The Hospital Occupation That Changed Public Health Care

1960s: Days of Rage


On July 14, 1970, members of the Young Lords occupied Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx — known locally as the ‘Butcher Shop.’ A group of activists, many of them in their late teens and 20s, barricaded themselves inside the facility, demanding safer and more accessible health care for the community. Originally a Chicago-based street gang, the Young Lords turned to community activism, inspired by the Black Panthers and by student movements in Puerto Rico. A Young Lords chapter in New York soon formed, agitating for community control of institutions and land, as well as self-determination for Puerto Rico. Their tactics included direct action and occupations that highlighted institutional failures. Through archival footage, re-enactments and contemporary interviews, the documentary above shines a light on the Young Lords’ resistance movement and their fight for human rights. The dramatic takeover of Lincoln Hospital produced one of the first Patient’s…

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