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The Ponce Massacre

“Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism.” – Noam Chomsky

WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS — In 1934, Pedro Albizu Campos led an island-wide agricultural strike which paralyzed the US sugar corporations and won a great victory for the sugar cane workers, by raising their wages from 45 cents to $1.75 per 12-hour day.

From that moment on, Albizu was a marked man. Arson and bomb threats were made against his home. FBI agents tapped his phone, read his mail, and followed him all over the island. In 1936 he was arrested and imprisoned for “advocating the overthrow of the US government.”

On March 21, 1937, in his hometown of Ponce, a peaceful march was organized on behalf of Albizu Campos.

It was Palm Sunday. Men, women and children arrived from all over the island, dressed in their Sunday finest, waving palm fronds at each other. A five-piece band started playing La Borinqueña (the Puerto Rican national anthem) as the peaceful march began.

And then a shot rang out.

Iván Rodriguez Figueras fell like a rag doll.

A second shot exploded and an 18-year old poking his head out a window, fell down dead.

A third shot dropped Obdulio Rosario, carrying a palm leaf crucifix. […]

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