in high school, there are so many subjects to offer for students to learn.