Friday, June 1, 2012

Oscar Lopez Rivera !

Oscar Lopez Rivera was born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico and moved to Chicago when he was a teenager. In the 1960s he was drafted, served in Vietnam and earned a Bronze Star. He then became a "community activist, working on issues of poverty, discrimination, education and police brutality in Chicago's Puerto Rican neighborhoods."  In 1981, however, he was arrested and sentenced to 55 years in federal prison for being a member of a clandestine force seeking independence for Puerto Rico.

Interestingly, Rivera was among the 16 Puerto Rican nationalists offered conditional commutation of sentence by Bill Clinton in 1999. But the 69-year old Rivera rejected the conditions of the offer and, consequently, remains in custody. Today, rallies are being held, calling on President Obama to pardon Rivera. Good luck with that!

Indeed, a month of "activities" are scheduled "around the country" to build support for a presidential pardon. Many are wearing T-shirts with "Free Oscar" on the back and prison bars on the front. Some say Rivera's "struggle and sacrifice" make him "an inspirational figure, a source of national pride whom some compare to former South African President Nelson Mandela."

It is also reported that Rivera's release "enjoys wide support in Puerto Rico, not only from pro-independence forces, but from the Senate and House, the Bar Association, former governors, unions, religious denominations, and community activists, among other sectors." And, Lopez is said to have "growing support among Puerto Rican and other Latino communities in the U.S."

At his first federal parole hearing in 2011, Lopez was denied the right to call witnesses and to have legal observers and family members present, while the government called 11 witnesses who sought to implicate Lopez in acts in which he had no involvement. His next parole hearing will not be until 2027, when he will be 84. See story here.

4 comments:

José M. López Sierra said...

Greetings Partners,

We need to work together to decolonize Puerto Rico and free Oscar López Rivera. Join 2 peaceful protests until it is accomplished!

Un abrazo,
José
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

José M. López Sierra said...

Greetings Partner,

We will have a peaceful protest on Saturday, November 23rd in Puerto Rico for the liberation of our patriot and political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. Click on the link below for more information.

Un abrazo,
José
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

José M. López Sierra said...

Dear Partners,

President Obama said in his speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial that we should all ask ourselves how well we are applying Nelson Mandela’s lessons.

The facts that the United States government has not liberated Puerto Rico’s political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, and decolonized Puerto Rico prove that President Obama obviously is not applying them at all! How easy it is to find fault in others, and never see our own. Nevertheless, Nelson Mandela has taught us that together we can make miracles happen!

José
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

José M. López Sierra said...

Dear Partners,

Join The First Oscar – Mandela Protest in Puerto Rico on Saturday, March 22, 2014, on the Abolition of Slavery Day, to peacefully protest for the decolonization of Puerto Rico and the release of our political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. It is the perfect day to protest the enslavement of Puerto Rico by the government of the United States.

We will march from the Roosevelt Avenue Urban Train Station at 2 PM to the United States Court in Puerto Rico on Chardón Street in Hato Rey.

If you belong to any particular group, feel free to bring your flags and signs to our protest. We want it to be a collective effort involving everyone who believes that colonialism is a crime against humanity and a threat to world peace. We need to have as many people as possible, because those who practice or accept colonialism, don’t believe in justice for all!

Un abrazo,
José
www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

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