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Proal, Herón (1881-?) and Red Revolutionary Tenants

Frank I. Müller

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Central America » Mexico

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics bibliography, housing, libertarianism, revolution, rights

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01220.x


Herón Proal was a founder of the Veracruz Revolutionary Syndicate of Tenants. Born in Tulacingo, Hidalgo, on October 17, 1881, Proal joined the Mexican Communist Party and co-organized rent strikes during the early post-revolutionary period. His agitation fused the tenants' direct actions into a movement that demanded radical housing reform. Proal's political career began when he was elected to the executive committee of the Preliminary Workers' Congress. In the Libertarian Torch (Antorcha Libertaria) reading club, Proal and other radicals discussed the libertarian and communist theories of thinkers such as Mikhail Bakunin , Pierre Joseph Proudhon , and Peter Kropotkin . The plight of tenants soon gained their attention. At that time, those who could not afford homes rented single rooms that shared a common courtyard, a patio de vecindad . Between 1910 and 1922, the rent for a single room had risen from 10 to 35 pesos. Deteriorating conditions and abuse by landlords created a conflict situation in the major cities of the state of Veracruz. Inadequate water and electricity supplies in the city's poorest area, the port, contradicted the attempts at modernization made by planners in other parts of the city. Harassment of tenants who were unable or unwilling to pay became a common practice of rent collectors. In this atmosphere, tenants developed a set of demands that included the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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