Palante!

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Young Lords Party
13-Point Program and Platform

The Young Lords Party is a Revolutionary Political Party Fighting for the Liberation of All Oppressed People

1. We want self-determination for Puerto Ricans–Liberation of the Island and inside the United States.

For 500 years, first spain and then united states have colonized our country. Billions of dollars in profits leave our country for the united states every year. In every way we are slaves of the gringo. We want liberation and the Power in the hands of the People, not Puerto Rican exploiters.

Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!

2. We want self-determination for all Latinos.

Our Latin Brothers and Sisters, inside and outside the united states, are oppressed by amerikkkan business. The Chicano people built the Southwest, and we support their right to control their lives and their land. The people of Santo Domingo continue to fight against gringo domination and its puppet generals. The armed liberation struggles in Latin America are part of the war of Latinos against imperialism.

Que Viva La Raza!

3. We want liberation of all third world people.

Just as Latins first slaved under spain and the yanquis, Black people, Indians, and Asians slaved to build the wealth of this country. For 400 years they have fought for freedom and dignity against racist Babylon (decadent empire). Third World people have led the fight for freedom. All the colored and oppressed peoples of the world are one nation under oppression.

No Puerto Rican Is Free Until All People Are Free!

4. We are revolutionary nationalists and oppose racism.

The Latin, Black, Indian and Asian people inside the u.s. are colonies fighting for liberation. We know that washington, wall street and city hall will try to make our nationalism into racism; but Puerto Ricans are of all colors and we resist racism. Millions of poor white people are rising up to demand freedom and we support them. These are the ones in the u.s. that are stepped on by the rules and the government. We each organize our people, but our fights are against the same oppression and we will defeat it together.

Power To All Oppressed People!

5. We want community control of our institutions and land.

We want control of our communities by our people and programs to guarantee that all institutions serve the needs of our people. People’s control of police, health services, churches, schools, housing, transportation and welfare are needed. We want an end to attacks on our land by urban removal, highway destruction, universities and corporations.

Land Belongs To All The People!

6. We want a true education of our Creole culture and Spanish language.

We must learn our history of fighting against cultural, as well as economic genocide by the yanqui. Revolutionary culture, culture of our people, is the only true teaching.

7. We oppose capitalists and alliances with traitors.

Puerto Rican rulers, or puppets of the oppressor, do not help our people. They are paid by the system to lead our people down blind alleys, just like the thousands of poverty pimps who keep our communities peaceful for business, or the street workers who keep gangs divided and blowing each other away. We want a society where the people socialistically control their labor.

Venceremos!

8. We oppose the Amerikkkan military.

We demand immediate withdrawal of u.s. military forces and bases from Puerto Rico, Vietnam and all oppressed communities inside and outside the u.s. No Puerto Rican should serve in the u.s. army against his Brothers and Sisters, for the only true army of oppressed people is the people’s army to fight all rulers.

U.S. Out Of Vietnam, Free Puerto Rico!

9. We want freedom for all political prisoners.

We want all Puerto Ricans freed because they have been tried by the racist courts of the colonizers, and not by their own people and peers. We want all freedom fighters released from jail.

Free All Political Prisoners!

10. We want equality for women. Machismo must be revolutionary… not oppressive.

Under capitalism, our women have been oppressed by both the society and our own men. The doctrine of machismo has been used by our men to take out their frustrations against their wives, sisters, mothers, and children. Our men must support their women in their fight for economic and social equality, and must recognize that our women are equals in every way within the revolutionary ranks.

Forward, Sisters, In The Struggle!

11. We fight anti-communism with international unity.

Anyone who resists injustice is called a communist by “the man” and condemned. Our people are brainwashed by television, radio, newspapers, schools, and books to oppose people in other countries fighting for their freedom. No longer will our people believe attacks and slanders, because they have learned who the real enemy is and who their real friends are. We will defend our Brothers and Sisters around the world who fight for justice against the rich rulers of this country.

Viva Che!

12. We believe armed self-defense and armed struggle are the only means to liberation.

We are opposed to violence–the violence of hungry children, illiterate adults, diseased old people, and the violence of poverty and profit. We have asked, petitioned, gone to courts, demonstrated peacefully, and voted for politicians full of empty promises. But we still ain’t free. The time has come to defend the lives of our people against repression and for revolutionary war against the businessman, politician, and police. When a government oppresses our people, we have the right to abolish it and create a new one.

Boricua Is Awake! All Pigs Beware!

13. We want a socialist society.

We want liberation, clothing, free food, education, health care, transportation, utilities, and employment for all. We want a society where the needs of our people come first, and where we give solidarity and aid to the peoples of the world, not oppression and racism.

Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

 

For more info on the history of the Young Lords Check out: http://palante.org/

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Puerto Rico Is A Colony Like Palestine, Calle 13 Frontman Says

By AREEJ HAZBOUN and BERNAT ARMANGUE 12/05/13

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Rene Perez Joglar, also known as Residente, of Puerto Rico’s musical group Calle 13, poses for a portrait after an interview with The Associated Press in the West Bank town of Beit Shaour, near Bethlehem, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. Perez has been in the West Bank filming Calle 13’s next video called “Multi Viral.” (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — The frontman for the Grammy-winning Puerto Rican hip-hop outfit Calle 13 said Thursday that he sees similarities between the political situation of Palestinians and those of his own people.

Speaking to The Associated Press in Bethlehem, where he is shooting the band’s latest music video, Rene Perez said Puerto Ricans were linked to Palestinians “because we are a colony of the United States. Here you have the situation with Israel.”

Perez, also known as Residente, added that Puerto Rico and the Palestinians both have “cosmetic” governments.

“Here most people want to be free, they fight for their country,” he said in the West Bank city, the traditional birthplace of Jesus. “It would be good to start building bridges between Palestine and Puerto Rico.”

The Palestinians are currently engaged in peace talks with Israel that they hope will lead to an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, territories Israel conquered in the 1967 Middle East war.

Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory for 115 years and its people have been American citizens since 1917. Residents of the island cannot vote in the U.S. presidential election, have no representation in the Senate and only limited representation in the House of Representatives.

Calle 13 is known for its politically charged lyrics, Afro-Caribbean beats and raunchy dance anthems. The group has won 19 Latin Grammy Awards and two Grammy Awards.

Perez, who performs along with his step-brother Eduardo Cabra, has emerged as a leading antiestablishment rapper and is a strong supporter of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Calle 13 has a long history of lacing social messages over bass-thumping beats.

Perez said he chose to come to the Palestinian territories to shoot the majority of the band’s latest video, “Multi Viral.” He said the song is about manipulation of the media and how it distorts information. He said he worked on the song with Tom Morello, a former guitarist with Rage Against the Machine, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

“I think music never stops being music. It always keeps being music and the message can be social, political, anything,” Perez said.

 

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/06/puerto-rico-palestine_n_4398105.html

Free Oscar Lopez!

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Invited to Harlem in 1990, to four months of being released from prison, the FBI does not allow Mandela to greet the four Puerto Rican nationalists Lolita Lebrón, Irving Flores, Rafael Cancel Miranda and Andrés Figueroa Cordero.

Mandela said of the Puerto Ricans: ”We support the cause of anyone who is fighting for self-determination, and our attitude is the same, no matter who it is. I would be honored to sit on the platform with the four comrades whom you refer to.”

#Freeoscarlopezriveranow #freeoscarlopez #32xOscar #obamafreeoscarnow #obamafreeoscarlopez

A Brief Unity of Purpose: Marching for Puerto Rican Prisoner Oscar López Rivera

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Thousands gathered in Hato Rey, the economic hub of the capital city of San Juan, on Saturday, November 23, to demand the release of Oscar López Rivera from prison. The banner says “Christmas with Oscar back home!” Image taken from the Facebook page 32 x Oscar [es].

November 23 was a gorgeous day. Cool breezes blew through the streets and the temperature was nothing short of ideal on what I expected to be a stifling hot Saturday afternoon. Even the trees on the grounds of the Federal Court appeared to be in on the act, providing shade from the bright Caribbean sun. It was as if nature had conspired to create perfect weather, as if it, too, was somehow in solidarity with the thousands of us who gathered in front of the Federal Court building in Hato Rey, the economic hub of Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan, to demand the release of the country’s longest-held political prisoner.

Oscar López Rivera has been imprisoned for 32 years, and counting, by the U.S. federal government in Terre Haute, Indiana. The charge is “seditious conspiracy,” even though he was never convicted of crimes that resulted in death or injury to anyone. His lawyers have reported he has been subjected to inhumane treatment during his incarceration. They have also said he has been singled out for punitive treatment because of his political affiliations, which prompted Amnesty International to criticize the conditions under which which he and other political prisoners were being held.

And yet, through it all, Oscar’s spirit remains serenely unbroken. So much so, that in 1999 he refused the conditional clemency offered by President Bill Clinton, saying that it would be like being in prison outside of prison.

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Image taken from the Facebook page Free Oscar López Rivera Now.

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An effigy of Lady Justice rises over the crowd at the protest to demand Oscar López Rivera’s release. Image taken from the Facebook page 32 x Oscar [es].

Looking around as more and more people arrived to join the march, I marveled at the diversity around me. The campaign to secure Oscar López Rivera’s release from prison is supported by people from all walks of life, of all ages, and across the political spectrum. Granted, the most vocal sector calling for his release is still associated with the political left. Nevertheless, it has reached to a point where it doesn’t matter if you’re in favor of independence, statehood, or something in between for Puerto Rico.

One of the things that immediately drew my attention was a huge effigy of a Caribbean version of Lady Justice, the famous image of a woman with scales in one hand and a sword in the other that adorns many a courthouse around the world. I remember remarking to my mother how odd it seemed that she wasn’t blindfolded. She said, “Well, maybe they decided to remove her blindfold to see if she is more just without it; it certainly hasn’t worked so far.” The oft-repeated phrase “a nation/country of law and order” came to mind, and I thought to myself how little that actually had to do with justice and doing the right thing. Perhaps the blindfold that Lady Justice is often seen wearing also blinds her to the injustice of the legal system that she stands for, turning her into nothing more than a legalistic automaton.

As in any decent Puerto Rican protest, the mood was festive. Plena rhythms and artistic creativity abounded. Outsiders often find this strange, possibly because they’re more used to protests more serious in tone, more solemn and angry, even when it is a peaceful one. This isn’t to say that people weren’t serious about what they were trying to accomplish, or that they weren’t angry about Oscar López Rivera’s incarceration. Rather, this is a distinct characteristic of Caribbean societies, and in a society like Puerto Rico’s, which, like all Caribbean countries, has historically been oppressed by an external power that tries to build itself up in the minds of people as the model of all that is civilized, cultured, enlightened, and just plain better, there is no more effective way to deflate that power. Humor and the carnivalesque are, in other words, an important form of resistance.

It was only later, when I thought about the poor coverage the march had received in the international mainstream news, that I realized there was no chopper overflying the area. This was mind-boggling, considering that simultaneous protests were taking place in New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC, and that there were a many as 40,000 people gathered to protest in Puerto Rico alone. René Pérez, from the band Calle 13, had lent his support and was participating in the march held in New York. Calle 13′s tweet became the most relevant topic on Twitter related to President Barack Obama’s Twitter account:

Marchando rumbo a Brooklyn. Libertad para Oscar Lopez @BarackObama Free Oscar Lopez! pic.twitter.com/cYtrwsGyqK

— Residente C13/ RC13 (@Calle13Oficial) November 23, 2013

 

I must confess that until about a year and a half ago, I knew practically nothing about Oscar López Rivera. As I gradually learned about him, I couldn’t help but feel that the cause in favor of his release from prison should also be my cause, just as his cause to free Puerto Rico from colonial rule is also my cause, one that I pursue in my own small way every day.

Seeing the unity of purpose show, if only for the briefest of moments, on that Saturday afternoon by such a large, diverse crowd of Puerto Ricans renews my faith that someday we may, perhaps, unite to demand the decolonization of Puerto Rico once and for all.

That, I believe, is the secret to the remarkable resilience of Oscar López Rivera’s spirit: His conscious, defiant resistance that translates into a faith that rejects the nihilism of self-fulfilling despair, in spite of the temptation to retreat into the seductive silence of comfortable passivity.

Video of protests can be seen at link below

From: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/12/07/oscar-lopez-rivera-prisoner-release-march/

Ángel Carrión is a blogger and musician from Caguas, Puerto Rico, currently working on a Master’s degree in the History of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. His current research focuses on the history of music in Puerto Rico and issues related to cultural policy. He has been writing for Global Voices since February 2012. Follow him on Twitter (@angel15amc) and read his blog at dialogolibre.blogspot.com.

“Where the Sea Breathes”: A Letter from Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera

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Oscar López Rivera has been imprisoned in the United States for 32 years on charges of “seditious conspiracy” and “conspiracy to escape” for which he received a 70 year sentence. López Rivera, who is now 70, is a fighter for the independence of Puerto Rico, a colony of the United States. 

Politicians, artists, and human rights activists across the political spectrum have united to ask the president of the United States, Barack Obama, to pardon López Rivera, who has been called the longest held political prisoner in the western hemisphere. In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton offered him a pardon, which Oscar rejected because some of his imprisoned independentista comrades were not included in the presidential pardon. Internationally renowned human rights advocates have called for Oscar’s release, such as the South African Anglican archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize, Desmond Tutu (see video), and the Guatemalan indigenous rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize Rigoberta Menchú.

Every Saturday, the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día publishes the letters that Óscar López Rivera sends from prison to his granddaughter Karina, who he has only met through prison bars. Global Voices translator Kitty Garden translated his second letter [es] titled “Donde respira el mar”, published in El Nuevo Día on September 14, 2013.

To this date, 12 letters [es] have been published.

 

Dear Karina. After my family, what I miss the most is the sea.

It has been 35 years since the last time I saw it. But I have painted it many times, both the Atlantic and the Caribbean, the smiling foam in Cabo Rojo, which is made of light mixed with salt.

For any Puerto Rican, living far from the sea is almost incomprehensible. It’s different when you know you are free to move anywhere and to travel to see it. It doesn’t matter if it is grey and cold. Even if you see the sea in a faraway country, you realize that it always starts again (as a poet once said), and that fish that drew close to your land may pass through this sea, bringing memories from over there.

I learned to swim from a very young age, I must have been about three years old. One of my father’s cousins, who lived with us and was like a big brother to me, used to take me to the beach where he swam with his friends, and would throw me into the water so that I would learn. Later, when I was at school, I used to escape with the other children to a nearby river. All this seems far away now.

Here in prison I have often felt nostalgic for the sea; filling my lungs with its smell; touching it and wetting my lips, but right away I realize that many years may have to pass before I can give myself that simple pleasure.

I always miss the sea, but I think I never needed it as much as when they transferred me from Marion prison in Illinois, to Florence, in Colorado. In Marion, I went out into the yard once a week, and from there I could see the trees, the birds… I heard the sounds of the train and the song of the cicadas. I would run over the earth and smell it. I could grab the grass and let the butterflies surround me. But in Florence all that came to an end.

Did you now that ADX, which is the maximum-security prison in Florence, is designed for the worst criminals in the United States and is considered the hardest and most impenetrable in the country? There the prisoners have no contact with each other, it’s a labyrinth of steel and concrete built to isolate and incapacitate. I was among the first men in this prison.

When I arrived, I was woken several times during the night, and for a long time I couldn’t sleep for more than 50 minutes at a time. There were only four prisoners in that ward, but one of them had a long history of mental problems, and he spent the night and day shouting obscenities, fighting his war against invisible enemies. We were almost always in the cells, we even had to eat in them. All the furniture was made of concrete and none of it could be moved. I didn’t understand how the neighbors in the town of Florence had accepted such an inhumane prison amongst then. But today the prison industry is one of the most powerful in the United States. It makes money, and that seems to be the only thing that matters.

In Florence, at night, the prisoners communicated through a kind of air vent that was close to the ceiling. You had to shout to make yourself heard, everyone shouted and it was very unnerving.

I kept quiet and tried to concentrate on the sound of the waves, I closed my eyes and saw them breaking on Cueva del Indio. The screams in the prison then started to fade. The sea rose and fell like a torso, transmitting its strength and its breath.

I know that some day I will spend a whole night on the coast, and I will wait until dawn begins to appear. Then I would like to do the same in Jayuya, to watch the sun rise over the mountains.

With this hope, in resistance and in struggle, your grandfather sends you a hug…

From: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/12/09/where-the-sea-breathes-a-letter-from-puerto-rican-political-prisoner-oscar-lopez-rivera/