This February 26, 2011 episode of Freedom is a Constant Struggle features Dylcia Pagan and Francisco Torres.
Dylcia Pagan is a Puerto Rican freedom fighter and Independista, who spent nearly 20 years in Federal prisons on charges of seditious conspiracy for her role in the underground wing of the Puerto Rican independence movement. One of 11 Puerto Rican political prisoners granted clemency in 1999 by President Clinton, she was paroled to Puerto Rico, where she has continued to struggle against U.S. colonialism nonviolently. Born and raised in New York City, Dylcia studied psychology, political science, and Puerto Rican studies at Brooklyn College where she founded the Puerto Rican Students Union. Her culture and politics are expressed through painting, ceramics, poetry, writings, and film.
She has participated in the production of a video about her life and compañeros in the struggle; and while in prison, she helped direct a documentary about Puerto Rican Women Prisoners of War. Her biography has been published in Puerto Rican Women: A History of Oppression and Resistance and she appears in the new film Machetero (view a clip with Dylcia here).
Francisco Torres (Cisco), 58, of New York City, was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. He is a Vietnam Veteran who fought for the grievances of Black and Latino soldiers upon his return to the states. A former Black Panther, he has been a community activist since his discharge from the military in 1969. Cisco continues to work with troubled youth in his Queens community.
Cisco is the last of the San Francisco Eight to still be facing charges. He has an evidentiary hearing on March 2, 2011, and there is an 8 AM rally prior to the hearing, where supporters are urged to attend. For the latest developments in the case and what you can do to help, please go here.