Anarchism and Socialism in Puerto Rico

From From Below Podcast

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Interview and discussion with historian Jorell Meléndez-Badillo on the history of anarchism and socialism in Puerto Rico covering the early 20th century, the rise of urban and rural workers movement, feminism and figures such as Luisa Capetillo, the rise of the nationalist movement and discussion of contemporary activism since the impact of Hurricane Maria. Hosts Markie and Pedro relate the discussion to themes of historical memory, woman in the Sandinista revolution and more.

Jorell Meléndez-Badillo is a historian and assistant professor at Dartmouth College focusing on the global circulation of radical ideas from the standpoint of working-class intellectual communities in the Caribbean and Latin America. He is the author of “Voces libertarias: Orígenes del anarquismo en Puerto Rico.” (PDF version)

Puerto Rican historian Jorell Meléndez-Badillo

Related links:

Women in the Revolution: The Forgotten History of Las Sandinistas

Interview with Alondra in “Feminism Against Capitalism” episode

Voces Libertarias: The Economic, Political and Social Discourse of Puerto Rican Anarchism, 1900-1917 by Jorell

Luisa Capetillo, a short biography

Juana Colón, two sources referencing her: here and here

Puerto Rican feminist group La Colectiva

A review by Rod Jackman of Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921.

Audio clip taken from: UPR marcha estudiantil Papel Machete y estudiantes frente a la alcadia de San Juan 12 de diciembre de 2010

Our next episode will feature Mark Bray, the author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, on anarchism, power, occupy and the state.


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There are 6 Comments

what's to say of a

pant-wearing homophobe's

centenarian ghost?


what's to say of a

few unknown zine makers lost

pages turned to dust?


lauded history

of "radical resistance",

anarchist affront.


are nationalists

emboldened by rusty guns

idols to be praised?


are marxists with bombs

furnishing statist projects,

anarchist stand-ins?


the topic's thinning,

let's include worker's unions

and the peasant's strife.


in lieu of anarchs,

d.i.y. projects by the

people who vote still.


the protesting mass

wearing different colors

is anarchist too?


professor and punk,

verily much he has thunk;

he must have been drunk.

it's all fine as far as you're latino-american,


or probably Black.

or a woman.

and more importantly than women, if you're LGBTTWQHEKD+

but a White cis male above 30 years old? I'm callin antifa right away, or we'll just let you rot in the void, depending on how I feel.

After a brief interval of the crowd chanting “Police, join us!” (¡Policía únete!), a young man grabs the megaphone and addresses the cops:

“The government is a corporation of the people, which means you work for the people, don’t forget that. The government belongs to the people, we pay taxes, it’s not for free. Never forget that. You are going against your own boss; that is an anarchy.”

[second video in the article linked below, timestamp 0:37:10 ]

Wow, mindblown. Cops are real anarchists.

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