On Saturday, Sept. 17th Congressmen Luis Gutierrez visited Connecticut’s capital city of Hartford, where he served as a featured speaker for “Latino Voices Rising” and spoke about Puerto Rico’s unrest, economic status and the freeing of Oscar Lopez Rivera. The event at Hartford City Hall was hosted by Court of Common Council members Wildaliz Bermudez, James Sanchez and Julio Concepcion.
Congressmen Gutierrez highlighted the fact that Puerto Rico is now considered an official colony of the U.S. yet, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Puerto Rico’s longest held political prisoner in this hemisphere, has been jailed for 35 for speaking the truth Puerto Rico’s status.
The event coincided with the New England Summit of Puerto Rican elected and appointed officials that was held in the neighboring state of Massachusetts. Among other memorable moments of the event, CT Students for A Dream Youth and founders, told their stories of being undocumented immigrants in this country, as part of a panel discussion. Along with Dr. Andrea Dyrness who drew comparisons between the current state of the our public education system as a way for colonized subjugation of Latinos in this country. While, Historian José E. Lopez stated the decolonization begins with ending incarceration of Oscar Lopez Rivera.
Without a doubt, the rich discussions generated about policy and action, drew many to participate as part of wave of political consciousness building within our Latino East coast communities as well as Latino communities across the U.S.