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Black Flag BoricuasAnarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921$
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Kirwin R. Shaffer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037641

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037641.001.0001

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The Roots of Anarchism and Radical Labor Politics in Puerto Rico, 1870s–1899

The Roots of Anarchism and Radical Labor Politics in Puerto Rico, 1870s–1899

(p.23) 1. The Roots of Anarchism and Radical Labor Politics in Puerto Rico, 1870s–1899
Black Flag Boricuas

Kirwin R. Shaffer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter illustrates the status of organized labor and the Left in Puerto Rico in the final decades of Spanish rule. It focuses on the tradition of artisanal autonomy and resistance, the rise of artisan and worker-based centers to develop class consciousness, and the emergence of the island's first important labor organizations in the 1890s. Central to the story is the arrival of Santiago Iglesias Pantín, a carpenter from Spain who had worked with anarchist groups in Spain and Cuba before fleeing from the latter in late 1896 and joining forces with libertarian socialists to form the first two labor unions and the first two important left-wing newspapers from 1897 to 1899. Iglesias soon rose to lead these organizations, and after the U.S. occupation began in 1898, he traveled to the U.S. mainland to join forces first with Socialists and then the AFL.

Keywords:   organized labor, Santiago Iglesias Pantín, class consciousness, autonomy, leftist politics, Socialists, AFL, labor unions, left-wing newspapers, labor organizations, resistance

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