24th March 2011
Mothers of the Disappeared
We went to the Plaza de Mayo at 3 pm for the march of the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo which has taken place every Thursday since 1977. An impressive and moving demonstration of the impact of passive resistance. It is not surprising that in this gentle country, which loves its children, these mothers could bring down a military regime. Not surprising but very brave of the mothers, several of whom also disappeared. The original mothers, now elderly women, walk at the front and are the only ones to wear the scarves. Images of the scarves are painted onto the pavement (photo above right). The mothers have become an icon of democratic Argentina.
You can hear the mothers calling the names of individuals who disappeared.
The crowd responds “presente” after each name to indicate
the disappeared have not been forgotten.
National Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice
Leaving the Plaza de Mayo, we passed through a huge and political march for the National Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice. A huge and energetic gathering, with a sombre backdrop of people walking around with pictures of the disappeared.
Concert by Placido Domingo
In the evening we went to a free outdoor concert given by the famous tenor. The stage had been setup by the Obelisk, and seating for about 50,000 and about the same standing or sitting on the grass. Huge display screens and many speakers provided closeups of the singers and the symphony orchestra.
Placido Domingo sings with Virginia Tola
( See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFJG0s66Chc )
The enthusiastic crowd of about 100,000 obviously enjoyed the performance which was extended by many encores. The evening came to an end when Placido brought his grandchildren onto the stage, and the cameras panned to show the Las Madres de la Plaza des Mayo, the original activist mothers in white head scarves, who had watched the performance from the front row.