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Friday, September 23, 2022

The Young Lords were founded this day in history in 1968, led by a Chicago street activist named Cha Cha Jiménez, who organized the group to fight local gentrification, police brutality, and racism. He pioneered the use of the Lords’ signature purple berets (perhaps inspired by the Sharks’ colors in West Side Story) and semi-military code of conduct. Some major events that marked their activism: the Garbage Offensive, in which they forced the Sanitation Department to clean the streets in Spanish Harlem; their two takeovers of the neighborhood’s Methodist church; and a couple of brief occupations of Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx.