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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Puerto Rico brought to a standstill

During today's general strike. This is too big a story with a lot to unpack, but the most dramatic moment of the day would have to be when University of Puerto Rico students blocked the island's most important freeway for three hours. Neither police nor labor leaders could get them to move. A bloodbath looked imminent... until Rafael Cancel Miranda gave them a brief speech. Within moments, the awed students, shouting, "Gracias Rafa, disbanded.

Who is Rafael Cancel Miranda?

The United States Capitol shooting incident of 1954 was an attack on March 1, 1954 by four Puerto Rican nationalists who shot 30 rounds using automatic pistols from the Ladies' Gallery (a balcony for visitors) of the House of Representatives chamber in the United States Capitol.

The attackers, Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irving Flores Rodríguez, unfurled a Puerto Rican flag and began shooting at the 240 Representatives of the 83rd Congress who were on the floor during debate over an immigration bill.

Five representatives were wounded in the attack, one[specify] seriously. The wounded lawmakers were Alvin M. Bentley (R-Michigan), who took a bullet to the chest, Clifford Davis (D-Tennessee), who was shot in the leg, Ben F. Jensen (R-Iowa), who was shot in the back, as well as George Hyde Fallon (D-Maryland) and Kenneth A. Roberts (D-Alabama). House pages helped carry Alvin Bentley off the House floor.

Puerto Rico's pro-statehood governor and non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives are very lucky that no GOP congressional staffmembers have language training.

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