herstory is our strength

Blanca Canales was an educator and a Puerto Rican Nationalist leader who may have been the first woman to lead a revolt against the United States.

“We knew that we would not be victorious but we had to hit our oppressor hard to show our determination to struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico, to the other countries of the world….We sent these troops to attack the [police] headquarters at noon and there and then the shootout began. We ran out of bullets and then seized the headquarters with molotov cocktails…I raised the flag of Puerto Rico and screamed “Viva Puerto Rico Libre” to establish the fact that we had proclaimed the Republic…

I was in jail for 16 years and 10 months, almost 17 years. The empire does not give recognition to the political prisoner. I was treated like a common prisoner. During the first eight months I was incommunicado….Time and time again they tried to destroy my revolutionary spirit and to do away with the love I had for my country and the right to fight for her…

The role of the woman is as important as of the man [in the revolution]. The revolutionary woman must act accordingly with the demands of the revolution, be it to arm herself, educate her people, or whatever is necessary.”

—Puerto Rican resistance leader Blanca Canalesa political prisoner after the Jayuya Uprising of 1950, interviewed in 1970

Via Anti-Imperialist League