Urging Release of a Puerto Rican Nationalist

(Photo by Mónica Barnkow via Manhattan Times)

(Photo by Mónica Barnkow via Manhattan Times)

On the last Sunday of every month, 33 women chant for 33 minutes to urge the release from prison of Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López Rivera.

On Sunday, Jan. 25, the group, known as 33 Mujeres NYC x Oscar, gathered at 181st Street and Broadway, reports Mónica Barnkow of Manhattan Times. The number 33 also represents the number of years that López Rivera has been incarcerated.

“The last Sunday of every month a group of 33 women manifest for 33 minutes,” explained Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, President-Elect of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG).

López Rivera was arrested in 1981 and accused of involvement in the 1975 bombing of downtown restaurant Fraunces Tavern. He received a sentence of 55 years for the crime of seditious conspiracy, and was denied parole in 2011. He was never convicted of harming or killing anyone.

“He was never convicted for any violent crimes and because he wanted to see a free Puerto Rico he has been incarcerated for 33 years,” said Bannan, noting that the crime López Rivera was convicted of is a “common charge brought upon independence activists, such as Nelson Mandela.”

Read Manhattan Times to learn what others attending the protest had to say about the 72-year-old’s incarceration.

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