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 Trip to Puerto Rico

1946-1989, Date, Defining the Enemy, History, History/Theory, Imperialism, Latino, Subjectives of Refusal, White Supremacy

In December of 1970, Gloria Gonzales and Denise Oliver took a ten day trip to Puerto Rico. Their experiences, written in a newspaper article, underline the destructive impacts that western colonialism, specially from America, has on Puerto Rican communities. Oliver describes the psychological impact of colonialism and its devastating impact on young Puerto Rican populations. Oliver rejects the influence of western supremacy on the island, and advocates for a independent Puerto Rico.

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 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.

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

Young Lords Socialist Medicine

1946-1989, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Imperialism, Latino, Privatization, Self Institution, Tactics of Disruption, Urban Spaces, White Supremacy

The Young Lords Party identifies the disparities of the United States health system, which neglects the needs of the oppressed in the Bronx. Through exposing the racist and classist oppression within the United States Healthcare system- specifically through the spread of Tuberculosis- the Young Lords create their own methods of healthcare through socialist practices.

“Every Saturday, the Young Lords Party goes door to door in El Barrio and the South Bronx, testing for tuberculosis. Even though t.b. has been eliminated among the rich, the middle classes, and white people in general, it is alive and spreading in the Puerto Rican and Black colonies of amerikkka, the “richest” country in the world”

-Carol Pastor

Young Lords High School Revolt

1946-1989, Authority, Black, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Institutions, Latino, Self Institution, Tactics of Disruption, White Supremacy

In this document, Richie Perez from the Young Lords Party calls upon his Black and Puerto Rican community members to continue to fight for the “return of the educational system to the people.” Perez defines the common enemy as the white-run school system and advocates for a vanguard of students to come together and resist this shared oppression.

“To all our brothers and sisters in school—if your school is messed up, if the administration and the teachers don’t care and don’t teach—don’t let them force you to drop out. Throw them out. The schools belong to us, not to them. Take all that anger and put it to work for our people. Make revolution inside the schools. If the schools don’t function for us, they shouldn’t function at all!”

-Richie Perez

The Young Lords Party: 13-Point Program and Platform

1946-1989, Authority, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Imperialism, Institutions, Latino, Self Institution, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption, Urban Spaces, White Supremacy

In a 13-Point Program and Platform, the Young Lords Party declared their fight for self-determination for Puerto Ricans inside and outside the United States. This program highlights the Young Lords’ dedication to an interconnected liberation of Black, Indians, Indigenous, Asian, and Latinos. Additionally, they demand community control of institutions, land, and education. They reject the American military and capitalism and urge the creation of a socialist society.

Seize the Hospitals! – The Young Lords (1970)

1946-1989, Date, Disruptive Spaces, Institutions, Occupation, Tactics of Disruption

Account of and reasons behind the Young Lords barricading and occupation of the South Bronx Lincoln Hospital in Nov 1970 to set up a community drug program. The occupation aimed to: 1) Implement a drug program that would
serve the community effectively and be run by the community, 2) Provide an educational program that would teach the true nature of our oppression and the connection between capitalism, dope and genocide.

We must begin to ask questions about all the things that affect the lives of Puerto
Rican and Black people. Who can better determine what’s best for ourselves than us?