Dylcia and Cisco on Panthers and Independistas
--SF8 Hearing on March 2
By Kiilu Nyasha and Angola 3 News
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. As Cisco discusses in this interview, he had an evidentiary hearing scheduled for March 2, 2011. However, three days after the interview, on February 28, this hearing was canceled. A short update published on the SF8 website states: "An evidentiary hearing had been planned to take up the question of wiretaps, whose existence had long been denied by the prosecution. It now appears that the question may be settled without a hearing. Details to be posted here as soon as available...Stay tuned for future court dates." For the latest developments in the case and what you can do to help, please go to www.freethesf8.org.
--This episode of Freedom is a Constant Struggle is a collaborative project by Kiilu Nyasha and Angola 3 News.
Kiilu Nyasha is a San Francisco-based journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party. Through the end of 2009, Kiilu hosted a weekly TV program, "Freedom Is A Constant Struggle," on SF Live, and many of her shows are archived at www.kiilunyasha.blogspot.com. Kiilu also writes for several publications, including the SF Bay View Newspaper and BlackCommentator.com. Also an accomplished radio programmer, she has worked for KPFA (Berkeley), SF Liberation Radio, Free Radio Berkeley, and KPOO in SF.
Angola 3 News is a project of the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Our website is www.angola3news.com where we provide the latest news about the Angola 3. We are also creating our own media projects, which spotlight the issues central to the story of the Angola 3, like racism, repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture, and more.