Act of Repudiation
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    September Returns: a Month of Repression Against the Ladies in White

    September Returns: a Month of Repression Against the Ladies in White /

    Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

    Translator: Unstated, Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

    For years Neptune Street in Central Havana, in the capital of the

    country, has been turned into a stage for the orchestrated Acts of

    Repudiation against the "Laura Pollán Toledo Ladies in White Movement."

    The present month will not stray far from its dismal history, according

    to what its own members describe, along with some activists

    close to this women's movement, created after the well-known Black

    Spring of 2003.

    The street has once again been taken, its usual traffic diverted, and

    access permitted only to those performing in the repudiation rally

    organized against these peaceful women. The screams and the help of

    audio equipment are part of this terrible stage set directed by the

    Cuban political .

    Insults and obscene words are heard on the lips of the actors who, in

    many cases, are forced to form a part of the theatrical work, under

    threats of losing their jobs or their studies, just to cite an example.

    Despite these constant acts of unscrupulous people, the Laura Pollán

    Toledo Ladies in White Movement will not cede under any conditions. Its

    brave and heroic women stand at the windows and doors and don't remain

    silent against the official chorus.

    Last September of 2011 was a terrible month for this movement which was

    attacked in the worst way, with those participating in the act of

    repudiation physically dragging and attacking the women they found

    there, united in their desire to pray for the release of all the

    political prisoners. One of the women assaulted was Laura Pollán Toledo,

    the leader of this movement, who became mysteriously ill shortly after

    being scratched by one of the euphoric attackers. A month later in

    unknown conditions this woman, committed not only to the of her

    husband but to the freedom of a nation, died.

    Today Berta Soler occupies the place left by Laura and in tribute to her

    has renamed the movement that she created years earlier and which she

    led all that time.

    September month of horrors, led by people who don't hesitate to block

    the women who worship the Virgin of Mercy, patroness of captives.

    Venerated by everyone within and outside our nation.

    A single question comes to my mind at these times. How many violent

    Septembers do we have still to live? I ask God to return Neptune street

    to normality, for the hatred between Cubans to disappear, and more than

    this, for the next September to not see an meeting in

    front of the abode of a woman like Laura, an example of dignity and

    decorum, but rather than at a future gathering the hands of all will

    carry gladioli and remembrance and homage to each one of these brave

    Cuban women.

    September 24 2012

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