Free Oscar Lopez Rivera Now!

Steve Bloom

AN INTERNATIONAL CALL has been issued for actions on Monday, June 20, demanding Freedom for Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera.

That’s the first day of testimony this year being held by the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization in New York. A public demonstration in support of Rivera is planned at UN headquarters. The goal is to have some kind of action (“candlelight vigil, an educational forum, a letter-writing tabling effort, creative street theater, meetings with government officials, or whatever makes most sense given your political context and capacity”) in 35 countries on the same day, one for every year that Rivera has been in prison.

The call from Matt Meyer of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, in association with the National Boricua Human Rights Network, requests “that you send us at least one photograph of your activity along with a short summary of what you did, and that you adhere to the following basic, respectful points regarding Oscar and the need for his release:

“Since 1981, Oscar Lopez Rivera has been incarcerated in the United States — an act condemned by the UN — making him the longest held political prisoner in the history of U.S.-Latin American relations. In 1898, U.S. Marines landed in Puerto Rico, taking control of the government, economy, and general sovereignty of the island. Since 1946 (shortly after its founding), the United Nations and its Special Committee on Decolonization have reviewed Puerto Rico’s status, asserting its ‘inalienable right to self-determination.’

“In 1998, following the conclusion of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu led a half dozen fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipients in a Call to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera. Last year, several heads of state attending the annual Organization of American States General Assembly proclaimed Oscar to be ‘the Nelson Mandela of Latin America.’”

Readers can contact Matt Meyer ( for updates and information or visit

May/June 2016, ATC 182