Young Lords Student Conference

1946-1989, Alternative Spaces, Consciousness Raising, Date, Disruptive Spaces, Tactics of Disruption

The Young Lords established the first National Puerto Rican Student Conference, which debuted on September 22nd at Columbia University. This event marked the first nationwide consciousness-raising event hosted by Puerto Ricans since they came to the United States. The event’s goals were to conduct workshops to teach about revolutionary Puerto Rican history and culture and preach the importance of women and high school students in the revolution. People in these workshops brainstormed specific improvements for each of their respective organizations. 

“Liberate Puerto Rico Now Committees were set up around the country to publicize the fact that Puerto Rico is a colony of the united states and is controlled economically, politically, and culturally by amerikkka. The Committees will be organizing for the October 30th action at the UN to demand independence for our homeland”

Young Lords Community Education

1946-1989, Alternative Spaces, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Latino, Privatization, Subjectives of Refusal

In a newspaper article form the Young lords, Education Lieutenant Carlos Aponte discusses the colonization of Puerto Rican education. When the colonizers landed in Guancia, they destroyed puerto Rican history books and replaced them with American education. The Young Lords refuted this erasure of history by setting up their own educational programs to aid younger generations in learning their roots and especially keeping the spanish language alive.

The Young Lord’s Party Redefines the War on Drugs

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

In a newspaper from 1971, Richie Perez from the Young Lord’s Party discusses the Nixon administration’s policies on “drug control.” Perez argues that Heroine has been an issue harming the Puerto Rican communities for years, However “for the politicians, it didn’t become an “emergency” until heroin spilled out of our ghettos into white communities and into the amerikkkan army.” Perez defines the enemy as the United States government and exposes their negligence.

“Nixon is a liar, and he’s surrounded by other liars and hypocrites. Since 1969, the white house has known about the increase of drug addiction in the army. They have received many reports about this, but instead of being honest and presenting this problem to the people they are supposed to represent, they covered it up”

Richie Perez

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.

Young Lords: Armense para Defenderse

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

Following the creation of the Young Lords in 1969, two members of the party were murdered by American officials due to their resistance. For years Puerto Rican citizens have been “dying mysteriously” at the hands of United States institutions. In this newspaper article, Young Lords member Juan Gonzalez identifies the enemy of the party: privatization and authority. In order to protect themselves and reject their marginalized position, Gonzales influences members to arm themselves in order to reject the hierarchy of power within United States institutions.

Young Lords Occupy People’s Church to Create People’s Defense Center

1946-1989, Alternative Spaces, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Latino, Privatization, Self Institution, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption

In October 1970, Hundreds of Young Lords members occupied the People’s Church, waving Puerto Rican Flags, chanting their support, and demanding that the murder of Julio Roldan be avenged. After the dissatisfaction with the official reports and response to the murders, the Young Lords took the People’s church to create a community space where Puerto Ricans could seek support that was previously denied to them by the United States government. They showed up armed to protect themselves from the mass murder of Puerto Rican citizens by U.S. officials. In their occupation, they set up bail funds, offer draft counseling, and provide lawyers and counseling.

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.