“Free Oscar López and all political prisoners now!”

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by Miriam Ruiz Rapale

On Saturday 26 March, I was in Chicago on vacation and took the opportunity to participate in the Rally 34 Women for Oscar. As I know by different readings, the Puerto Rican community in the diaspora is as Boricua and as combative in our struggles as us in Puerto Rico. But I never had the opportunity to be present in their activities. I met family and friends of Oscar López, including his lawyer, Jan Susler, whom I admire and respect for her consistency and strength as a woman. To my surprise, a comrade asked me if I would talk on the phone a minute with Oscar. “Of course!”, I said. My heart started pounding immediately.

“What am I gonna say?” I  thought. But Oscar told me “¿Cómo estás, Miriam?”, in Spanish. And though I remained excited and surprised, I felt more comfortable. So I tried to articulate as best and fast as I could all the excitement I felt. First I asked “how are you?”, and I listened to his voice so excited and motivated as mine. Then I said, “I’ve been an activist for a few years in Puerto Rico, especially in the student movement and I know with certainty I’m not the only one who is fighting for your release. There are thousands of young people who can’t wait to talk to you and meet you. Please, when you get to Puerto Rico this year, I know that you will have many commitments, but remember us and find us at the University.” And he said: “¡Seguro que sí! Write me and send me your address, so we can arrange something.” He is committed to us as we are with him.
What a joy! Hoping that his release is soon, and while I don’t know when that will be, we can continue struggling for his release so to start planning to meet him in person soon. I know I speak for my comrades in Puerto Rico when I say that will be the most exciting moment. He is a leader who inspires us and gives us strength to keep fighting even when the crisis “nos jamaquea” constantly in our daily lives.

From Puerto Rico and in Chicago we say: “Free Oscar López and all political prisoners now!”

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