New York Hosts National Meeting of Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera

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The National Boricua Human Rights Network organized a national meeting in New York the MLK weekend. Upwards of 50 crowded El Maestro Cultural Center, a youth athletic center named after Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos, which teaches youth boxing skills, also regularly organizes patriotic events. Beginning Saturday evening, representatives from 10 cities met to discuss plans for broadening the Campaign to Free Oscar. The first presentation was by Alida Millan Ferrer and Annette Diaz from 32xO, the group that has organized a vigil on the “Dos Hermanos” Bridge every last Sunday of the month since May 29 of last year. Compañeras Alida and Anette presented a slideshow and explained the beginnings of the vigil, the inspiration for the idea, and evolution of monthly event. The monthly vigils have expanded beyond the core 32 women and the theme changes on a rotating basis, so that social workers, lawyers, and young women have stepped up on separate Sundays. From there, the discussion moved to the possibilities of the Network planning similar events in 6 cities this year.

The cities- San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Orlando and Hartford presented about their work and as well as their future plans. Boston, not present, emailed their report. The New York Coordinator to Free Oscar López Rivera and the National Boricua Human Rights Network presented and together gave a more complete report. On Sunday, the “letters for Oscar campaign”, May 29, 2014 and “Postcards for Oscar” was discussed and goals were set. The meeting ended with a resource and production update that included a website re-emphasis, t-shirts, new buttons and a new brochure. Immediately afterwards, the crowd, and newcomers, stayed for the 100th Anniversary of Oscar Collazo event.

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