puerto rican activist

Oscar Lopez Rivera Lands in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar Lopez Rivera arrived on the island nation Thursday after over 35 years in jail in the United States ahead of his long-awaited freedom on May 17.

His American Airlines flight landed in the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport near San Juan at 4:36 p.m. Lopez, escorted by U.S. and Puerto Rico law enforcement officers, was seen handcuffed wearing a red shirt and a white cap. He was escorted from the second level of the airport into a white law enforcement van that drove him to his new home confinement at his daughter’s residence.

The daughter of Oscar Lopez Rivera, Clarisa Lopez; the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto; Jan Susler, Lopez’s lawyer; and U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez held a press conference later in the evening at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico.

Susler laid out the conditions for his home confinement: a low profile, meaning no interviews or public appearances until he is set free on May 17 at 8 a.m.; reporting in and being monitored constantly; no association with anyone with a criminal record, including others who have been incarcerated by the U.S. for fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico; and other conditions which the legal team is still becoming acquainted with.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to play Hamilton in Chicago to honor Oscar Lopez Rivera

When Lin-Manuel Miranda bowed out of the title role in Hamilton last July, he said it probably wouldn’t be the last time he played the Founding Father.

“I feel like it’s not done with me,” he explained. And he meant it.

He’ll return to the part in the Chicago production to commemorate the commutation of Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar Lopez Rivera by President Obama. (Hamilton opened in October in Chicago, with Miguel Cervantes in the title role.)

It’s likely to be a one-off performance or limited run and no dates have been announced. Read more here.

Happy Birthday, Evelyn Mantilla!

Evelyn Mantilla (born February 16, 1963) is an American politician from Connecticut who served from 1997 to 2007 as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives. 

Mantilla was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico and moved to Hartford, Connecticut in 1978. She was first elected to represent the predominately Latino 4th district in a special election held in February 1997, and she served for a time as Deputy Majority Leader. She came out as America’s first openly bisexual state official in 1997. She has held leadership positions with the National Council for Community Justice and the Hartford Sexual Assault Crisis Service. She has received awards from the Connecticut Institute for Community Development and the National Association of Social Workers, among others.

She chose not to run for re-election in 2006 and her term expired in January 2007. She was succeeded by Democrat Kelvin Roldán. Mantilla is also an LGBT activist and advocate for women’s rights.

 Mantilla has been president of her own independent consulting firm, Mantilla Leadership Solutions, which aims to work with the Latino and LGBT populations for business, politics, and issue campaigns. The firm has been active since 1994.

As of 2014, Mantilla has gone back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in Management at the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut under the “Adult Learners” program. Mantilla also currently resides in West Hartford, CT with her wife and two children.


After pressure from Bernie Sanders, Puerto Rican independence activist wins commutation
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been personally campaigning for the Rivera pardon.
By https://www.facebook.com/daveweigel?fref=ts

Oscar Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican independence activist convicted 35 years ago of a conspiracy against the U.S. government, will be freed from prison after President Obama commuted his sentence. Although lower-profile than the pardon of Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of giving classified information to WikiLeaks, the Rivera pardon has another distinction — it was personally campaigned for by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

In May 2016, before the Democratic primary in Puerto Rico, Sanders drew attention to Lopez Rivera’s imprisonment. It didn’t rise to great prominence as an issue, and Hillary Clinton easily won the primary.

But from that point, Sanders was invested in the cause that had also attracted the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and “Hamilton” songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda. In October, Sanders recorded a video with his campaign group, Our Revolution, telling the president that “all over the world, in the United States and in Puerto Rico, thousands and thousands of people are demanding that” the “Vietnam War hero” Lopez Rivera be released from jail.

(Continue Reading)

We did it guys!

Helen Rodríguez-Trías (1929-2001) was a Puerto Rican medic, educator, and activist who has been an influential voice for the women’s health movement. Born in Manhattan and educated in Puerto Rico, she returned to New York where she worked as a pediatrician with sexually abused children and AIDS sufferers.

After realising that the US has been experimenting with unsafe birth control techniques on unaware women from Puerto Rico, she became an advocate for women’s reproductive rights. She also campaigned against the forced sterilization of Puerto Rican women.


“Jorge Luis Flores Sánchez (born February 22, 1974), better known as Nina Flowers, is a Puerto Rican drag queen, DJ, activist, professional make-up artist, and reality television personality who has been performing since 1993. Flowers was born in 1974 in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. He started his drag career in March 1993, where he performed at local San Juan gay venues such as Krash (also known asEros) and Club Lazer. In 1999, he participated in and won both the Miss Puerto Rico Continental and Miss City Lights Continental pageants.[6] His drag name is a tribute to both one of his musical idols, Nina Hagen, and his last name (from Spanish, his last name - Flores - translates to “Flowers” in English)” (x

Aurora Levins Morales (born February 24, 1954) is a Puerto Rican Jewish writer and poet. She is significant within Latina feminism and Third World feminism as well as other social justice movements.

Levins Morales was born February 24, 1954 in Indiera Baja, Maricao, Puerto Rico. Her mother, Rosario Morales, was a Harlem-born Puerto Rican writer. Her father is an ecologist who is of Ukrainian Jewish heritage, born in Brooklyn. She has two brothers, Ricardo and Alejandro.

Levins Morales became a public writer in the 1970s as a result of the many social justice movements of that time that addressed the importance of giving a voice to the oppressed. At fifteen, she was the youngest member of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union and co-produced a feminist radio show, took part in sit-ins and demonstrations against the Vietnam War, guerrilla theater, women's consciousness raising groups and door to door organizing for daycare and equal pay.

She attended Franconia College in Franconia, New Hampshire. Levins Morales also studied at Mills College in Oakland, California, and holds a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies and History from the online Union Institute & University.

In 1976, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she worked at the KPFA Third World News Bureau, reporting on events in South Africa, the Philippines, Chile, Nicaragua and what was still Rhodesia, and on environmental racism, housing struggles, and the movement to get the US Navy to stop bombing Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Levins Morales became part of a radical US women of color writers movement that sought to integrate the struggles against sexism and racism. She began doing coffeehouse readings with other women, organizing poetry series, producing radio programs, publishing in literary journals and anthologies, and eventually becoming one of the contributors to This Bridge Called My Back, where she focuses on depicting the race, class, and gender issues that together shape Puerto Rican women’s identities and historical experiences. Some of her major themes are feminism; multiple identity (Puerto Rican, Jewish, North American), immigrant experience, Jewish radicalism and history, Puerto Rican history, and the importance of collective memory, of history and art, in resisting oppression and creating social change.

In 1986, Morales and her mother and wrote Getting Home Alive, a collection of poetry and prose about their lives as US Puerto Rican women. In part as a result of response to this book, Levins Morales decided to go to graduate school to become a historian. While her dissertation focused on retelling the history of the Atlantic world with Puerto Rican women’s lives at the center, she also did extensive research on the history of Puerto Ricans in California, collecting several dozen oral histories, and preserving early documents of the San Francisco Puerto Rican community. From 1999 to 2002 she worked at the Oakland Museum of California as lead historian for the Latino Community History Project, working with high school students to collect oral histories and photographs, and create artwork and curriculum materials based on them.

In her collection of essays Medicine Stories: History, Culture, and the Politics of Integrity (1998) Levins Morales questions traditional accounts of American history and their consistent exclusion of people of color. She argues that traditional historical narratives have had devastating effects on those it has silenced, and oppressed. In an attempt to “heal” this historical trauma of oppression, she designs a “medicinal” history that gives centrality to the marginalized, particularly Puerto Rican women. Levins Morales strives to make visible those who have been absent from history books while also emphasizing resistance efforts.

In her book, Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas (1998), her goal is “to unearth the names of women deemed unimportant by the writers of official histories”(Levins Morales, p. xvii). Short pieces interspersed throughout the narratives describe medicinal herbs and foods that symbolize the healing properties of the narratives that follow those sections. In this manner she treats historical erasure as a disease that a curandera historian can heal through “home-grown” herbal history. The histories she portrays in the text demonstrate the strength and resistance of Puerto Rican women and their ancestors.

Levins Morales is one of the 18 Latina feminist women who participated in the gatherings of the Latina Feminist Group, which culminated with the publication of Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios in 2001.

In 2011, following the death of her mother and co-author Rosario Morales, Levins Morales moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to live with her father.

In 2013, she self-published Kindling: Writings On the Body through her own Palabera Press.

Nydia Margarita Velázquez (born March 28, 1953) is an American politician who has served in the United States House of Representatives since 1993. Velázquez, a Democrat from New York, is the first Puerto Rican woman to be elected to Congress, and she was the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus until January 3, 2011. Her district, located in New York City, was numbered the 12th district from 1993 to 2013 and has been numbered the 7th district since 2013.

Velázquez, whose father worked the sugar cane fields, was one of nine siblings born in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. During her upbringing, political dinner conversations were commonplace. Her father was a local political activist and she would accompany him to political rallies, starting at a young age. Her father focused on the rights of sugar cane workers and denounced the abuses of wealthy farmers.[1]

After skipping a grade, she entered high school when she was 13. While a student, she organized a protest to draw attention to the school’s dangerous and unsanitary conditions. The protest resulted in the school temporarily closing down so that the necessary renovations could be made.

At age 16, Velázquez enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. In 1974, she graduated magna cum laude and became the first member of her family to receive a college degree. She then went to New York City to attend New York University, where she received a scholarship to study political science. In 1976, she received her Master’s degree.

Velázquez was a professor, first at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao from 1976 to 1981, and then at New York’s Hunter College from 1981 until 1983.

More Information on Nydia Velázquez

Rosa Alicia Clemente (born April 18, 1972) is a United States community organizer, independent journalist and hip-hop activist. She was the vice presidential running mate of 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.[1][2][3]

Clemente was born and raised in South Bronx, New York. She is a graduate of the University of Albany and Cornell University.

Clemente’s academic work has focused on research of national liberation struggles within the United States, with a specific focus on the Young Lords Party and the Black Liberation Army. While a student at SUNY Albany, she was President of the Albany State University Black Alliance (ASUBA) and Director of Multicultural Affairs for the Student Association. At Cornell she was a founding member of La Voz Boriken, a social/political organization dedicated to supporting Puerto Rican political prisoners and the independence of Puerto Rico.

Clemente has written for Clamor Magazine, The Ave. magazine, The Black World Today, The Final Call and numerous websites.[4] She has been the subject of articles[5] in the Village Voice, The New York Times, Urban Latino and The Source magazines. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Democracy Now! and Street Soldiers.[6][7] In 2001, she was a youth representative at the United Nations World Conference against Xenophobia, Racism and Related Intolerance in South Africa and in 2002 was named[citation needed] by Red Eye Magazine as one of the top 50 Hip Hop Activists to look out for.

In 1995, she developed Know Thy Self Productions (KTSP), a full-service speakers bureau, production company and media consulting service. Seeing a need for young people of color to be heard and taken seriously, she began presenting workshops and lectures at colleges, universities, high schools, and prisons. Since 1995, Clemente has presented at over 200 colleges, conferences and community centers on topics such as “African-American and Latino/a Intercultural Relations”, “Hip-Hop Activism”, “The History of the Young Lords Party”, and “Women, Feminism and Hip Hop”. KTSP now includes an expanded college speakers bureau which has produced three major Hip Hop activism tours, “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win” with M1 of dead prez and Fred Hampton Jr.; “The ACLU College Freedom Tour” with dead prez, DJ Kuttin Kandi, Mystic and comedian Dave Chappelle; and the “Speak Truth to Power” Tour a collaborative tour of award winning youth activists.

More Information on Rosa Clemente

Juan Antonio Corretjer (March 3, 1908 – January 19, 1985), was a poet, journalist and pro-independence political activist opposing United States rule in Puerto Rico.

Corretjer (birth name: Juan Antonio Corretjer Montes) was born in Ciales, Puerto Rico, into a politically active pro-independence family. His parents were Diego Corretjer Hernández and María Brígida Montes González. His father and uncles were involved in the “Ciales Uprising” of August 13, 1898, against the United States occupation. As a lad, he would often accompany his father and uncles to political rallies. He received his primary and secondary education in his hometown. In 1920, when he was only 12 years old, Corretjer wrote his first poem “Canto a Ciales” (I sing to Ciales). In 1924, Corretjer published his first booklet of poems.

Corretjer joined the “Literary Society of Jose Gautier Benitez”, which later would be renamed the “Nationalist Youth”, while he was still in elementary school. When he was in 8th grade, he organized a student protest against the United States in his town. He was expelled from his local high school for organizing a strike to have it renamed for José de Diego. Corretjer was then sent to school in the town of Vega Baja.

In 1927, he moved to San Juan and worked as a journalist for the newspaper “La Democracia”. He later moved to the city of Ponce where he published his first two books of poetry: “Agüeybaná” (1932) and “Ulises” (1933). Throughout his life, he wrote for various newspapers and publications in Puerto Rico,Cuba and the United States.

In 1935, Corretjer travelled to Cuba and joined an anti-Batista group whose aim was to overthrow the U.S.-backed Cuban dictator. He also traveled to Haiti and to the Dominican Republic looking for international support for Puerto Rico’s independence movement.

In 1935, four Nationalists were killed by the police under the command of Colonel E. Francis Riggs. The incident became known as the Rio Piedras massacre. The following year in 1936, two members of the Cadets of the Republic, the Nationalist youth organization, Hiram Rosado and Elias Beauchamp assassinated Colonel Riggs. They were arrested and executed, without a trial, at police headquarters in San Juan.

In 1936, Corretjer met and became friends with the nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos. He was named Secretary General of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party

On April 3, 1936, a Federal Grand Jury submitted accusations against Pedro Albizu Campos, Juan Antonio Corretjer, Luis F. Velázquez, Clemente Soto Vélez and the following members of the Cadets of the Republic: Erasmo Velázquez, Julio H. Velázquez, Rafael Ortiz Pacheco, Juan Gallardo Santiago, and Pablo Rosado Ortiz. They were charged with sedition and other violations of Title 18 of the United States Code. Title 18 of the United States Code is the criminal and penal code of the federal government of the United States. It deals with federal crimes and criminal procedure. As evidence, the prosecution referred to the creation, organization and the activities of the cadets, which the government made reference to as the “Liberting Army of Puerto Rico”. The government prosecutors stated that the military tactics which the cadets were taught was for the sole purpose of overthrowing the Government of the U.S. A jury of seven Puerto Ricans and five Americans voted 7-to-5 not guilty. However, Judge Robert A. Cooper called for a new jury, this time composed of ten Americans and two Puerto Ricans, and a guilty verdict was achieved. Corretjer was sent to “La Princesa” prison for one year in 1937, because he refused to hand over to the American authorities the Book of Acts of the Nationalists Party, as result of his political beliefs.

In 1937 a group of lawyers, including a young Gilberto Concepción de Gracia, tried in vain to defend the Nationalists, but the Boston Court of Appeals, which held appellate jurisdiction over federal matters in Puerto Rico, upheld the verdict. Albizu Campos and the other Nationalist leaders were sent to the Federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia.

On May 21, 1948, a bill (Puerto Rico’s Gag Law) was introduced before the Puerto Rican Senate which would restrain the rights of the independence and nationalist movements in the island. The Senate, which at the time was controlled by the PPD and presided over by Luis Muñoz Marín, approved the Bill. The Bill, also known as the “Ley de la Mordaza” (gag Law), made it illegal to display a Puerto Rican flag, to sing a patriotic tune, to talk of independence, and to fight for the liberation of the island. The Bill, which resembled the anti-communist Smith Law passed in the United States, was signed into law on June 10, 1948, by the U.S.-appointed governor of Puerto Rico, Jesús T. Piñero and became known as “Ley 53” (Law 53). In accordance to the new law, it would be a crime to print, publish, sell, exhibit, organize, or to help anyone organize, any society, group or assembly of people whose intentions are to paralyze or destroy the insular government. Anyone accused and found guilty of disobeying the law could be sentenced to ten years of prison, be fined $10,000 dollars (US) or both. According to Leopoldo Figueroa, a member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, the law was repressive and was in violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution which guarantees Freedom of Speech. He pointed out that the law as such was a violation of the civil rights of the people of Puerto Rico.

On October 30, 1950, the Nationalists staged uprisings in the towns of PonceMayagüezNaranjitoAreciboUtuado (Utuado Uprising), San Juan (San Juan Nationalist revolt), and Jayuya (Jayuya Uprising).

Known as the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party Revolts of the 1950s, the revolts were a widespread call for independence by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, against United States Government rule over Puerto Rico. It specifically repudiated the so-called “Free Associated State” (Estado Libre Asociado) designation of Puerto Rico - a designation widely recognized as a colonial farce.

The revolts failed because of the overwhelming force used by the U.S. military, the U.S. National Guard, the FBI, the CIA, and the Puerto Rican Insular Police - all of whom were aligned against the Nationalists. This force included the machine-gunning of Nationalists all over the island, and the aerial bombing of the town of Jayuya. Hundreds of cadets and Nationalists, among them Corretjer,were arrested by mid-November 1950, and the party was never the same.

The themes and inspiration for his poems and essays were devoted to his defense of his native land. Corretjer’s epic poem “Alabanza en la Torre de Ciales” (Praise in the tower of Ciales) (1953), is considered one of the representative works of the “neocriollismo” movement and has had a strong influence on many later poe In Corretjer’s poetry the Taino is no longer an idealized figure but allegory of revolutionary legacy. In the prologue of “Yerba bruja”, Corretjer states it was not his intent to “dig up a mummy” but to bring to light “the splendor of the indigenous imagination that lives on in our own.”

His poetry spans several decades and transcended any particular literary movement. The Puerto Rican Athenaeum awarded him the honorary title of Puerto Rico National Poet.

Oscar Collazo (January 20, 1914 – February 21, 1994) was one of two Puerto Ricans activists of the Nationalist Party who attempted to assassinate U.S. President Harry S. Truman in 1950 in Washington, DC.

Collazo (birth name: Oscar Collazo López) was born in what is now Florida, Puerto Rico. In 1920, Collazo’s father died and his mother sent him to live with his brother in Jayuya. His brother was a member of the Liberal Party which had independence beliefs. When Collazo was 14 years old, he participated in a student demonstration, which the government had made illegal, commemorating the birth of José de Diego, a known advocate for Puerto Rican independence who had died two years before.

In 1932, when Collazo was 18 years old, he participated in another demonstration commemorating José de Diego. This time the main speaker was Pedro Albizu Campos, the president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. That day Collazo was so impressed by Albizu Campos’ leadership that he joined the Nationalist Party and devoted himself to it.

Collazo heard Albizu talk about the abuses of American imperialism, as symbolized by Cornelius P. Rhoads, an American doctor who had written a controversial letter claiming to have killed Puerto Ricans in experiments. Outraged, Albizu had complained to the governor and gained an investigation. (This eventually cleared Rhoads of any crime.)

In 1941, Collazo moved to New York City, which had a large Puerto Rican community. There he met and married Rosa Cortez, a divorcee. The couple had a total of three daughters from previous marriages: Rosa with two and Collazo with one. He worked in a metal polishing factory and led a normal family life.

He met and became friends with Albizu Campos when the latter was hospitalized for a time at the Columbus Hospital. Collazo had become the secretary and later served as president of the New York branch of the Nationalist Party. After he met Griselio Torresola in New York, the two men soon became friends.

On October 30, 1950, Torresola and Collazo learned that the Jayuya Uprising in Puerto Rico, led by the nationalist leader Blanca Canales, had failed. Torresola’s sister had been wounded and his brother Elio was arrested. Believing they had to do something for their cause, Collazo and Torresola decided to assassinate President Harry S. Truman, in order to bring world attention to the need for independence.

On October 31, 1950, Collazo and Torresola arrived at Union Station in Washington, D.C. and registered in the Harris Hotel. On November 1, 1950, with guns in hand, they attempted to enter the Blair House, where the President was living during renovation of the White House. During the attack, one White House police officer, Private Leslie Coffelt, was killed and multiple others were wounded. Torresola was killed by the mortally wounded Coffelt, and Collazo was shot in the chest and arrested.

In prison, Collazo was asked why he had targeted Truman, who was in favor of self-determination for Puerto Rico and who had appointed the first native-born Puerto Rican governor. Collazo replied that he had nothing against Truman, saying that he was “a symbol of the system. You don’t attack the man, you attack the system." He said he had been devoted to the Nationalist Party since 1932 and hearing Albizu talk about the Rhoads’ letter and US imperialism.

In 1952, Collazo was sentenced to death, but President Truman commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. He was sent to the federal prison at Leavenworth, Kansas.

More than two decades later, on September 6, 1979, President Jimmy Carter commuted his sentence to time served, after Collazo had spent 29 years in jail. President Carter also commuted the sentences of Collazo’s fellow Nationalists: Irving Flores, Rafael Cancel Miranda, and Lolita Lebrón, convicted in a later attack on Congress. Collazo had been eligible for parole since April 1966, and Lebron since July 1969. Cancel Miranda and Flores became eligible for parole in July 1979. However, none had applied for parole because of their political beliefs. Upon their return to Puerto Rico, they were received as heroes by the different independence groups.

Collazo’s wife, Rosa, had been arrested at the time of the assassination attempt by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on suspicion of having conspired with her husband. She spent eight months in federal prison. Upon her release from prison, Rosa Collazo continued to work with the Nationalist Party. She helped gather 100,000 signatures in an effort to save her husband from the electric chair.

In 1979, Collazo and the other nationalists were decorated by Cuba’s President Fidel Castro. In the Puerto Rican Cultural Center of Chicago, Illinois is a mural honoring Puerto Rico’s independence leaders; it includes the images of Collazo and Torresola.

Oscar and Rosa Collazo eventually were divorced. She continued to actively participate in Puerto Rico’s independence movement, and in 1984 a commemoration for her fifty years of patriotic work was held in the Bar Association Building. She was also given recognition for her efforts towards the commutation of her ex-husband’s death sentence. Rosa Collazo, who died in May 1988, lived the last years of her life by the side of her daughter Lydia Collazo Cortez.

A plaque at the monument to the Jayuya Uprising participants in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, honors the women of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. Rosa Cortez Collazo’s name is on the ninth line of the third plate.

Oscar Collazo continued to participate in activities related to the independence movement. On February 21, 1994, he died of a stroke, having passed his 80th birthday by just over a month. The guns used by Collazo and Torresola in the assassination attempt are on display at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri.


Eyewitness Ferguson, St. Louis: The people take over the streets

Great report from journalist and Puerto Rican activist Daniel Rivera  in Ferguson, August 15, 2014 (edited lightly for clarity). Note how “Obama-ism” is being carried out by the Missouri State Police at the direction of Gov. Nixon:

1. Greetings. The first link is to several videos from Ferguson. And Ferguson photos below and protests in NYC.  http://launch.newsinc.com/embed.html?

2. Since Sunday Ferguson County, St. Louis, has been militarized. 

But Thursday was different. Thousands of people took over the streets of Ferguson.  

This was the fifth night of angry protests over the murder on Sunday August 10 of young Michael Brown. Brown was viciously murdered by police in Ferguson despite having his arms outstretched completely in the air and did not have any weapons. 

The police have been forced to virtually abandon the streets due to their  unpopularity. 

Moreover, in NYC, thousands marched from Union Square to Times Square, and there were demonstrations in solidarity with the victims of police killings throughout USA. 

3. While members of the New Black Panther Party directed traffic on some streets in Ferguson tonight, the police murderers almost disappeared. This apparent victory has several interesting elements. 

Governor of Missouri Jay Nixon replaced the Ferguson cops with State Police. This is headed by a Black man, Captain Johnson … who moved to the front as part of a march against police killings! Indeed, several Black policemen joined the protest marches. We see this as an attempt to calm the situation and stop the transformation of this massive development into a revolutionary consciousness. Demonstrations have been taking on a more political and militant character every night.

Governor Nixon has been strongly condemned by the State Criminal Attorney Robert McCulloch. McCulloch prefers the hard, bloody hands of the local police. 

Black Liberation Flags appeared tonight, with members of the New Black Panther Party controlling some intersections to direct traffic. 

Furthermore, in the county of 20,000 there are only three (3!) Black officers. Certainly some of the State Police understand institutional racism in the USA and have also been military certainly sympathize with protests. 

But not doubt, at this time, their function is to extinguish the fire and save the bourgeois Yankee racist system. But remember that even Albizu Campos was also a member of the imperial army of the USA. 

And a few months ago, a Black police used his arms and training to execute several racist cops and then also paid with his own life [Christopher Dorner, early 2013 in California].

As the capitalist crisis degenerates, there will be more “Fergusons” and new alliances will be created. 

4. We should add that there have been several reporters arrested, which has shifted to the press, usually conservative and reactionary, against the militarization of Ferguson.

Happy Birthday, José Ferrer Canales!

Dr. José Ferrer Canales (September 18, 1913 – July 20, 2005) was an educator, writer and a pro-independence political activist.

Ferrer Canales was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico into a poor working-class family. Despite the economic hardships his family faced, he was able to attend school. He received his elementary education at the Pedro G. Goyco Elementary School and his secondary instruction at Román Baldorioty de Castro School in San Juan. He attended and graduated from the Central Superior High School. It was very difficult for him because after school he had to work in order to help support his family.[1]

In 1934, Ferrer Canales enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico. During his university years he met and befriended Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. This led to his active participation in the pro-independence movement. In 1937, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Arts, graduating Magna Cum Laude. In 1944, Canales earned his Master’s degree in Arts with his thesis: “Enrique José Varona”. He felt influenced by the philosophic ideas of Varona, Eugenio María de Hostos and José Martí.[1]

More on Dr. José Ferrer Canales

January 24, 2016

Today In History

‘Arturo Schomburg born January 24, 1874, was a Puerto Rican historian, writer, and activist in the United States who researched and raised awareness of the great contributions that Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans have made to society. Aurthur was known as the “Sherlock Holmes” of Negro History.’

(photo: Arturo Schomburg)

- CARTER Magazine

Román Baldorioty de Castro (February 23, 1822 – September 30, 1889) is noted as one of Puerto Rico’s foremost abolitionists and spokesman for the island’s right to self-determination. He received his primary and secondary education in San Juan. He received a scholarship and moved to Spain, where he continued his studies at the University of Madrid. In 1853, he returned to Puerto Rico and began working as a professor at the island’s School of Commerce and the Seminario Concilar. Baldorioty de Castro was selected to represent Puerto Rico at the 1867 Universal Fair, which was organized inParis, France.

In 1870, he was elected as a deputy in the Cortes Generales, the Spanish parliament, where he promoted abolition of slavery. Baldorioty de Castro founded the Partido Autonomista in 1887, but he was only able to work within it for a few months. He was tried and imprisoned in Fort San Felipe del Morro, after being accused of publishing propaganda that affected the Spanish government’s image. He was released after a brief period in jail, but his time in prison affected his health, which contributed to his death on September 30, 1889.

Baldorioty de Castro was born in Guaynabo to a poor family. His family moved to San Juan when he was young, where he received his primary education as a student of the noted educator, Rafael Cordero. After completing his elementary education, he enrolled in El Seminario Conciliar de Idelfonso, which at that time was the most organized institution in Puerto Rico. He spent most of his adolescent years studying, and finished with one of the best averages in his class.

Baldorioty de Castro was granted a scholarship, which he used for further study in Spain. He collected the money necessary to travel and departed to Spain in the company of three fellow Puerto Ricans, two students and a professor. Before establishing a permanent residence in Madrid, the group traveled to several Spanish provinces, where they visited some of the country’s tourist sites. Among the places visited were locations in CordobaSevilleAndújar and Bailén where they met Alberto Lista, one of Spain’s most renowned educators.

The three other students (who traveled with Baldorioty de Castro) contracted smallpox shortly after beginning their academic studies in the Central University of Madrid. Baldorioty de Castro cared for them, but two of the youths died from complications of the disease. Baldorioty de Castro was offered a chance to return to Puerto Rico but he declined. He continued his studies along with the only survivor and graduated with a degree in physics and mathematical sciences from the university. Dr. José Gualberto Padilla together with Román Baldorioty de Castro, founded the Puerto Rican chapter of the Sociedad Económica de los Amigos del País and called it “La Sociedad de Amigos del País de Puerto Rico” (the Economic Friends of Puerto Rico). In 1847 the Sociedad de Amigos del País de Puerto Rico named Baldorioty de Castro the organization’s correspondent in Spain. On March 21, 1851 he was granted permission to transfer to France to continue his studies. Baldorioty de Castro moved to Paris, where he attended the Central School of Arts.

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