Mambo Montage: The Latinization of New York

By Agustín Laó-Montes; Arlene Dávila | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
Niuyol
Urban Regime, Latino Social Movements, Ideologies
of Latinidad
Agustín Laó-Montes*

Identity … is a process, a project, it's a historical movement. … And in this sense, it isn't possible to define an identity because no utopia of identity has any future if the utopia of liberation is detached from it. I think that … this specific crossroads between the utopia of identity and the utopia of liberation … is truly the legacy of all societies that have been constituted … in relation to colonial domination.

Aníbal Quijano, quoted in Velarde (1991:49)

If movements are the social domain which most readily escape the confines of the inherited … collective action can become the terrain of the exploration of the possible.

Alberto Melucci, (1996:13)

We can think of cities as a new frontier … charged with the possibility of fundamental transformation in the West. The global city is, perhaps, the premier arena for these battles—it is the new territory where the contemporary version of the colonial wars of independence are being fought. But today's battles lack clear boundaries and fields: there are many sites, many fronts, many politics.

Saskia Sassen (1996:197)

“Hoy por Juan Rodríguez, mañana por nosotros,” “¿Por qué lo mataron? Porque era Latino,” 1 chanted Estella Vasquez (Dominican), along with Howard Jordan (Puerto Rican) in the front line of a march against police brutality in the summer of 1988. What began with a crowd of around 1,000 activists of a booming movement for racial justice and in opposition to police brutality in New York City swelled at the end to include almost 5,000

____________________
*
Thanks to Roberto Alejandro, Stanley Aronowitz, Roman de la Campa, Diana Coryat, James Cohen, Arlene Dávila, Steven Gregory, Ramon Grosfoguel, Sintia Molina, Felipe Pimentel, Kelvin Santiago-Valles, Arturo Escobar and Kate Wilson for their helpful comments on prior versions of this chapter.

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