1,000 Points of Fear: Another Berlin Wall?

While several of the Comadres – especially those whose histories included political activism – were eager to join with pro-immigrant forces, there were also Comadres who resisted this call to activism, feeling that it exceeded the original agenda that had brought the group together, and they remained apart from the protest.

Those who participated hired a plane to fly above the parked cars, pulling a banner that read “1000 Points of Fear – Another Berlin Wall?” The reference, clearly, was to current events in Eastern Europe, with an analogy drawn between the border fence and the Berlin Wall. The banner drew the attention of the media who wrote of it and of the courage of a women’s collective in entering the tension-fraught arena of border politics.

The Comadres were talked about on local radio stations, appeared on the local TV news, and one of their members, Aida Mancillas, was interviewed on National Public Radio. The attention was exhilarating, giving the women a sense that their point of view was being heard, that they were making a difference, and that they were intervening in history. At the same time, however, they felt frustrated at being unable to control the media’s representation of them, at the way that the media edited and cut their viewpoints, trimming them into digestible soundbites to the point of misrepresentation.

Nonetheless, the experience gave them a sense of empowerment, a sense that working collectively was much more effective than working alone, and they felt inspired to do more.

Descripción tomada del texto “Las Comadres. A Feminist Collective Negotiates a New Paradigm for Women at the U.S./Mexico Border” de Jo-Anne Berelowitz, publicado en Genders 28, 1998: web.archive.org/web/20141125001046/http://www.genders.org/g28/g28_lascomadres.html

abril 1990

Manifestación en contra de Light Up the Borders, en Dairy Mart Road, San Diego.

Las Comadres