by Bill Cecil
Sep 2, 2009
Several hundred people packed an East Harlem church on Aug. 22 to
commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Young Lords Party.
Following the example of, and with the solidarity of the Black
Panther Party, the YLP was founded in New York in 1969 by Puerto
Rican people. It fought against the racism, poverty, imperialism and
capitalism that the youth had become politicized against.
YLP members each gave a brief account of their part in the struggle,
from providing breakfast programs to political education and Puerto
Rican history as well as leading the movement for Puerto Rican
independence and socialism. The YLP occupied a hospital to provide
health services, all the while defending against racist police. The
standing-room-only, multinational, multigenerational crowd applauded
and gave standing ovations to the many examples of the YLP's
revolutionary work. Youth were urged to follow the YLP legacy.
The powerful, moving event was held at the First Spanish Methodist
Churchthe Peoples' Church, which was taken over by the Lords in one
of their first actions. A solidarity message was read from Ricardo
Alarcon, president of Cuba's National Assembly.
NEW YORK YOUNG LORDS 40TH