Review: Insumisión. Una forma de vida ('Disobedience. A form of life')

Eva Aneiros

Insumisión. Una forma de vidaInsumisión. Una forma de vidaIn 1989 Charo's son Enrique tells her that he is not going to report for duty when they call him up. He explains that “he's against war and all the structures that make it possible and so he was refusing to learn to operate weapons or serve the army in any way”. The Insumisión campaign had just begun and Enrique had decided to be a part of what would grow to be a historic mobilisation, even though nobody could have imagined it at the time. This stance appears quite reasonable To Charo, but she finds it hard to believe that it could cost her son more than two years in prison, until one day the Military Police arrive at her home and take her son away to the Alcalá de Henares military prison. Charo's story of disobedience begins from there.

In Insumisión. Una forma de vida (Disobedience. A form of life. Madrid: Asamblea Antimilitarista de Madrid, 2012), Charo (Rosario Domínguez) tells her story as a mother who decided that if the military took her son, then they would find out what she was made of. She recounts how a group of parents, but particularly mothers, came together to support each other, in order to support their sons and try to understand them. Dozens of mothers of insumisos passed through the group, some only present during their sons' judicial proceedings. Others were around for the entire Insumisión campaign and acted as mothers for all the objectors, visiting those in jail those who were from other cities and didn't have nearby family, taking into their homes the young people who attended the state assemblies of the Objectors of Conscience Movement (Movimiento de Objeción de Conciencia – MOC), protesting with them, going to trials, etc.

The book reveals how the author was transformed from being a “submissive and good girl” to being “insubordinate and disobedient”. How one learns to disobey and question. But this book also takes a journey through the entire Insumisión campaign with press clippings, historical facts, and above all many personal anecdotes of her experiences with her son and with all the pacifist young people who walked the Spanish State with peaceful steps during those days.

Translation: Ian MacDonald