Wednesday, May 09, 2012

31 Days for 31 Years: Free Oscar López Rivera!

I am heartened to see such creativity and solidarity - youth and elders, Mexican and Muslim, students and organizers, poets and relatives - joining together to support and raise awareness about Puerto Rican US Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera.  Thank you to all the organizers and participants for all their work and energy in creating this.  If you're in Chicago, go witness and be a part of this!  Please see the press release from the project and some of the short videos documenting it below:
  
“31 DAYS FOR 31 YEARS”
A Multimedia and Interactive Exhibit for the Release of Oscar López Rivera

The National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN), Batey Urbano and Latin@ Coalition have commenced “31 Days for 31 Years” in which 31 activists and community residents will spend 24 hours each in a makeshift storefront cell with guard, for a total of 31 days. The exhibit, starting April 29th, also features an exhibition of Oscar’s artwork (he is a prolific painter) as well as literature and posters from the campaign to free Puerto Rican political prisoners for the past 30 years and a wall of Oscar’s letters to his supporters as well as a station where people may write to Oscar, in the Batey Urbano, located at 2620 West Division St. Chicago, IL 60622. Batey Urbano is in the heart of “Paseo Boricua” in Chicago’s Humboldt Park Neighborhood.

The purpose of this is to call attention to the continued unjust incarceration of Oscar López Rivera. The ambitious joint effort of the Latin@ Coalition, Batey Urbano and NBHRN will culminate in a major event commemorating his arrest and 31 years of imprisonment on Tuesday, May 29.

Oscar, a decorated Vietnam veteran, has been imprisoned since his arrest on May 29, 1981. Subsequently, he was charged and convicted for seditious conspiracy and minor arms charges and sentenced to 55 years. The other Puerto Rican political prisoners of his generation, arrested in 1980 and 1983 and also convicted of seditious conspiracy, were released in 1999 by President Clinton, due to mass international and domestic pressure. Oscar rejected the offer at that time because 2 others, Carlos Alberto Torres and Haydee Beltrán, were not included. Both of them have since been freed on parole.


Another creative way folks have organized to show Oscar support and educate the people about his incarceration and Puerto Rico's struggle to be free:


Not yet fluent in Spanish?  You can learn more about the mural here.

For more information, please see:

Previous Dandelioness Herbals blog posts about Oscar López Rivera, including his artwork:

7 comments:

  1. Dear Partner,

    Greetings!

    Those who accept colonialism do not believe in justice for all! Now that we know that the political parties will not solve this problem, I invite you to join the non-violent protest to demand that the United States (US) decolonize Puerto Rico (PR) immediately. It will be on Monday, June 17, 2013 from 8 AM to 5 PM outside the United Nations (UN) visitor’s entrance located on 46th Street and First Avenue in New York City.

    The UN has determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity in 1960 under Resolution 1514 (XV). That’s why the UN celebrates every year a hearing about Puerto Rico decolonization. Every year the UN puts forth a resolution asking the US to decolonize PR. Despite 30 of these resolutions, PR is still the oldest and most populated colony in the world! It is obvious by now that the US is not going to decolonize PR just because the UN asks.

    Through education, we must create a domestic and international solidarity with this cause to pressure the US to do what historically she has refused to do. This is why we need everyone who also believes that colonialism is a crime against humanity to join the protest to demand compliance to international law!

    Puerto Rico has been a colony of the US for 114 years. The US’ intention is to keep PR a colony forever unless we do something about it. It is important to note that: democracy isn’t what a government does. Democracy is what people do!
    President John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.” These ideas, of course, are the reasons why the United Nations was created after World War II.

    It is up to us to defend the fundamental human rights that promote world peace. The tragedy of doing nothing is that we will have the kind of government that we deserve!

    Sincerely,

    José M. López Sierra

    For more information:
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
    Compañeros Unidos para la Descolonización de Puerto Rico

    ReplyDelete
  2. Saludos,

    Tenemos que trabajar juntos para descolonizar a Puerto Rico y excarcelar a Oscar López Rivera. Únete a 2 protestas pacificas anualmente hasta lograrlo.

    Un abrazo,
    José
    http://www.todosunidosdescolonizarpr.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Greetings Partner,

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

    Un abrazo,
    José
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Partner,

    Now that the First Oscar – Mandela March in Puerto Rico is history, we can now begin to work on making an even bigger success of The First Oscar Mandela Protest in New York City. This year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City a week before our protest will be dedicated to our political prisoner Oscar López Rivera.

    On Monday, June 23, 2014, the United Nations (UN) will be discussing again Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the United States. The UN is in its third decade trying to eradicate colonialism from the world, because of the belief that it constitutes a threat to world peace. Since this date is a week later than usual, our committee decided to have 2 protests this year.

    On the Monday, June 16, 2014, the day after Fathers’ Day, we will have our first protest in the park across from the UN on 46th Street and First Avenue from 8 AM to 5 PM to show the world that we too believe that colonialism is a crime against humanity. On the same day of the hearing, Monday June 23, we will have the second one. We will have a press conference in New York City to inform the public of the latest details of these event. We will need as many people at the protest as possible to make the government of the United States (US) comply with the 32 UN resolutions asking the US to decolonize immediately Puerto Rico. After this many resolutions, it is obvious that the US does not want to.

    President Obama recently showed the government of the United States’ hypocrisy about human rights. In his memorial ceremony speech, he had only praise for Nelson Mandela. He, however, has refused, despite the enormous pressure from Puerto Rico and the rest of the world, to release from prison Oscar López Rivera who is doing exactly what Mandela did. Oscar has already spent 6 more years in prison than the 27 that Mandela served. The US is happy when other countries decolonize their colonies, but the US wants to keep hers. What kind of democracy is this? Obviously, those who have colonies don’t believe in justice for all.

    Please tell your friends about this important protest for Oscar López Rivera’s release from prison, and to achieve what he has spent his life on, the decolonization of Puerto Rico.

    We will have a sheet of paper so that whoever who wants to get involved in the planning of this yearly permanent event in New York City can provide us with your contact information. If you wish, you can also email me right now at jlop28vislophis@yahoo.com.

    We look forward to greeting old and new partners in our struggle to provide real justice for all!

    Sincerely,
    José M López Sierra
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com
    Because, rights are not requested, they are demanded!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Partner,

    After the approval of the 33rd United Nations’ resolution by consensus on June 23, 2014 asking the United States (US) to immediately decolonize of Puerto Rico, we should work together to force the United States government to comply with it.

    The facts that the United States government has maintained Puerto Rico as its colony for 116 years, has had Oscar López Rivera in prison for 33 years for fighting for Puerto Rico decolonization, and has ignored 33 UN resolutions to decolonize Puerto Rico, confirm that the US government has no intentions of ever decolonizing Puerto Rico. Therefore, we need to form a tsunami of people to force the US to comply with the 33 resolutions.

    We should peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until we achieve our goal. The first one will be a march up to the US Courthouse in Puerto Rico on the Abolition of Slavery Day on March 22. The second will be another march in Puerto Rico on a day before the UN’s Puerto Rico decolonization hearing. The third one will be a protest in New York City on the same day the UN holds its Puerto Rico decolonization hearing.

    These 3 protests are indispensable, because those who have colonies don’t believe in justice for all.

    Sincerely,
    José M López Sierra
    Jlop28vislophis@gmail.com
    Comité Timón del Pueblo
    United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Partner,

    Since the United Nations determined in 1960 that colonialism is a crime against humanity, there is no longer a need for plebiscites. The solution is to give Puerto Rico her sovereignty.

    But being the United States government does not want to, it continues to advocate the use of plebiscites to find out what Puerto Ricans want. Even if 100% of Puerto Ricans would want to continue being a US colony, Puerto Rico would still be obligated to accept her sovereignty to then decide what she wants to do.

    The only thing these plebiscites are good for is to divide Puerto Ricans. A Puerto Rican didn’t invade us to make us a colony. When will we understand that we need to unite?

    This is why we must peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until Puerto Rico is decolonized!

    José M López Sierra
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not true that there are 3 political status options for Puerto Rico

    The United States (US) government has made Puerto Ricans believe that there are 3 political status options for Puerto Rico. That is a lie. The purpose for that is to have Puerto Ricans fight amongst themselves. The plan has been a huge success! Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States for 116 years, and judging by the 80% voter turnout in the colonial elections, the majority of us has not realized that we have been lied to.

    In reality, there is only one option. The United Nations (UN) in 1960 determined that colonialism is a crime against humanity. Therefore, the only thing that Puerto Rico can do is to become her own nation. That means that the US must give Puerto Rico the sovereignty that the US illegally took away from her by virtue of the July 25, 1898 military invasion.

    Thus far, the US government has ignored the 33 UN resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. Instead, it has tried to hide these petitions, and at the same time appear to believe in democracy by pushing for plebiscites so that Puerto Ricans could decide between colonialism, being a US state, or independence (decolonization as required by the UN).

    The problem with the US pushed plebiscites are that they:

    1. don’t comply with international law that prohibits a nation to have a colony.
    2. don’t comply with international law that requires the empire to give the sovereignty it illegally took away to its colony.
    3. don’t comply with international law that requires that to have free elections, that country must be free first.
    4. have 2 options that are not permitted by international law- continuing being a colony and becoming a state of the country that has the colony. For the option of becoming a state of the country that has the colony to be considered, the colony must first become her own nation (decolonized).

    This is why we have to peacefully protest 3 times a year until the US government complies with the UN resolutions for Puerto Rico decolonization.

    José M López Sierra
    www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete