By L. Alejandro Molina,
National Boricua Human Rights Network 7.5 MILLION ESTIMATED USERS were reached with the message #freeoscarlopez on Wed, January 6th, 2016, the 73rd birthday of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. The National Boricua Human Rights Network, along with its allies: Puerto Rican elected officials-led by Congress Luis V. Gutiérrez and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and other members of the NYC Council, Florida State Senator Darren Soto; the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, the National Puerto Rican Parade, Chicago’s Puerto Rican Agenda, Latino Justice and prominent blog Latino Rebels followed by La Respuesta as well as activists from El Puente. Cultural and entertainment mega-stars René Pérez (Residente of Calle 13) and Tego Calderón also tweeted as did Puerto Rican artists Miguel Luciano, poet Willie Pedomo and filmmakers Tito Roman Rivera, director of “El Antillano” and Esau Mélendez, director of “Immigrant Nation”. In Puerto Rico, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, former governor Anibal Acevedo Vila, the Puerto Rican Popular Democratic Party (PPD) the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) chapters in different cities (in Puerto Rico) and their youth organization, as well as the Puerto Rican Working Peoples Party, its youth section, and the Hostosiano Independence Movement and its youth organization, Amnesty International (Puerto Rico Chapter), Claridad, the newspaper of the independence movement followed by United Methodist Bishop Rafael Moreno, Johanna Rosaly and Radio Isla Sur. In addition, Rene González of the Cuban Five, the International Committee to Free the Cuban Five, the Anti-War Committee, well-known LGBTQ activist Pedro Julio Serrano, compañeros(as) from different movements such as the Palestinian and Black Liberation Movement and Native American movement, the Nation of Islam (Chicago) and former political prisoners. Overall, tweets emanated from 36 countries and 43 US cities. Oscar, a Bronze Star decorated Vietnam Veteran was never charged or convicted of a violent crime, yet has served 12 years in solitary confinement and 34 years total for the the charge of seditious conspiracy. The Archbishop of Puerto Rico, 6 Nobel Laureates, 6 Presidents of Latin America, all three major political tendencies in Puerto Rico, the last 4 governors of Puerto Rico and 6 members of Congress have called for his release. This call to action on January 6th, 2016, his birthday and Three King’s Day, also included the hashtags #obamafreeoscar and #regalopaoscar, comes as Pres. Barack Obama enters his last year in office and Oscar enters his 35th year of imprisonment- the longest-held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico’s century long plus struggle for independence. On January 6th, in one voice, we demanded, RELEASE OSCAR NOW, 34 YEARS IS TOO MUCH! Throughout this year, across the US, in Puerto Rico and internationally, let us join together- across boundaries, frontiers, dividing lines and confines of all kinds- and continue the journey begun on May 30th, 2015 in Harlem, New York, speaking in, “One Voice for Oscar”.