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HISTORY OF AN ASAMBLEISTA
by Monica

(For Spanish original, see Darnos Cuenta, in Spanish section.)
Today is Thursday, the day of the asssembly, and I've told myself I'm going to write this for the next bulletin. .
There's only a little time left, so I'm going to try and synthesize what I've been feeling ever since this whole story began, that is, when I first participated in the argentinazo of the 19th and 20th, and from there, in the assemblies.
In reality, all this began much earlier, maybe even as early as grade school when I confronted everybody in the school
to defend a schoolmate who everyone was making fun of because he was different. It continued with a whole lot of other things, like for example, with a neighbor girl, with skin as black as charcoal ,who on top of everything else was the daughter of a single mother and maid, that the other kids didn't want to play with. Both of us ended up being ostracized, because I didn't agree with this stupid discrimination. And my mom looked at me, perplexed, and said, "Why are you always looking down instead of up? I don't know what's going to become of you, always preoccupied with injustices that don't have any solutions.
And I felt anger and sadness for my mom, who was a victim, along with the rest of my ancestors, of the Nazi persecution and discrimination.
To make it short, I had a questionable secondary school career, having decided on my own to leave an excellent private German school for a public one, and I arrived at university in the subversive years of the 70s.
That was when my father, during one of the interminable family discussions, would pronounce, "someone who is not a socialist at twenty has no heart but someone who remains a socialist at thirty has no brains." Then there was a trip to the simmering city of Los Angeles in 1968, in the times of Black Power, of Malcolm X, of the Black Panthers and of my yankee friends throwing me out of their houses for hanging out with blacks. (These were the same people who had to seek refuge in the States for being Jewish.)
Finally I became a psychologist, with a vast Freudian background. But I resisted adapting "neurotics" to a perverse system and fell into conflict with the entire package. So I decided instead to dedicate myself to other tasks, translations, language classes, radio work, driving a school bus, running a photoraphic library. I had two husbands and raised two kids, both of them also insurrectionists. In the meantime I continued to see low income patients, mostly by donation.
I have refused to get rich off the private "mental health"system, which for a long time I've felt is in need of change, and here I am still trying to change it.
And now, with my indignation and pain sometimes intolerable, I finally find myself with people who are really serious about doing battle against injustice, like the piqueteros and the people I meet with on Saturdays.
And this confirms more and more the sensation that the assemblies are a cauldron for many things, although at many times we get caught up in long and probably unecessary events. They are not just a catharsis for a disillusioned middle class, nor are they forums for nostalgic intellectuals, they are a meeting place for passionate people who want to construct another history, one that is worth it, like for example the story I lived the other day with an incredible and confident MTD piquetero, a solitary tiger, committed to the creative and dignified struggle against unemployment and againt a model that, is implacably, excluding us all.


Monica


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