Day in court for Costa Rican labor leader
The hearing of Orlando Barrantes and Iván Ángulo took place March 2 in the Appellate Court in Goicoechea. Both men appeared before the court. The defense lawyers made presentations denouncing the previous prosecution that took place in September and requested that charges be dropped.
Subsequently, the prosecutor for the government spoke and presented a rather theoretical defense for upholding the charges and asked for a reassessment of the crime.
One of the lawyers for Orlando upon leaving the court house said that the case was now revolving around legal arguments, which in effect is a triumph for Orlando. The appellate court will render a decision in the next month or so.
The court room was filled to capacity with about 30 people. At the same time outside the court house, comrades from the housing struggle along with others, family members and representatives of social and political organizations picketed with signs and passed out leaflets and spoke to those passing by.
I am very happy with these developments because it’s only with optimism that one continues to breathe. But I am still questioning the right-wing Costa Rican government which consumed a huge number of resources to make a case against Orlando and thereby hopes to teach a lesson to the resistance movements and the struggles of the most oppressed sectors of Costa Rican society.
Allen Cordero, Orlando Barrantes Defense Committee, San Jose, Costa Rica
I read Adrienne Weller’s piece “Black radical leadership in Depression-era Alabama,” [Vol. 36, No. 6]. It was a most interesting article on subject matter that I was totally unaware of. I had not previously heard of the book, Hammer and Hoe, by Robin D. G. Kelley, but will definitely order a copy.
J. Glenn Evans, Olympia, Wash.
Thanks for the article “How Wall Street and US Colonialism created Puerto Rico’s debt crisis” [Vol. 36, No. 6]. Yuisa Gimeno gives a clear, short history.
I always wondered how Puerto Rico became the underdog, not only with colonialism of Spain (and yes, the U.S.).
I really see it when the USA got rid of the peso, no one could recover from that except the elite and people in cahoots with the U.S. government/military.
Marlane Nigbur, Hamburg, Germany
I may have said it before but want to repeat, good essay!
Prof. Victor Rodriquez, Long Beach, Calif.
Underscores US imperialism
Great analysis. It underscores why Puerto Rico is expendable in the grand scheme of American imperialist parasitism.
How is the worsening economic climate exacerbating the lower caste status of dark-skinned Afro-Puerto Ricans?
Sikivu Hutchinson, Los Angeles
Strength and courage
We are sad to hear about Heidi Durham’s passing and remember her strength and courageous and magnificent perseverance and commitment to what is right. [See “Farewell to Heidi Durham: Revolutionary feminist and fighter for the oppressed,” Vol. 36, No. 6].
What a hold she had on life in spite of her brutality-caused frailty.
Carol Shakow, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
On this day, we affirm that we are Palestinian prisoners of struggle, and part of the Palestinian women’s movement, and that the national and social struggle goes on constantly and continuously until we win our freedom from occupation, and our freedom as women from all forms of injustice, oppression, violence and discrimination against women.
We stand as part of a global struggle with all the world’s women freedom fighters: against injustice, exploitation and oppression.
Khalida Jarrar, www.samidoun.net
Editor’s note: The above is excerpted from an email commemorating International Women’s Day and drawing attention to the plight of women political prisoners in Palestine.
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