Tomorrow, Saturday, May 30th, over 5 thousand people will gather in New York City for “One Voice for Oscar López,” a national march and rally to demand the release of Puerto Rican activist and icon Oscar López, a 72-year-old decorated Vietnam veteran who begins his 34th year in prison on May 29th despite having never been charged with any violent crime. He has served 12 of those years in complete, total isolation.
A broad coalition of over 100 faith, community, labor and civic organizations and elected officials has come together to plan and support this unprecedented mobilization. This support includes: Nobel Prize winners, governors, senators, celebrated artists and people from across the political and religious spectrum. The coalition has already accomplished a great deal, from turning out a huge contingent of supporters at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade—which was dedicated to Oscar’s freedom—to launching a highly successful social and digital media campaign to amplify the calls for his release. But we need your help to take this movement to the next step and to turn out as many people as possible this Saturday, May 30th.
From donations to passing out leaflets, from Facebook to phone banking, there are countless ways you can help this grassroots campaign grow powerful enough to bring Oscar home.
Support for his freedom continues to grow– in Puerto Rican communities in the U.S., in Puerto Rico, and internationally. Witness the following:
Over 500,000 people were reached to support Oscar on January 6, 2015, his 72nd birthday, as individuals and organizations from 34 countries and 17 states in the US participated in the “Social Media Campaign for Oscar López.” Using various hashtags, the campaign publicly brought together a broad spectrum of supporters, from Calle 13’s René Pérez to actor Luis Guzmán; from NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito to Congress members Nydia Velázquez and Luis Gutiérrez, Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vila; the Puerto Rico Department of Labor; pro-independence organizations to blogs like the Latino Rebels to newspapers including El Nuevo Día.
- Organized labor solidly supports his release: 1199/SEIU, 32BJ, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, and the Labor Council For Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) have passed resolutions.
- In the international community, the UN Decolonization Committee has passed a resolution every year for the past 15 years urging his release during its annual hearings; the Non Aligned Movement, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and organizations have also called for his release;
- Six Nobel Laureates and six Latin American Presidents have written to President Obama asking for López Rivera’s release.
We hope to increase public visibility of his case on the East Coast, as part of a Latino-based human rights initiative, and in this way, contribute to the nearly unanimous support in Puerto Rico and in Puerto Rican communities across the US. The campaign is also collecting 100,000 letters to President Obama urging him to release Oscar immediately.
So join us, this Saturday, May 30th when we will gather to tell President Obama that 34 years is enough, and to release Oscar López Rivera!