MASS ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES
HOUSING LAW: The Sandinista Block Committees organized large assemblies and "Face the People" forums in which the Housing Law was amply discussed.
GRASSROOTS DEMONSTRATIONS: Between February 1 5, demonstrations were held in protest of the military exercises called Big Pine. On February 2, more than 100,000 persons participated in a massive demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Managua. Throughout the country there were demonstrations and mobilizations for the Augusto C. Sandino Ideological Study Week. The week ended in Ocotal on February 21, with a demonstration in which more than 50,000 persons participated.
ANDEN: (Nicaraguan National Teachers Association) The Association celebrated its anniversary on February 4, with a speech by Commander Tomas Borge who defined the significance of education and its importance as an ideological heritage of the Revolution. This speech was considered, in one way, to be an answer to a previous document put out by the Episcopal Conference. The ideological debate on education continues.
AMNLAE: (Nicaraguan Women's Association) On February 12, AMNLAE held a Commitment Assembly and handed out membership cards to more than 3,000 outstanding women in the department of Managua. The Assembly was part of a consolidation process of its internal structures. More than 5,000 persons, principally women, participated in the Assembly. Assemblies of this nature had already been carried out in the other departments.
SANDINISTA POPULAR MILITIA: On February 26, in honor of the Militia's third anniversary, a march to Masaya was held followed by a demonstration in that city. On that same day, the first military training course of 1983 was opened for militia members.
SANDINISTA WORKERS CONFEDERATION: (CST) On February 25 and 27, the CST held its First National Constitutive Assembly with more than 400 delegates present, chosen from throughout the country and representing factories, industries and trade unions from all the departments. The Assembly elected a National Council and a National Secretariat. Those persons who already held these offices were confirmed in them, and the Secretary for the Managua CST was elected to the Secretariat. The Assembly also presented and approved a Statement of Principles which will be discussed later at the grassroots level. The Statement is an operational plan for 1983 and includes eight general policies: e.g., revision of the salary scale; improvements in the bargaining power of the union; participation in the 4th-grade adult education classes; recognition of the work of the innovators' movement; etc. The Assembly was seen as the end of a six month process of democratizing the union from the bottom up.
HEALTH CAMPAIGNS: More than 6,500 health posts were set up for the vaccination campaign, and more than 35,000 volunteers who had participated in month long workshops of specialized training were at the posts.
GRASSROOTS PARTICIPATION AS MAJOR FACTOR IN COFFEE AND COTTON HARVESTS: On February 6, Matagalpa was the scene of the closing act for the volunteer coffee pickers. About 11,000 persons were there (although the total of volunteers was actually greater). During the actual harvest, eight persons were killed by Somocista units, among them two children under thirteen years of age. There were also various kidnappings and a number of disappearances as a result of the action of these units. Approximately 20,000 volunteers took part in the cotton harvest.