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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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Radicals and Reformers

Radicals and Reformers

Anarchists, Electoral Politics, and the Unions, 1900–1910

(p.46) 2. Radicals and Reformers
Black Flag Boricuas

Kirwin R. Shaffer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter illustrates that during the first decade of U.S. rule, anarchists cautiously joined the AFL-linked Federación Libre de Trabajadores (FLT), assuming leadership roles in local unions, publishing in union newspapers, and printing anarchist newspapers through the union presses. From within the union, anarchists criticized the FLT's pro-Americanization project, the rise of republican political institutions and electoral politics on the island, and the union's occasional attempts to engage in elections. These critiques, sometimes published at home and sometimes published in the international anarchist press in Cuba that was then mailed back to Puerto Rico, often found anarchists on the margins of union politics. Moreover, they worked as best as they could with the reformers while continuing to put forth a more radical agenda achieved by direct action, not parliamentary politics.

Keywords:   FLT, Federación Libre de Trabajadores, AFL, union politics, leftist politics, direct action, American Federation of Labor

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