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(en) US, black rose fed: PABLO BARBARANEGRA: A BIOGRAPHY
Tue, 14 May 2019 08:42:35 +0300
On the one year anniversary of his passing we republish this biography of former Black
Rose/Rosa Negra member Pablo Barbanegra. This is excerpted from The Pablo Barbanegra
Reader, a collection of his political writings. Pablo Vive! Que En Poder Descanse! ----
Pablo "Barbanegra" Avendaño was born on October 1st, 1983 and raised in a working class
family, his parents having immigrated from Argentina before his birth. He was the oldest
of four brothers and grew up in Southwest Miami, colloquially known "La Sagüesera." Pablo
graduated from G. Holmes Braddock High School where he developed and engaged his interests
in reading, politics, sleeping (developing the nickname "the Bear/Oso"), partying with
friends as well as listening to and making music (rock and hip hop primarily)and was part
ofa hip hop group called Soul where he wrote politically themed and socially conscious lyrics.
Pablo attended and graduated from Florida International University (FIU) in Miami with a
bachelor's degree in Political Science. Here he began his involvement in political
activism, as one of the founding members of the FIU chapter of United Students Against
Sweatshops (USAS). Alongside other student organizers, he engaged in solidarity work with
employees at the University of Miami in collaboration with Service Employees International
Union (SEIU). Pablo also worked to organize with campus custodial workers who ended up
unionizing with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
During this time he also supported efforts to organize mobile home parks in collaboration
with South Florida Jobs with Justice.
During his last years in college and following his graduation, Pablo was a core organizer
of the Miami Anarchist and Radical Study Group (MARS) in 2007-2008. That year he was part
of the discussions in the Fall of 2008, leading to the founding of Miami Autonomy and
Solidarity (MAS) - a libertarian communist,and later explicitly anarchist communist
political organization in May of 2009.
Iconic photo of Pablo during the 2015 Baltimore uprising by photographer Devin Allen. IG:
After working in the non-profit sector briefly, Pablo transitioned in 2010 to becoming a
history teacher in Miami Dade County Public Schools, working at the very high school he
graduated from (Braddock). There he became involved in workplace organizing, participating
with a network of rank & file teacher activists that worked both within and outside of the
official union, United Teachers of Dade. As a teacher, Pablo often went above and beyond
to create a curriculum infused with critical pedagogy and radical history which was not
easy as a new teacher. The demands he put on himself and resulting sleep deprivation led
him at one point to fall asleep at the wheel while driving home. Luckily he was not
seriously injured but this led him to transition to South Dade High School and move with
his girlfriend from her parents house in Miami Gardens to Homestead the following year.
Through MAS and the workplace network that he developed, he promoted and participated in a
county-wide autonomous educator "sick-out" in 2010 that contributed to Governor Charlie
Crist vetoing the reactionary education bill that Florida's congress had passed. However,
due to overwork and burnout as a new teacher taking on Advanced Placement and
International Baccalaureate classes, he ended up leaving his job as a teacher at the end
of his third year.
Outside of his work and workplace organizing, Pablo engaged in writing (some of which is
featured here in this reader) and organized, facilitated and presented at film showings,
community presentations and workshops on various social justice and radical topics,
including a presentation out of town at the 2012 Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair. He also
worked with students at his former college, FIU, engaging with them in student organizing
trainings, leading some to participate in developing FIUs "Florida Student Union."
Logo for Miami Autonomy and Solidarity. Archive Site.
With the emergence of the Occupy movement in 2011, Pablo became heavily engaged in Occupy
Miami in collaboration with his political organization, MAS, as well as alongside friends
and comrades. He helped to organize the logistics surrounding and personally led the
opening general assembly of Occupy Miami as they set up the encampment at Government
Center. Pablo also continued organizing with contacts in Occupy Miami to argue for a focus
on activity in participants' workplaces, communities and schools. On the national level
Pablo played a key role in the "Build Power, Show Power" campaign which attempted to
leverage the momentum of occupy to promote workplace and community organizing and call for
a May 1st general strike in 2012.
Through MAS, Pablo contributed to a year long process which lead to the merger of several
groups into what became known as Black Rose/Rosa Negra (BRRN) Anarchist Federation.
In 2013, after leaving his work in Miami-Dade County Public School, Pablo decided to
relocate to Philadelphia where his brothers, mother and family had already relocated. He
moved in with his family in South Philadelphia while he transitioned to the city. Pablo
worked as a bar back and at a local gym before moving on to his work asa bike courier. His
younger brother Bryan had worked for yearsasatranslator within the Philadelphia court
system and otherwise. For years Pablo discussed getting his certifications for this trade.
Politically, Pablo remained involved at a distance from Philadelphia with the Miami BRRN
local while healso became involved in anti-police organizing through the Trayvon Martin
Organizing Committee (TMOC). Though later Pablo stepped away from BRRN -as the distance
made his work in the Miami local difficultand due to disputes with members from the New
York City local - Pablo continued his political study, organizing and activism within
Philadelphia. Just before his death he had joined and became involved with Philly
Socialists engaging in various community organizing, such as their ESL classes program,
but while maintaining his ideological affinity for anarchist communist politics.
Steet memorial in honor of Pablo at the site of his passing.
On the evening of May 12th, 2018 - the day before Mother's Day - Pablo accepted a bike
courier gig that would offer extra money for working in inclement weather at night, app
based food delivery service Caviar. In the darknessand rain of that night his tire became
lodged in a storm drain leading to the fatalaccident which took his life. Pablo was 34
years old. He was full of life and love. He influenced and deeply touched the lives of so
many. His many close friends, comrades, family members and loved ones will forever miss
him, but carry him with them as they were all deeply influenced by his beautiful heart,
mind and life.
We hope that you enjoy this reader of some of his political writings that only touches the
tip of the iceberg of his work and ideas that those who knew him were lucky enough to
experience and learn from. To honor his life - taken too soon - we ask you to consider how
to live your life as truly as he did, driven from the deepest faith in and connections to
a heart full of love and ideals of freedom, equality, solidarity and liberation.
-By Friends of Barbanegra, July 22nd, 2018
The above biography is excerpted from "The Pablo B
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