Come out to support Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera and hear his writings and powerful life story.
Oscar López Rivera was born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico on January 6, 1943. His family moved to the U.S. when he was an adolescent, and—like many young Latino and African American men—he was drafted into the U.S. army; his service in Viet Nam earned him the Bronze Star. When he returned from the war in 1967, he immediately set to work organizing to improve the quality of life for his people, helping to create both the Puerto Rican High School and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center of Chicago, Illinois. Eventually, however, Oscar and other young Puerto Ricans—inspired by heroic guerilla movements throughout the world—decided that their work for the independence of Puerto Rico could best be conducted in clandestine fashion. López Rivera was arrested in 1981, and ultimately sentenced to 55 years for the thought crime of seditious conspiracy; his release date is 2027, when he will be 84 years old. From 1986 to 1998, he was held in the most super maximum security prisons in the federal prison system, in conditions not unlike those at Guantanamo under which “enemy combatants” are held—conditions which the International Red Cross have called tantamount to torture. Over López Rivera’s long years behind bars, he has become a talented and prolific artist whose drawings and paintings form part of an itinerant exhibit, Not Enough Space, along with fellow independentista Carlos Alberto Torres. He has also authored a chapter, “A Century of Colonialism: One Hundred Years of Puerto Rican Resistance,” in Joy James’ Warfare in the American Homeland.
For more information check out the National Boricua Human Rights Network website here: http://boricuahumanrights.org/