by Steve Bloom
February 16, 2016
Matt Meyer of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, in association with the National Boricua Human Rights Network, has issued an international call for actions on Monday, June 20, demanding Freedom for Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera. That’s the first day of testimony this year being held by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization in New York. A public demonstration in support of Rivera is planned at UN headquarters. The goal is to have some kind of action (“candlelight vigil, an educational forum, a letter-writing tabling effort, creative street theater, meetings with government officials, or whatever makes most sense given your political context and capacity”) in 35 countries on the same day, one for every year that Rivera has been in prison.
Oscar Lopez Rivera.
The call requests “that you send us at least one photograph of your activity along with a short summary of what you did, and that you adhere to the following basic, respectful points regarding Oscar and the need for his release:”
“Since 1981, Oscar Lopez Rivera has been incarcerated in the US–an act condemned by the UN–making him the longest held political prisoner in the history of US-Latin American relations. In 1898, US Marines landed in Puerto Rico, taking control of the government, economy, and general sovereignty of the island. Since 1946 (shortly after its founding), the United Nations and its Special Committee on Decolonization have reviewed Puerto Rico’s status, asserting its ‘inalienable right to self-determination.’
In 1998, following the conclusion of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu led a half dozen fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipients in a Call to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera. Last year, several heads of state attending the annual Organization of American States General Assembly proclaimed Oscar to be ‘the Nelson Mandela of Latin America.’ This year, THIS CALL asks the people of the world to speak with one voice and demand, in local and regional actions to be held the first day of the 2016 UN Decolonization hearings on Puerto Rico: FREE OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA NOW!”
Readers of this webzine who reside outside the USA and who would like to either participate in or initiate actions on June 20, are urged to contact Matt Meyer (Resistanceinbrooklyn.email@example.com) to discuss what might be possible. Readers who reside inside the USA, but who know people in other countries who might be interested, are urged to forward the relevant information to them.
Steve Bloom is a member of Solidarity in New York City, and is active in the campaign to free Oscar Lopez Rivera.