puerto rican independence movement

COINTELPRO

They won’t teach you this is school, but if you want to be a “woke” ally, one thing you should always read up on is the United State’s COINTELPRO program. 

Last night the PBS The Black Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution documentary touched on it and I thought it was important to talk about. Outside there being a general ignorance about the Black Panther Party, it is also important to know the things the government and police did to WARRANT the creation of The Black Panther Party. 

You should be very angry but very awake once you’re done. Because I want you to WANT to learn about it, I’ll only give you a blurb and a link.

COINTELPRO (a portmanteau derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal,[1][2] projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting domestic political organizations.[3]

FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed “subversive”,[4] including anti-Vietnam War organizers, members of black civil rights and nationalist liberation organizations (e.g. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Black Panther Party), feminist organizations, anti-colonial movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader “New Left”.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate” the activities of these movements and their leaders.[5][6] Under Hoover, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO was William C. Sullivan.[7] Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of these programs.[8] Kennedy would later learn that he also had been a target of FBI surveillance.[citation needed]

Groups that were known to be targets of COINTELPRO operations includec

]The COINTELPRO documents show numerous cases of the FBI’s intentions to prevent and disrupt protests against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish this task. “These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations.” One 1966 COINTELPRO operation tried to redirect the Socialist Workers Party from their pledge of support for the antiwar movement.[37]

  • communist and socialist organizations
  • organizations and individuals associated with the Civil Rights Movement, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, and other civil rights organizations
  • black nationalist groups
  • the Young Lords
  • the American Indian Movement
  • the white supremacist groups
  • the Ku Klux Klan (an ACTUAL terrorist group they should have been focusing on)
  • the National States’ Rights Party (an white nationalist group they should have been focusing on)
  • a broad range of organizations labeled “New Left”, including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen
  • almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation
  • the National Lawyers Guild
  • organizations and individuals associated with the women’s rights movement
  • nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch’s Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement;
  • and additional notable Americans.[36]

More on COINTELPRO

Badass Black Women History Month:
Celebrating 28 Black Women Who Said,
“Fuck it, I’ll Do It!”

Day 27: Ella Baker
One Of The Most Important Leaders Of The 20th Century

Ella Baker was a civil rights and human rights activist born in Virginia. She moved to North Carolina as a child and grew up listening to the stories of her grandmother, who had been born into slavery. Her grandmother would recount stories of slave revolts and violent whippings. These stories would guide Ella for the rest of her life.

After graduating college, Ella moved to New York City to escape the oppressive society of the South. While there, she worked as an editorial staff member of the American West Indian News before moving to the Negro National News. She was heavily influenced by the Harlem Renaissance that surrounded her. In 1938, she began her long association with the NAACP. She was eventually hired as a secretary in 1940. She was skilled at recruiting members and raising money, so it was no surprise when she was named director of branches in 1943, making her the highest-ranking woman in the organization. 

Ella, however, didn’t believe in abusing her power. She believed in egalitarian ideals and demanded that the organization decentralize its leadership structure and to aid activist campaigns at a local level. Baker believed that the strength of an organization grew from the bottom up and not the top down. This would be the main reason Ella would face difficulties within the Civil Rights Movement. Ella saw figures like MLK as mere orators rather than democratic crusaders. She believed that the best leaders were among the people and practiced “participatory democracy”

Pretty much, Ella was too much of an anti-elitism badass for groups like the NAACP and SCLC. She believed in a more collectivist model of leadership, rather than making herself the hero. She questioned the gender hierarchy of the Civil Rights Movement and the black community. She once claimed that “the movement made Martin, and not Martin the movement” and often said that MLK had “heavy feet of clay” that delayed progress. Ella Baker was a goddamn real one.

Ella would go on to teach and would influence future leaders like Stokely Carmichael, Diane Nash, and Julian Bond. Even into her older age, Ella still wouldn’t slow down as she helped aid the more radical black power movement of the 1960s and accepted armed self-defense among black people. She would go on to fight for the release of Angela Davis, the Puerto Rican independence movement and spoke out against apartheid in South Africa. 

“You didn’t see me on television, you didn’t see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders.” - Ella Baker

Octúbre Day 6- Daniel Santos, aka El Jefe, was a Puerto Rican singer and composer, as well as an activist! He performed in a number of Caribbean styles but was known for composing boleros. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He and his family struggled financially, and they moved to New York when he was still young. Once, while singing in his shower, he was invited to join the Trio Lirico in 1930. Then, while working at Casino Cabaret, he was invited to work in Cuarteto Flores, where his career started to gain traction. His career was put on pause when, in 1941, Santos was drafted into the army. After his stint in the military, he worked in the Puerto Rican Independence movement and labeled himself a nationalist, in part due to the racism he endured in the ranks. His career once again flourished and he often worked in Cuba and in New York, where he was known to be quite the character and a wild performer. Eventually, he returned to Puerto Rico. Things were not smooth sailing for Santos all the time, as he often spent most f his money on alcohol and women, and even went to jail a few times, but he was still widely adored by many audiences and spent the latter years of his life touring until his death.

Ramon Emeterio Betances

Born: Apr 08, 1827 · Cabo Rojo, PR
Died: Sep 16, 1898 · Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

Ramón Emeterio Betances y Alacán was a Puerto Rican nationalist. He was the primary instigator of the Grito de Lares revolution and is considered to be the father of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Since the Grito galvanized a burgeoning nationalist movement among Puerto Ricans, Betances is also considered “El Padre de la Patria” (Father of the [Puerto Rican] Nation). Because of his charitable deeds for people in need, he also became known as “El Padre de los Pobres” (“The Father of the Poor”).

Since he did tons of stuff, I’ll just do a bullet point list

  • He would redeem child slaves during their Catholic baptism so they could grow up being free
  • He was a medical doctor and surgeon
  • He was one of the first social hygienist of the island
  • During one of the cholera outbreaks in Puerto Rico, he was one of the five doctors attending the town of Mayaguez, which was struck significantly harder than the rest, with a population of 24,000. It is said that he had so many house calls that he would exhaust four horses daily.
  • He was one of the mayor figures between Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico in their independence movements, even serving as a Dominican diplomat, and being asked to also represent Cuba by José Martí in France, though he was born in Puerto Rico.
  • As noted above, he would become the primary instigators of the revolutionary movements, he wrote a short Declaration of Independence, which contains one of his most famous text: “The Ten Commandments of Free Men,” which in full reads:
    • “Puerto Ricans
      The government of Mme. Isabella throws upon us a terrible accusation.
      It states that we are bad Spaniards. The government defames us.
      We don’t want separation, we want peace, the union to Spain; however, it is fair that we also add conditions to the contract. They are rather easy, here they are:
      The abolition of slavery.
      The right to vote on all impositions.
      Freedom of religion.
      Freedom of speech.
      Freedom of the press.
      Freedom of trade.
      The right to assembly.
      The right to bear arms.
      Inviolability of the citizen.
      The right to choose our own authorities.
      These are the Ten Commandments of Free Men.
      If Spain feels capable of granting us those rights and liberties, they may then send us a Captain General, a governor…made of straw that we will burn in effigy come Carnival time, as to remember all the Judases that have sold us until now.
      That way we will be Spanish and not otherwise.
      If not, Puerto Ricans-HAVE PATIENCE!, for I swear that you will be free.”
  • The Grito de Lares event was in part led by him, which made Puerto Rico an unofficial independent and sovereign country… for about a day, since the rebellion was quickly stopped.
  • He died a few months after the US occupation of Puerto Rico in the Spanish-American War due to a kidney infection (he would’ve lived longer had there been hemodialysis at the time).
  • Frustrated by what he perceived as the unwillingness of Puerto Ricans to demand their independence from the United States while the island territory was annexed (the event occurred just days before his death), he uttered his final political stance: “No quiero colonia, ni con España, ni con los Estados Unidos” (“I don’t want a colony status, neither with Spain nor with the United States”). When reminded by de Hostos through a letter of what was happening in the island, he responded, highly frustrated, with a phrase that has become famous since: “¿Y qué les pasa a los puertorriqueños que no se rebelan?” (“And what’s wrong with Puerto Ricans that they haven’t yet rebelled?”)

I’ll admit that I copy-pasted some of the stuff here from Wikipedia, but it’s kinda late at night right now, and the information is legit. His wiki page is surprisingly long too, so there’s tons of stuff here to read and share.

Listen to a rare English translation of a 1950 speech by Pedro Albizu Campos, popularly known as Don Pedro, the former head of the Nationalist Party and leader of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Today marks the 50th anniversary of his death. Visit democracynow.org for more coverage.

Made with SoundCloud

‘Death to the Klan - Statewide Anti-Klan Conference And Demonstration’, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee / Committee to Free the Pontiac Brothers, San Francisco, [1981]. Co-sponsors included New Movement in Solidarity with Puerto Rican Independence and Socialism, Women Against Imperialism, Zimbabwe African National Union, and the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika.

“Get not a single thing scrambled…..those right wing gusanos in Miami celebrating Fidel’s death are not "the Cuban people”…….

Those are the cousins of the white population of the U$ celebrating Trump’s ascension to the presidency who just happen to speak Spanish.

Those are the wealthy white landowning elite who wished death on Fidel for decades, because he expropriated their sugar plantations and armed their slaves, and their soldiers, cops and torturers, who fled going before the firing squad for the crimes they committed during the rule of Batista.

Those are the mercenaries and wanna-be “soldiers of fortune” who attempted to invade the island several times after the revolution and got their asses handed to them, and who were happily used by the U$ government to attack the Puerto Rican independence movement, and to train fascist death squads in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Chile.

When they came to Miami in the late 1950s, Florida was still very much a segregated state, and many of those gusanos were quite upset about not being allowed into the KKK.

Please don’t let your north amerikkkan-induced myopia and lack of knowledge of the rest of the world further confuse you.“ Danny Dos Paltas

Father of the Puerto Rican Independence movement, Pedro Albizu Campos was the leader of the Puerto Rican nationalist party that fought to free the island of its colonial status. Facing prejudice through out his life from segregation in the Army in World War I to delays for receiving his degree in law from Harvard, Campos -for his so-called radical beliefs-was imprisoned for a long portion of his life as well a tortured with radiation while imprisoned. His legacy lives on! His sacrifices as leader and nationalist fervor as pertinent historical leader still inspires Puerto Ricans today to fight for the Independence movement.

The National Brown Berets are a Chicano community based organization that was formed during the Chicano movement of the late 60’s in California. When formed, their agenda was to fight police harassment, inadequate public schools, inadequate health care, inadequate job opportunities, minority education issues, lack of political representation, and the Vietnam War. Units still exist in most sections of California and a few in other southwestern states. Comprised of mostly youth and college students, in the 1960s the Brown Berets were known to organize free clinics and free breakfast programs. They were a part of the Rainbow Coalition, an alliance of other social justice organizations including the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords (Puerto Rican independence movement).

For More Info Search: Brown Berets; Chicano movement; Chicano!

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.