An anarchist perspective on Puerto Rico

This video is a conversation providing an anarchist perspective on Puerto Rico and the history of the Puerto Rico independence movement, with a Puerto Rican anarchist. Note this is a casual unscripted conversation intended as a contribution to a broader discussion, without the depth of research typical of my usual videos. However, my views have been informed by the sources listed below.

Abraham, Jenaro. “Puerto Rico’s New Leftist Alliance Poses a Threat to US Imperialism.” NACLA, 19 December 2023.

Amiri, Farnoush, and Dánica Coto. “House Approves Referendum to ‘decolonize’ Puerto Rico.” AP News, 15 December 2022.

Anderson, Jon Lee. “The Dream of Puerto Rican Independence, and the Story of Heriberto Marín.” The New Yorker, 27 December 2017.

Anglada Cordero, Pedro. “The Power of Solidarity and Mutual Aid: Decolonizing Puerto Rico by Pedro Anglada Cordero.” The Institute for Anarchist Studies, 17 May 2022.

Awartani, Sara. “And We Reject: Meditations on Gaza, Solidarity and Latinx Studies.” The Latinx Project at NYU, 16 January 2024.

Badillo, Jorell A. Meléndez. “Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921.” JSTOR, 2013.

———. “Kirwin R. Shaffer. 2013. Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921.” Caribbean Studies 41.2 (2013).

———. “Voces Libertarias: The Economic, Political and Social Discourse of Puerto Rican Anarchism, 1900-1917.” Theory In Action 5.4 (2012): 6.

Badillo, Jorell A. Meléndez, and Nathan J. Jun. Without Borders or Limits: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Anarchist Studies. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

Brás, Dani. “Research Guides: World of 1898: International Perspectives on the Spanish American War: The Changing of the Guard: Puerto Rico in 1898.” Library of Congress, n.d.

Buhle, Paul. “The History of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Movement.” Progressive.Org, 1 September 2023.

Camona Báez, Antonio. “Boricua’s Revolutionary Inspiration | Solidarity.” Marxists, August 2015.

Coco. “‘We Either Organize or We Die, Our Lives Depend on This!’ – Reflections on Anarchism in Borikén (Puerto Rico) after Hurricane Maria and #RickyRenuncia | The Final Straw Radio Podcast.” The Final Straw Radio Podcast, 1 September 2019.

Conatz, Juan. “Anarchy in Puerto Rico | Libcom.Org.” Libcom, 5 February 2015.

Coto, Danica. “Puerto Rico Capital Gridlocked by Protesters Demanding Governor’s Resignation.” San Francisco Chronicle, 22 July 2019.

DesRochers, Aly. “Research Guides: Yo Soy (I Am): The Historical Trajectory of Language in Puerto Rico: English Language Influence.” Research guide, n.d.

Díaz, Jaquira. “Let Puerto Rico Be Free.” The Atlantic, November 2022.

Jun, Nathan, and Jorell Meléndez-Badillo. “Without Borders or Limits: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Anarchist Studies” (2013).

Laguarta Ramírez, José A. “Mapping the Radical Imagination.” New Politics XIX.3 (2023).

LeBrón, Marisol. “Knowledge Produced in the Margins: An Interview with Jorell Meléndez-Badillo – The Abusable Past.” The Abusable Past, 5 January 2022.

Martínez, Rubén Berríos. “Independence for Puerto Rico: The Only Solution.” Foreign Affairs 55.3 (1977): 561–83.

Masucci, Justin J. “Masucci on Shaffer, ‘Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921’ | H-Net.” H-Net, January 2018.

Medina, Alberto C. “The Case for Puerto Rican Independence.” Current Affairs, 5 April 2024.

Melendez Badillo, Jorell. “Orígenes Del 1ro de Mayo En Puerto Rico.” Claridad: El Periódico de La Nación Puertorriqueña 3 (2012): 26–29.

Meléndez Badillo, Jorell A. “Voces Libertarias: Orígenes Del Anarquismo En Puerto Rico.” (No Title) (2014).

Meléndez-Badillo, Jorell. “A Party of Ex-Convicts: Bolívar Ochart, Carceral Logics, and the Socialist Party in Early Twentieth-Century Puerto Rico.” Hispanic American Historical Review 101.1 (2021): 73–99.

———. “Cuba and Puerto Rico: Transdisciplinary Approaches to History, Literature, and Culture.” Duke University Press, 2024.

———. “Labor History’s Transnational Turn: Rethinking Latin American and Caribbean Migrant Workers.” Latin American Perspectives 42.4 (2015): 117–22.

———. Puerto Rico: A National History. Princeton University Press, 2024.,

———. “Puerto Rico and Disasters-Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm. Edited by Yarimar Bonilla and Marisol LeBrón. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2019. Pp. Xiii, 384. Illustrations. Index. 17 Paper.” The Americas 77.4 (2020): 650–52.

———. Puerto Rico: Historia de Una Nación. Planeta México, 2024.

———. “Ybor City: Crucible of the Latina South by Sarah McNamara.” The Americas 81.1 (2024): 191–92.

Meléndez-Badillo, Jorell A. “Commemorating May Day in Puerto Rico: New Puerto Rican Movements and Organizations—Comprised Largely of Queer Feminists, Non-Unionized Workers, and Students—Are Using May Day to Imagine Potential Futures and Alternatives to Colonialism and Capitalism.” NACLA Report on the Americas 51.3 (2019): 301–5.

———. “Imagining Resistance: Organizing the Puerto Rican Southern Agricultural Strike of 1905.” Caribbean Studies (2015): 33–81.

———. “Mateo and Juana: Racial Silencing, Epistemic Violence, and Counterarchives in Puerto Rican Labor History.” International Labor and Working-Class History 96 (2019): 103–21.

———. The Lettered Barriada: Workers, Archival Power, and the Politics of Knowledge in Puerto Rico. Duke University Press, 2021.

Morse, Chuck. “Anarchism in Puerto Rico.” The Anarchist Library, 2009.

Moya, José C. “Anarchists of the Caribbean: Countercultural Politics and Transnational Networks in the Age of US Expansion.” Hispanic American Historical Review 101.4 (2021): 759–60.

Noelia Figueroa Couvertier, Ruth, and Shellyne Rodriguez. “The Shadow of Palestine in Puerto Rico | Intervenxions Journal.” The Latinx Project at NYU, 2 November 2023.

O’Donnell, Thomas. “A Forgotten Colony: Puerto Rico | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.” UC Davis, 30 April 2018.

Ortiz, Aurora Santiago. “Puerto Rico: La Colectiva Feminista En Construcción Are Leading the Resistance.” Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation, 17 January 2020.

Ortiz, Aurora Santiago, and Jorell Meléndez-Badillo. “La Calle Fortaleza in Puerto Rico’s Primavera de Verano.” Society and Space (2020).’s_Primavera_de_Verano/links/6182dd630be8ec17a96a1754/La-Calle-Fortaleza-in-Puerto-Ricos-Primavera-de-Verano.pdf.

Reichard, Raquel. “5 Things History Books Won’t Tell You About the Young Lords’ Activism.” Remezcla, 9 July 2018.

Santiago-Ortiz, Aurora, and Jorell Meléndez-Badillo. “La Calle Fortaleza in Puerto Rico’s Primavera de Verano.” Society and Space (2020).

———. “Puerto Rico’s Multiple Solidarities: Emergent Landscapes and the Geographies of Protest.” The Abusable Past (2019).

Shaffer, Kirwin. “Anarchism and the Long Red Scare in the Caribbean, 1897—1925.” Process: A Blog for American History, 4 October 2018.

Shaffer, Kirwin R. “Introduction: Cultural Politics and Transnational Anarchism in Puerto Rico.” Page 0 in Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921. Edited by Kirwin R. Shaffer. University of Illinois Press, 2013.,

Smith, Patricia. “Statehood for Puerto Rico?” Upfront, 18 September 2023.

Staudenmaier, Mike. “National Struggle And Class Struggle In Puerto Rico: Lessons for Anarchists by Mike Staudenmaier | Libcom.Org.” Libcom, 4 July 2009.

VAGABOND. “What Is The 4th Of July To A Puerto Rican?” #nothingtobegainedhere, 4 July 2011.

Yong, Ed. “How Ancient DNA Can Help Recast Colonial History.” The Atlantic, 18 September 2019.


“Oct. 18, 1898: U.S. Troops Raised U.S. Flag Over Puerto Rico.” Zinn Education Project, n.d.

“Salud to Puerto Rican Heritage Month! | Coqui the Chef,” 1 November 2023.

“The Grito de Lares: The Rebellion of 1868 | In Search of a National Identity: Nineteeth and Early-Twentieth-Century Puerto Rico | Articles and Essays | Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age: Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Perspectives | Digital Collections | Library of Congress.” Web page. Library of Congress, n.d.

“The Truth About Puerto Rico: A U.S. Colony – News Beat Podcast.” Rosa Clemente, 15 October 2018.

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