Clicky
Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. Democracy Now! is different because we don't accept government or advertising dollars—we count on you, our global audience, to fund our work.Right now, all donations to Democracy Now! will be doubled by a generous donor. Pretty amazing, right? It just takes a few minutes to make sure Democracy Now! is there for you and everyone else in 2018.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

Juan González: Puerto Rican New Yorkers don’t need approval to march in support of Oscar Lopez Rivera

Web ExclusiveJune 05, 2017
Oscarlopez
Related

It’s been a long time since I last attended the Puerto Rican Day Parade, but I intend to be there Sunday on Fifth Ave., marching at the front of the parade with Oscar Lopez Rivera, the 74-year-old former FALN leader who some condemn as a terrorist yet others praise as a patriot for Puerto Rico’s independence.

Hundreds of other Puerto Ricans will march as well to send a clear message to the city’s corporate, media and political elite — Puerto Ricans don’t need your approval to choose their heroes.

The attacks on the parade’s board of directors the past few weeks for daring to honor Lopez Rivera are unprecedented in the modern history of New York City ethnic parades.

That’s why I am also making a personal donation of $1,000 to the parade’s student scholarship fund.

“We have been calling for Oscar’s release for the past three years, with Puerto Ricans of all political views supporting it, and no one paid much attention,” Ululy Martinez, vice-chair of the parade board, told me.

But this year, when the board unanimously decided to name Lopez Rivera as a “hero of the nation,” major corporate sponsors and Hispanic police organizations pulled out. So did big-name officials like Gov. Cuomo, Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

The boycott campaign was quietly organized by a right-wing conservative group in Washington, D.C., the Media Research Center, that receives major funding from donors close to both President Trump and to Breitbart News.

Lopez Rivera, as everyone knows by now, served 35 years in a federal prison until he was freed recently when President Obama commuted his sentence. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a leader of the pro-independence FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation). Its members set more than 100 bombs, the most deadly of which was the Fraunces Tavern attack that killed four people.

He was never charged, however, with setting those bombs, but convicted instead of seditious conspiracy.

Still, terrorism directed at innocent people can never be justified, and Lopez Rivera spent nearly half his life in prison as a result.

Continue reading the rest of the column at The New York Daily News

Related Story

DN! in the NewsOct 06, 2017Juan González Talks with Rose Aguilar on KALW’s “Your Call Radio”
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation
Up arrowTop