Resisting Puerto Rican Sterilization

1946-1989, Date, Defining the Enemy, Latino, Privatization, Subjectives of Refusal, White Supremacy

In a newspaper article from the Young Lords in 1970, Iris Morales writes about the genocide committed against Puerto Rican women. In 1947-1948, “7% of the women were sterilized; between 1953-1954, 4 out of every 25 Sisters were sterilized; and by 1965, the number increased to 1 out every 3 women.” Morales identifies the United States government and capitalist systems as the perpetrators of this genocide. She states that sterilization is a mechanism the racist government uses to control the Puerto Rican population. She calls on fellow Puerto Rican women and men to work together to raise awareness of this genocide and resist the demise of the future generation of Puerto Ricans.

The Young Lords Expose Murder at Lincoln Hospital

1946-1989, Authority, Defining the Enemy, Imperialism, Latino, Privatization, Subjectives of Refusal, White Supremacy

From the Newspaper Palante, in July 1970s, the Young Lords revealed the death of 31-year-old Carmen Rodriguez, who went to Lincoln Hospital to receive an abortion. When Rodriguez entered the operating room, doctors neglected to view her medical history, which revealed she had a heart condition. The medication the doctors gave her during the procedure was unsafe for people with heart conditions, and Rodriguez passed shortly after receiving the dosage. The Young Lords expose capitalism for gatekeeping food, clothing, and shelter from Puerto Rican communities, which led to Carmen’s necessity for abortion. The neglect in healthcare is an additional example of how American systems fail and murder Puerto Rican communities.

Carmen was forced to go for an abortion because under this capitalist system that which is our right—food, clothing, and shelter—is kept from us. Instead we become the drug addicts, the prostitutes, the ill, and the hungry. What choice does a sister have when she is pregnant, thinking of providing for her child? Will he or she grow up to be a junkie or maybe die in the wars created by amerikkkan greed and madness? We know there is but one choice. Armed self-defense and armed struggle are the only means to liberation.

-Gloria Cruz

Tuberculosis Truck Liberated

1946-1989, Alternative Spaces, Date, Disruptive Spaces, Occupation, Self Institution, Tactics of Disruption

In July 1970, the Young Lords Party followed through with their commitment to occupy and re-create oppressive medical institutions. On June 17, the Young Lords Party liberated an X-ray truck from the Tuberculosis Society. Before the occupation, members of the Young Lord Party had minimal access to x-ray Tuberculosis testing. In three days, the YLP tested over 770 people. The Young Lords Party made the X-ray truck available to the community seven days a week, 10 hours a day.

Health and Heath Care: A Need for Latino Unity 

1946-1989, Consciousness Raising, Self Institution, Tactics of Disruption

In August 1981, the Boricua Health Organization called upon Latino health professional workers in a consciousness-raising effort to discuss the healthcare of the Latino community in the United States. The goal of the unity meeting is to establish healthcare structures for Latino people by Latinos, and to influence Latino students to become leaders in this innovative healthcare movement.

Protest the Infirmary! (Gainesville Women’s Liberation, 1997)

1990-2010, Date, Defining the Enemy, Occupation, Patriarchy, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption, Women

This protest leaflet is from the Gainesville Women’s Liberation movement and is part of a wider effort at the University of Florida to increase women’s sexual autonomy through disrupting the mainstream tactics of the healthcare system to dissuade women from receiving the morning after pill. Female students were asked invasive questions, forced to admit to some fault of their own, or even flat out denied the medication. The students came together at the infirmary and disrupted the movements of those who work at the university infirmary, bringing attention to their goals.

Black Panther Party’s Free Medical Clinic

1946-1989, Authority, Black, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption, White Supremacy

The Black Panther Party created the Mark Clark Free Medical Clinic to assist Black families with gaining access to proper medical facilities. The newspaper article argues Philadelphia’s state-provided medical care is haphazard at best, often resulting in the death and slaughter of Black folks. Those who work at the Clinic are volunteers dedicated to serving the people. The Free Medical Clinic is an example of space redefined- medical care created for Black folks by Black folks, intending to redefine the healthcare system on the terms of the Black Panther Party.

“The federal and local governments are long overdue in recognizing the needs of the people and moving to eliminate the problems. People in ameriKKKa have been sick and broken continuously”

Mark Clark