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“Nosotros No Tenemos Armas Para Echar A Pique Sus Fuerzas Navales,
Pero Tenemos el Arma de Echar a Pique Su Prestigio en El Mundo.” Albizu 1930

HomeResourcesPodcastInterview with Lolita Lebron by Dan Berger

Interview with Lolita Lebron by Dan Berger

In July 2009 Jonathan Lizardi, José E. López, and José Luis Rodríguez from the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago and Dan Berger from Philadelphia traveled to Puerto Rico to interview leading figures of the independence movement. Interviewed were Lolita Lebron, member of the Nationalist Party who served 25 years in prison for the March 1, 1954, attack on U.S. Congress; Nelson Canals, José Fortuño, and Rita Zengotita, longtime organizers for the freedom of Puerto Rican political prisoners; and Juan Mari Bras, cofounder and former secretary general of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. The interviews dealt with the 1970s campaign to free the five Nationalists imprisoned since the 1950s: Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Oscar Collazo, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irvin Flores Rodriguez. While the prisoners remained the focus, the conversations each covered a wide and largely unexplored range of independence activities from the 1950s to the present. Lebron discusses the support she received in prison, Canals explains organizing for the prisoners from New York City to the streets of San Juan, and Mari Bras describes advocating for independence and freedom in the international arena. The interviews were conducted as part of a dissertation that Berger is completing on 1970s prison activism, including the campaign around the Nationalist prisoners.

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