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Celebrate This Cool Jefa: Luisa Capetillo The Boricua Activist Arrested For Wearing Pants

Born on October 28, 1879, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Luisa Capetillo is best known for her contributions to the labor and anarchist movements in Puerto Rico at the time. She’s also famously remembered as the first Puerto Rican woman to ever have worn pants in public. 

However, her commitment to break the glass ceiling and break traditional societal norms imposed on women extended beyond her fashion choices. Capetillo was a diligent organizer and passionate activist who advocated for women’s rights. She was an all-around badass. 

In a children’s e-book on Rejected Princesses, you can learn more about Luisa Capetillo’s life, one learns about her beginnings and when she first started to become an activist. 

In 1951, Luisa Capetillo became the first Puerto Rican woman to ever wear pants in public in 1951. 

Due to this, it’s been said that she was stopped and arrested for “causing a scandal.” News outlets back then reported that Capetillo defended herself ardently against the claims that she was causing a scandal for wearing pants. 

She has been quoted as saying, “Your Honor, I always wear pants,” and then slightly lifted her dress to show a pair of loose white pants. “And on the night in question, instead of wearing them underneath, I wore them just like men do, based on my perfect civil right to do so, on the outside.” Tell em, Capetillo.  

Luisa Capetillo was homeschooled by her parents.

Her mother, Luisa Margarita Perone, was a French immigrant who worked in domestic work and her father, Luis Capetillo Echevarría, who was from Spain, worked in labor. Her parents never married but they formed a partnership strong enough to raise a young fiery and passionate woman. 

Capetillo’s parents were also drawn together by their similar “beliefs in democratic ideals expressed in the attempted European revolutions of 1848.” They devoted their time to homeschooling her through a liberal education that was infused with ideological influences of both the French Revolution and the workers’ rights movement in Northern Spain. 

Her homeschool education heavily influenced the work she would be later known for. 

After a romance that didn’t end well, and that resulted in two children, she began working as a reader at a tobacco company after the Spanish-American war in Puerto Rico. Readers were needed at companies because, at the time, most of the workforce was illiterature and poorly-educated. As a result, unions hired readers to read newspapers and books out loud during work hours. 

The tobacco factory was also where Capetillo first came into contact with labor unions. What she learned through unions, she used to educate many women across Puerto Rico. 

Her work at the tobacco company also inspired her to write opinion essays and in her writing, she criticized the labor conditions tobacco workers were exposed to.

In an essay titled, “Mi opinión,” Capetillo writes: “Oh you woman! who is capable and willing to spread the seed of justice; do not hesitate, do not fret, do not run away, go forward! And for the benefit of the future generations place the first stone for the building of social equality in a serene but firm way, with all the right that belongs to you, without looking down, since you are no longer the ancient material or intellectual slave.” 

Further, working at the tobacco company led her to organize strikes. It also led her to become an anarchist and inspired material for the four books that she would write. 

Luisa Capetillo was a feminist way ahead of her time and advocated heavily for women’s rights.

Especially when it had to do with female agency. For 1910, she definitely way ahead of the curve. 

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💪 Mes de la mujer: Luisa Capetillo Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico in 1879, Luisa was homeschooled by her parents and later became one of the island’s most important women’s rights activists of her time. She worked as a reader in a cigar making factory and that provided her with her first experiences with labor unions. In 1904, she wrote Mi Opinión (My Opinion), which encouraged women to fight for equal rights. Capetillo’s writing often discusses identity and seeks to motivate women. In her essay ¿Anarquista y espiritista? (Anarchist and Spiritis?) she discusses how she considered herself to be both. • Luis is best known for her involvement in the 1905 farm workers’ strike. She became the leader of the American Federation of Labor and began urging women to fight for their rights. In 1908, she asked the union to approve a women’s suffrage policy. Four years later, she traveled to NYC and Florida to organize Cuban and Puerto Rican tobacco workers; she joined various labor strikes in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Capetillo was also the first woman in Puerto Rico to wear pants in public. In 1910, it was illegal for women to wear pants in public and she was jailed (the charges were eventually dropped). Later that year, she helped pass a minimum wage law in Puerto Rico. Luisa Capetillo passed away in October 1922. • Capetillo’s legacy includes Casa Protegida Luisa Capetillo: a non-profit organization whose purpose is to defend mistreated women, the Luisa Capetillo Center of Documentation at UPR Cayey: a part of the university’s Women’s Studies project, and a plaque in La Plaza en Honor a la Mujer Puertorriqueña. ⚡️ Luisa Capetillo was submitted as a mujer pode🌹 by one of program organizers/coordinators in Puerto Rico! ⚡️ Stay posted for tomorrow’s mujer pode🌹 from another one of our team members! 📸: Libcom.org • • • • • • • • • • • #puertorico #womenshistorymonth #womenshistory #luisacapetillo #arecibo #history #mujer #mujerpoderosa #studyabroad #westernillinois #westernillinoisuniversity #wiu #wiu18 #wiu19 #wiu20 #wiu21 #wiu22 #wiu23 #puertoricanhistory

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The social labor organizer became well known for her advocacy for equal rights for women, free love, and human emancipation. She developed a lot of her ideals of anarchism and romanticism from being an avid reader as a child. She read a lot of French literature from writers including Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. She also read a lot of Russian Romantics like Leo Tolstoy. 

She died of tuberculosis in 1922 but her legacy and impact as one of Puerto Rico’s first women suffragists live on. 

In 1912, she traveled to New York City where she organized workers in the tobacco factories there. From 1916-1918, she was involved in an intense period of strikes and she would constantly travel from New York City and Puerto Rico. 

She even traveled to Cuba to work with the Federation of Anarchists of Cuba. A couple of years after she contracted tuberculosis and died at 42. 

Dolores Huerta Was Just Detained For Protesting For Workers’ Rights In Fresno County

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Dolores Huerta Was Just Detained For Protesting For Workers’ Rights In Fresno County

Dolores Huerta is one of the best-known and relentless labor organizers in the U.S. Her career fighting for workers’ rights spans decades and her work is nowhere near done. Today, the 89-year-old activist was detained while protesting the treatment of In-House Supportive System workers in Fresno County who have been negotiating a pay raise for years. Here’s what went down during the Board of Supervisors meeting at the Fresno County Hall of Records.

Dolores Huerta kept her chin up in defiance as she was escorted, in plastic handcuffs, from a Board of Supervisors meeting in Fresno County.

Credit: laloalcaraz / Twitter

According to the Fresno Bee, Huerta was one of several protesters demanding that the Fresno Board of Supervisors approve a respectable raise for In-Home Supportive System (IHSS) employees.

The IHSS program “helps elderly, blind and disabled people to safely remain in their own homes when they are not able to fully care for themselves or handle routine household tasks,” reads the website. “IHSS encourages independence and self-reliance, when possible, and is an alternative to out-of-home care in institutions or nursing facilities.”

IHSS employees offer clients services like housekeeping, meal prep, laundry, bathing, and accompanying patients to medical appointments, to name a few.

Huerta and other protesters filled the Fresno County Hall of Records to voice their demands to those making the decisions.

Credit: @DaryRezani / Twitter

According to the Fresno Bee, the IHSS workers currently make the minimum wage, which is set at $12 an hour. The labor union has been negotiating a pay raise for the workers for years and the Fresno Board of Supervisors was set to approve a 10-cent per hour raise. That is what sparked the protest demanding a proper wage increase.

According to the Fresno Bee, more than 17,000 people in Fresno County rely on caregivers and that number is expected to reach 106,000 by 2030.

People are absolutely celebrating the activist for her unapologetic stance for laborers.

Credit: @AshleySayWhatt / Twitter

Huerta co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers, back in in 1962 and used her activist knowledge to fight for better working conditions for farmworkers in Delano, California. Since then, Huerta has been an example of activism and her fight for the most vulnerable in the employment community has continued.

Her reputation as a strong woman has become an irrefutable characteristic of the activist.

Credit: @Castror14 / Twitter

Señora Chingona, indeed. Huerta has been arrested several times as part of her activism. She has even used her voice and name to fight for what she thinks is right in politics. Her activism was on full display during the 2016 elections as people mobilized to fight for the Latino community.

The protesters at the Fresno Board of Supervisors meeting today were optimistic about their ability to exact change.

Protesters joyfully chanted, “We believe we can win” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, poverty wages have got to go.” The protesters were effective in getting the attention of the board. The protest was disruptive enough that the meeting was recessed for 10 minutes just 30 seconds after they began chanting. The Fresno Bee called the protest ill-timed but the protesters knew they had the attention of those in charge.

“They are finalizing the budget in September. We want to make sure they put us in the budget for a wage increase,” organizer Ua Lugo told the Fresno Bee. “So today is very important.”

Despite numerous people being detained, the protesters continued in their fight.

“It should not come to this. It should not come to this,” protester Martha Valladarez told the Fresno Bee about caring for her daughter with Down Syndrome while officers placed plastic cuffs on her. “They have no idea the love that we have for our family members.”

Huerta was released shortly after being detained and she was greeted with a cheering crowd for her willingness to keep protesting.

What do you think about Dolores Huerta being detained for her protest in Fresno?

READ: Dolores Huerta The Latina Freedom Fighter Who Taught Us ‘Sí Se Puede’ Has Been Arrested Over 20 Times

Boricuas Are Using Makeup To Protest Governor Ricardo Rosselló And Highlight The U.S.’s Horrifying History Of Colonialism

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Boricuas Are Using Makeup To Protest Governor Ricardo Rosselló And Highlight The U.S.’s Horrifying History Of Colonialism

Since last week, protests have erupted all over Puerto Rico as the island’s population campaigns to remove the current governor of the United States territory. After many government scandals, Governor Ricardo Rosselló has finally agreed to step down and resign from his post. The disgraced head of government is expected to hand over control of the island to Puerto Rico’s new Progressive Party. This comes after controversy following leaked private chats revealing the governor and his inside circle making mocking and degrading comments. It also precedes federal agents arresting members of Rosselló’s administration for alleged fraud and money laundering.

Thousands of Puerto Rican protesters flooded the streets of the island — chanting and demanding resignation. Celebrities like Bad Bunny and Ricky Martin flew to the island to join in the protests. Even Puerto Ricans in mainland America took to the streets in elaborate displays, doing the electric slide to the blaring music that accompanied the gathering.

All of these factors helped to rectify this unjust situation in PR but we would be totally in the wrong if we did not acknowledge the powerful makeup and face painting that also rallied resistors.

Twitter / @oppsyirwin

Twitter User Shaly Torres made it her mission to keep non-Spanish speakers in the loop with what is happening in Puerto Rico. In a thread pinned to her account, the Puerto Rican make up enthusiast shared pictures and information about the ongoing riots. In her thread, there was a common theme of showcasing protesters and their creative way of using makeup to express their demands.

In it, she encouraged makeup artists to take a stand with the protesting Puerto Ricans and don bold make up looks in support of their struggle.

Twitter / @oppsyirwin

It doesn’t take a lot to show your support for a movement. You don’t even have to be in the same area that a protest is impacting. Thanks to social media and the internet, we can connect with people across the world and understand their feelings. We can show them our support in both small and significant ways and that is what Torres encouraged in her post.

Across Twitter and Instagram, makeup artists and enthusiasts showed off their official face paint to honor the protesters in Puerto Rico.

Twitter / @melolops

To protest the sexual violence, fraud, and abuse that the corrupt Puerto Rican government has been perpetuating, some artists scrawled abusive words over their bodies and faces. This Twitter makeup artist painted the Puerto Rican flag upon her face near the word “Enough.” Her post asks, “Asi o mas claro” — is it clear enough what these protesters are asking for?

Protesters weren’t afraid to paint graphic images on their bodies to show the pain that they’ve endured thanks to this administration.

Twitter / @melolops

This protester painted “Dios nos libera del dinero” (God save us from money) — representing the financial corruption that Rosselló’s administration has used to rule over the Puerto Rican people. On her back is a hand holding a machete, thrust up in revolution. It’s accompanied by the rainbow flag to represent the discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community currently faces in Puerto Rico.

A common theme among the face paint was that the fires of revolution have caught and are now burning.

Twitter / @dversadi
This gorgeous revolutionary art shows its artist @dversadi engulfed in flames from the neck up. The fire licks up her cheeks to the dual Puerto Rican flags made up by her elaborate eye makeup. The look is made even more empowering when viewed under UV lights. She looks like a living embodiment of the revolution that the island is experiencing.

Support for the PR protesters has reached far and wide. This one, for example, comes from an artist in Connecticut.

Twitter / @moralesgian291

Makeup artist, Gian Morales, showed his support with this breathtaking paint job. Making himself the Puerto Rican flag, Morales depicts himself with tape sealing his mouth — no doubt a nod to how voiceless the current administration has made its citizens. His gorgeous eye makeup should be appreciated for the work of art that it is as well.

Protesters have gone above and beyond to make sure their message is heard.

Twitter / @molinangelia

Anchor for CBS News, David Begnaud, pointed out just how incredible the PR protesters are and he wondered what other innovative ways citizens will show their support of the revolution. He tweeted:

“I have to say: Puerto Ricans are the most creative protesters I’ve ever covered. Under the water In the water Yoga. What’s next?”

He was answered by Twitter user @monlinangelia who shared a picture of herself skydiving with the phrase, “Ricky Renuncia” painted on her arm. We have to call this one of the most daring protests we’ve seen during this conflict.

We aren’t sure what will change in the near future to improve conditions in Puerto Rico but we know that the citizens of the island will hold their new government accountable. They have the support of their people and the Latinx community around the world. One thing is clear: we can’t deny that these incredible makeup looks have made their mark on the revolution.