patria mirabal

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[The Mirabal Sisters: Patria, María Argentina Minerva and Antonia María Teresa. Sisters from the Dominican Republic who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo through “clandestine activities against his regime”. The Mirabal sisters were assassinated in 1960. In 1999 “the sisters received recognition by the United Nations General Assembly, who designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor.” (Wikipedia)]

Dede Mirabal, the last surviving Mirabal sister, passed away early this month. May she rest in peace knowing that her life and the sacrifice of her sisters have empowered so many. 

¡Que vivan (todas) Las Mariposas!

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Patria, Dede, Minerva, and Maria Teresa–las Hermanas Mirabal– were four public political dissidents who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. They actively organized against one of the most oppressive and bloodthirsty regimes the Americas had ever seen. All but Dede were assassinated in 1960 and the day of their murders, November 25th, stands as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 

For years, Doña Dede cared for a museum honoring her sisters and their memory in the Salcedo Province. She also raised her sisters’ orphaned children. 

She lived to tell the story and it’s one that is a testament to how strong women are. 

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A shout out to my heroes

For those of you who didn’t know, today is the international day for the elimination of violence against women. It was enacted in part to commemorate the deaths of three sisters Minerva, Patria, and Maria Teresa Mirabal who were killed on a mountain road for attempting to overthrow the government. They were seen as leaders of the revolution and it was the results of their actions that eventually freed the Dominican Republic from its dictatorship. Please send love (even of just mental) to their sister Dédé, who was the only surviving sister.

25 de Noviembre: Día Internacional de la No Violencia contra la Mujer.

¡Larga vida a Las Mariposas!

El 25 de noviembre de 1960, los cuerpos de las tres hermanas Mirabal se encontraron en el fondo de un acantilado en la costa de la República Dominicana. Aquel acontecimiento, que fue vendido a la prensa como un trágico accidente por Trujillo, el dictador dominicano que dio la orden de acabar con ellas, contribuyó a despertar la conciencia entre la población, que culminó, seis meses después, con el asesinato del caudillo. 
En honor a estas tres valientes hermanas asesinadas a garrotazos y machetazos, que se habían convertido en auténticas heroínas de la lucha clandestina antitrujillista, se conmemora cada año en esta fecha el Día Internacional de la No Violencia Contra la Mujer, aprobado por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas en diciembre de 1999, a propuesta de la República Dominicana con el apoyo de 60 países. 

Patria, Minerva y María Teresa, así se llamaban las hermanas, nacieron y crecieron en el seno de una familia rural acomodada en el paraje de Ojo de Agua, en Salcedo, el municipio más importante de la provincia que se rebautizó más tarde, y en honor a ellas, con el nombre de Hermanas Mirabal. Estas mujeres, que habían mostrado un interés muy temprano por los estudios, dedicaron gran parte de su corta vida a luchar por la libertad política de su país, oponiéndose firmemente a una de las tiranías más opresoras y duras que tenía Latinoamérica: la de Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, conocido también como «El Jefe», «El Generalísimo», «El Chivo» o «El Chapita», por su afición desmedida por las condecoraciones. A causa de su persistente actividad rebelde, fueron encarceladas y torturadas, a pesar de los cual decidieron continuar luchando para acabar con la dictadura. 
Convencidas «Las Mariposas» –así era conocidas entre sus compañeros de lucha– de que Trujillo llevaría al país a un auténtico caos, decidieron formar el grupo de oposición «Agrupación Política 14 de Junio». Cuando «El Chivo» comprobó que la cárcel no era suficiente para detener aquella actividad clandestina, a la que cada día se iban uniendo más adeptos, decidió acabar con ellas. Eran los últimos años de la década de los 50, en los que se estaba despertando una fuerte inquietud social en toda América Latina, con la caída de varios dictadores y el triunfo de Fidel Castro. Las hermanas Mirabal habían comentado a sus maridos, en una visita a la cárcel donde se encontraban recluidos, los rumores que circulaban en Salcedo sobre la posibilidad que sufrieran un «accidente», como se denominaba entonces a la manera que utilizaba el régimen de ordenar la desaparición de un opositor importante, con la supuesta intención de ocultar el crimen. Uno de los esposos, Manolo, sugirió que debían acabar con los viajes y marcharse a Puerto Plata para evitar el paso por las carreteras, pero ya era tarde: la orden de asesinar a las hermanas ya había sido dada. Cinco miembros del Servicio de Inteligencia Militar detuvieron el jeep en el que regresaban de la prisión, las introdujeron a empujones en un coche y las llevaron a un lugar previamente escogido, cerca de La Cumbre. Eran aproximadamente las 19:30. Allí las mataron a golpes y machetazos y colocaron sus cadáveres en el jeep, antes de arrojarlo por el precipicio. 
Ciriaco de la Rosa, uno de los asesinos, lo contaría más tarde: «Después de apresarlas, las condujimos al sitio cerca del abismo, donde ordené a Rojas Lora que cogiera palos o machete y se llevara a una de las muchachas. Cumplió la orden en el acto y se llevó a una de ellas, la de las trenzas largas (María Teresa). Alfonso Cruz Valerio eligió a la más alta (Minerva), yo elegí a la más bajita y gordita (Patria) y Malleta, al chofer, Rufino de La Cruz. Ordené a cada uno que se internara en un cañaveral a orillas de la carretera, separadas todas para que las víctimas no presenciaran la ejecución de cada una de ellas […] Traté de evitar este horrendo crimen, pero no pude, porque tenía órdenes directas de Trujillo y Johnny Abbes García. De lo contrario, nos hubieran liquidado a todos».

Today in history: November 25, 1960 - The Mirabal Sisters (Hermanas Mirabal) assassinated by state agents in the Domincan Republic. 

They were Patria Mercedes Mirabal, Bélgica Adela Mirabal-Reyes, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal, and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, Dominican women who struggled to end Trujillo’s 30-year rule in the Dominican Republic. They helped form what became the June 14th Revolutionary Movement to oppose the Trujillo regime. Within the group, the Mirabals called themselves Las Mariposas (The Butterflies), after Minerva’s underground name. 

On November 25, 1960, three of the sisters were assassinated on Trujillo’s orders. The Mirabal sisters were the subject of Dominican-American author Julia Álvarez’s 1994 novel In the Time of the Butterflies, a fictionalized account of their lives, which was also made into a movie. In 1999, November 25 was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor.

Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)

Happy Women’s Equality Day!

We still have such a long way to go, but on the day that marks the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed suffrage to American women, I’d like to take another moment to celebrate women who have and still are advocating for equality.

Sojourner Truth (born Isabella “Bell” Baumfree, 1797-26 November 1883)

Was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, in 1828 she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man.She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843. Her best-known speech was delivered extemporaneously, in 1851, at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. The speech became widely known during the Civil War by the title “Ain’t I a Woman?,” a variation of the original speech re-written by someone else using a stereotypical Southern dialect; whereas Sojourner Truth was from New York and grew up speaking Dutch as her first language. During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army; after the war, she tried unsuccessfully to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves.In 2014, Truth was included in Smithsonian magazine’s list of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time”.

Simone de Beauvoir (born Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, 9 January 1908-14 April 1986)

Was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory.

De Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiography and monographs on philosophy, politics and social issues. She is known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism; and for her novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins.

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan (born Rania Al-Yassin, 31 August 1970- )

Is the Queen consort of Jordan. Since marrying the now King of Jordan, Abdullah bin al-Hussein, she has become known for her advocacy work related to education, health, community empowerment, youth, cross-cultural dialogue, and micro-finance. She is also an avid user of social media and she maintains pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. She has two daughters and two sons and has been given various decorations by governments.

Angela Davis (born Angela Yvonne Davis, 26 January 1944- )

Is an American political activist, academic scholar, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Her interests include prisoner rights; she co-founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She was a professor (now retired) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. in its History of Consciousness Department and a former director of the university’s Feminist Studies department.

Davis was prosecuted for conspiracy involving the 1970 armed take-over of a Marin County, California, courtroom, in which four persons were killed. She was acquitted in a federal trial.

Her research interests are feminism, African-American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music, social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons. Her membership in the Communist Party led to Ronald Reagan’s request in 1969 to have her barred from teaching at any university in the State of California. She was twice a candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket during the 1980s. 

Emmeline Pankhurst (born Emmeline Goulden, 15 July 1858-14 June 1928)

Was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating: “she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back." She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women’s suffrage in Britain.

The Mirabal Sisters, Hermanas Mirabal 

(Patria Mercedes Mirabal Reyes 27 February 1924-25 November 1960, Maria Argentina Minerva Mirabal Reyes 12 March 1926-25 November 1960, Antonia Maria Teresa Mirabal Reyes 15 October 1935-25 November 1960, Belgica Adela Mirabal Reyes 1 March 1925-1 February 2014)

Were four Dominican sisters who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and were involved in clandestine activities against his regime. Three of the sisters were assassinated on 25 November 1960. The assassinations turned the Mirabal sisters into "symbols of both popular and feminist resistance”.

In 1999, in the sisters’ honor, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.