In the late '60s, conditions for Puerto Ricans in the US reached the boiling point. Faced with racial discrimination, deficient community services, and poor education and job opportunities, Puerto Rican communities began to address these injustices by using direct action. This film focuses on the community of East Harlem, capturing the compassion and militancy of the Young Lords as they implemented their own health, educational, and public assistance programs and fought back against social injustice.
¡Palante, Siempre Palante! documents the period from 1969 through the organization's demise in 1976. Through on-camera interviews with former members, archival footage, photographs and music, the documentary surveys Puerto Rican history, the Young Lords' political vision and actions, and the organization's legacy.
Utilizing oral histories, archival records, and an enormous cache of police records released only after a decade-long Freedom of Information Law request and subsequent court battle, Johanna Fernández has written the definitive account of the Young Lords, from their roots as a street gang to their rise and fall as a political organization. Led predominantly by poor and working-class Puerto Rican youth, and consciously fashioned after the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords confronted race and class inequality and questioned American foreign policy. Their imaginative, irreverent protests and media conscious tactics won significant reforms and exposed U.S. mainland audiences to the country’s quiet imperial project in Puerto Rico. In riveting style, Fernández demonstrates how the Young Lords redefined the character of protest, the color of politics, and the cadence of popular urban culture in the age of great dreams.
Palante: The Young Lords Party is the first book by and about the Young Lords. It features political essays by members, oral histories, and photographs that capture the spirit and actions of the movement. with photographs by Michael Abramson
In 1968 Miguel "Mickey" Melendez was a college student, developing pride in his unique cultural identity as Cuban and Puerto Rican, while growing increasingly aware of the lack of quality health care, education, and housing—not to mention respect—his people endured for the sake of the American Dream. He was not alone. Bringing together other like-minded Latino student activists, like Juan Gonzalez, Felipe Luciano, David Perez, and Pablo "Yoruba" Guzman, Melendez helped to form the central committee of what would become the New York branch of the Young Lords.
Through the Eyes of Rebel Women is the first account of the women members. The Young Lords Organization emerged in the late sixties to fight poverty, racial and gender inequality, and the colonial status of Puerto Rico. Women joined to fight for social justice and fought the "revolution within the revolution" believing that women's equality was inseparable from the society's progress as a whole.
The Young Lords offers readers the opportunity to learn about this vibrant organization through their own words and images, collecting an array of their essays, journalism, photographs, speeches, and pamphlets. Organized topically and thematically, this volume highlights the Young Lords' diverse and inventive activism around issues such as education, health care, gentrification, police injustice and gender equality, as well as self-determination for Puerto Rico.
Young lords Party 13~Point Program and Platform (revised November 1970)
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 ON THE ISLAND AND INSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
For 500 years, first spain and then the united states have colonized our country. Bil-lions 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 VIV A 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 Latino America are part of the war of Latinos against imperialism. QUE VIV A 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 Asian slaved to build the wealth of this country. For 400 years they have fought for freedom and dignity against racist Babylon. 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. They are the ones in the u.s. that are stepped on by the rulers and the government. We each organize our people, but our fights are the same against oppression and we will defeat it together. POWER TO ALL OPPRESSED PEOPLE!
5· WE WANT EQUALITY FOR WOMEN. DOWN WITH MACHISMO AND MALE CHAUVINISM.
Under capitalism, women have been oppressed by both society and our men. The doctrine of machismo has been used by men to take out their frustration on wives, sisters, mothers, and children. Men must fight along with sisters in the struggle for economic and social equality and must recognize that sisters make up over half of the revolutionary army; sisters and brothers are equal fighting for our people. FORWARD SISTERS IN THE STRUGGLE!
6. 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 renewal, highway destruction, universities and corporations. LAND BELONGS TO ALL THE PEOPLE!
7. WE WANT A TRUE EDUCATION OF OUR AFRO-INDIO CULTURE AND SPANISH LANGUAGE.
We must learn our long history of fighting against cultural, as well as economic genocide by the spaniards and now the yanquis. Revolutionary culture, culture of our people, is the only true teaching. JIBARO SI, YANQUI NO!
8. 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!
9. WE OPPOSE THE AMERIKKKAN MILITARY.
We demand immediate withdrawal of all 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 Liberation Army to fight all rulers. U.S. OUT OF VIETNAM, FREE PUERTO RICO NOW!
10. WE WANT FREEDOM FOR ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS AND PRISONERS OF WAR.
No Puerto Rican should be in jail or prison, first because we are a nation, and amerikkka has no claims on us; second, because we have not been tried by our own people (peers). We also want all freedom fighters out of jail, since they are prisoners of the war for liberation. FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS AND PRISONERS OF WAR!
11. WE ARE INTERNATIONALISTS.
Our people are brainwashed by television, radio, newspapers, schools, and books, to oppose people in other countries fighting for their freedom. No longer will we believe these lies, because we have learned who the real enemy is and who our real friends are. We will defend our sisters and brothers around the world who fight for justice and are against the rulers of this country. QUE VIVA CHE GUEVARA!
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 businessmen, politicians, and police. When a government oppresses the people, we have the right to abolish it and create a new one. ARM OURSELVES TO DEFEND OURSELVES!
13. WE WANT A SOCIALIST SOCIETY.
We want liberation, clothing, free food, education, health care, transportation, full employment and peace. We want a society where the needs of the people come first, and where we give solidarity and aid to the people of the world, not oppression and racism. HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!