attica rebellion

The Young Lords were a Puerto Rican-American revolutionary socialist political party inspired by the Black Panther Party and based off of a Chicago street gang turned revolutionary group. With branches in Chicago, East Harlem, the Bronx, as well as Puerto Rico, they hoped to reunite the Puerto Rican people in American and their homeland and join in the international revolutionary movement to liberate all oppressed people including workers, women, and Third World peoples.

They encouraged the people to be critical of them because they worked to serve the community and wanted to learn from their mistakes to best help the people. The New York Young Lords were divided into five main sub-organizations:

The Puerto Rican Worker’s Federation took the struggle into places of employment in an attempt to challenge and eventually overthrow capitalist economics. The Lumpen Organization worked with the class of people who, through extreme poverty, were forced into drug abuse and crime, and worked to organize within the prison movement, having direct ties to the Attica Rebellion of 1971. The Women’s Union organized around gender issues in the struggle, incorporating the fight against heterosexism and challenging machismo. The Puerto Rican Student Union organized in high schools and colleges, shifting students away from academia and intellectualism and towards real issues. The Committee for the Defense of the Community handled the people’s survival programs, such as free breakfast, health clinics, as well as helping with legal aid.

“We are MEN! We are not beasts and do not intend to be beaten or driven as such. The entire prison populace has set forth to change forever the ruthless brutalization and disregard for the lives of the prisoners here and throughout the United States. What has happened here is but the sound before the fury of those who are oppressed.”—The Five Demands: To the People of America, Attica inmates, September 9, 1971.