The peoples’ movement has lost a giant. Puerto Rican revolutionary Tom Soto died on June 1 in the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic, after a year-long struggle with cancer. He was 77.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1943 and raised in Guánica, Puerto Rico, Soto was radicalized while serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He played a leading role in many struggles in the United States in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. These included fighting for open admissions at City College of New York in 1969, and organizing Vietnam veterans against the war and to fight for jobs and compensation for time lost in service. Soto was a founder of the Prisoners Solidarity Committee to support prisoners fighting for justice inside U.S. prisons. He was at Attica, representing the PSC during the heroic 1971 uprising that Gov. Nelson Rockefeller drowned in blood.
To the end, he remained a revolutionary socialist and liberation fighter, dedicated to educating and spreading knowledge. An account of his revolutionary life may be found at tinyurl.com/TomSoto