Category Archives: Events

May 27-29: 35 Poets for Oscar Poetry Marathon

Poets from 3 cities unite in live stream poetry marathon to free Oscar Lopez Rivera

POETS PRO OSCAR (2)Poets from across the country join to mark the 35th Anniversary of the arrest of Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera. 35 Poets for Oscar Poetry Marathon will take place during three days, in at least three cities, and the event will be livestreamed on the National Boricua Human Rights Network website.

  • Friday, May 27th at 8:00pm (PST): 5 poets from Los Angeles County reading at Tia Chucha Cultural Center 13197 Gladstone Ave – Unit A, Sylmar 91342
  • Saturday, May 28th at 1:00pm (ET): in New York City, La Marqueta Retoña located at 1607 Park Ave, New York, NY 10029, and E. 115th Street in El Barrio, East Harlem
  • Sunday, May 29th at 2:00pm (CT): 35 Poets from Chicago will be reading at Casa de Oscar, 2628 W Division St

Oscar López Rivera was imprisoned On May 29, 1981 and has spent 35 years in federal prison, 12 of which were in solitary confinement for political activities relating to Puerto Rican independence. In 1999 President Clinton offered clemency to 13 Puerto Rican political prisoners including López Rivera. Oscar rejected this offer clemency because two other codefendants were not included in the offer. Since then, all except Oscar have been released. Support has grown for his release. From 10 Nobel Laureates including Desmond Tutu, Elected Officials from across the political spectrum in Puerto Rico including the 7 candidates for governor representing the major political parties. In addition, The Hispanic Congressional Caucus, the four Puerto Rican U.S. Congressmen, as well as, several City Councils in the US have sent Pres. Obama letters urging his release. So far over 65,000 petitions to Obama have been collected.

34 Women in Logan Square: April 30

14115536108_4eaf2f1bc7_z-web34 Women for Oscar Chicago is a group of women who gather every month for 34 minutes to raise awareness around the incarceration of Oscar López Rivera. We rally for 34 minutes to signify the 34 years Oscar has been imprisoned. We gather in solidarity with women in Boston, New York City and Puerto Rico who also rally once a month for 34 minutes.

When: Saturday, April 30 at 3:00pm to 3:34pm

Where: Logan Square Eagle at Milwaukee and Kedzie

Directions: Blue Line – Logan Square stop

Prohibido Leer: April 15

Prohibido Leer

Contratiempo brings you a poetry open mic night in solidarity with the campaign to free Oscar.

Friday, April 15, 6PM

La Casa de Oscar, 2628 West Division Street, Chicago IL

Un Patriota Encarcelado que Tenemos Que Sacar 34 Women for Oscar March 26 Rally


34 Mujeres X Oscar Chicago has changed their rallying location for March and April. We are meeting at the Logan Square Eagle to continue raising consciousness around the campaign to free Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera.

34 Mujeres X Oscar Chicago is a group of women who gather every month for 34 minutes to raise awareness around the incarceration of Oscar López Rivera. We rally for 34 minutes to signify the 34 years Oscar has been imprisoned. We gather in solidarity with women in Boston, New York City and Puerto Rico who also rally once a month for 34 minutes.

This year is extremely critical for Oscar’s campaign as the political climate in the U.S. can shift once President Obama leaves office. Join this effort and meet us at 3:00pm on Saturday, March 26 in a 34-minute action to raise awareness and increase the momentum surrounding his case for liberation. Men are more than welcome to join us. Help is needed in distributing literature and collecting petitions.

Oscar López Rivera is a Humboldt Park native with deep roots in many of the community organizations and university programs that he helped organize or found, that still exist today. While among us, he dedicated his life to fighting injustices around affordable housing and community development. He is one of the founders of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School as well as the Puerto Rican Cultural Center; organizations that have been established for over 40 years. Internationally, in the US and Puerto Rico, many activists, elected officials, Nobel Laureates and celebrities have called on Pres. Obama for his immediate release.

When: Saturday, March 26 at 3:00pm to 3:34pm
Where: Logan Square Eagle at Milwaukee and Kedzie
Directions: Blue Line – Logan Square stop

Puerto Rican Diaspora, Human Rights Issues part of Comprehensive National Puerto Rican Agenda

For immediate release
October 9, 2015

L. Alejandro Molina

Encuentro Nacional del la Diaspora Gather National and Local Officials to Call on
Washington for Action on Fiscal, Human Rights Crises

CHICAGO, IL – On October 14th, Puerto Rican leaders and advocates of human rights issues of Puerto Rican diaspora will arrive in Orlando for a two-day meeting to develop a national Puerto Rican agenda.

The Convening will provide actionable strategies to address the major issues facing the Commonwealth: Fiscal Crisis, Health Care Crisis, Human Rights and Civic Engagement, and Climate Change and Infrastructure Support. One of the issues to be presented by the Human Rights and Civic Engagement panel is the case of Oscar López Rivera, the 72 year old Vietnam Veteran convicted of seditious conspiracy, who has spent the last 34 years in federal prisons, 12 of them in total isolation. Advocates who are pressing President Obama for a presidential pardon include labor (AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)); the New York City Council, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; churches and religious leaders including the United Church of Christ in the U.S. and the Catholic Bishops of Puerto Rico; the United Nations Decolonization Committee, five members of Congress, the governor of Puerto Rico, six presidents of Latin American nations, as well as four of your fellow Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Civic leaders, government officials from 10 states, and other stakeholders are expected to attend. The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera will be represented by members from NY, IL, OH, and NJ. The attendees from Chicago are: Luis Rosa, former political prisoner, Lourdes Lugo, community activist and niece of Oscar López Rivera, L. Alejandro Molina, all members of the National Boricua Human Rights Network and José E. López, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and brother of Oscar López Rivera.

In addition, the following members of the Puerto Rican Agenda will be participating in the Encounter in Orlando: Ada N. López, ex-Trustee , University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Billy Ocasio, Executive Director, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, David Hernández, President, Board of Directors, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, Debbie López, President, Chicago Chapter, National Organization of Puerto Rican Women, Eduardo Arocho, Executive Director, Division Street Business Development Association,  Eliud Medina, Executive Director, Near Northwest Neighborhood Network, Fernando Grillo, Chairman, Board of Directors of ASPIRA of Illinois, Hilda Frontany, Board of Directors, Hipolito Roldan, Executive Director, Hispanic Housing, Javier Caro, ex-member, Illinois State Commission on Licensing, Mayra Estrella, Program Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Michael Rodríguez Muñiz, Post-doctoral, Sociology, University of Chicago, Mike Vargas Inspector Supervisor City of Chicago, Department of Transportation, Pablo Medina, ex-member, City of Chicago Human Relations Commission, Ray Vázquez, ex-Commissioner, Dept of Human Services, Sandra Candelaria, Program Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Veronica Ocasio, Chief of Staff, New Life Convenant Church.

Elected Officials Attending:

Luis V. Gutierrez Congressman, 4th District (D-IL)

Iris Martinez State Sen. 20th Dist.

Luis Arroyo Sr. State Rep. 3rd

WHO: Unidos Por Puerto Rico, Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Luis Gutiérrez, Jose Serrano, NYC Council President Melissa Mark Viverito, leaders of the Puerto Rican diaspora, local and regional government officials

WHAT:  National gathering of leaders to call for action on Puerto Rican crises.

WHERE: Welcome Reception held at Acacia’s El Centro Borinqueño (formerly Asociación Borinqueña)on Tuesday, Oct. 13th, 2015, 6-9pm.

1865 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida  32817

WHEN: October 14th, 2015, 8-3pm.

More information:

# # #

La Capilla del Barrio and NBHRN plan Community Celebration of Oscar López Rivera’s Birthday Jan 8!

Come and eat birthday cake, hear original performances by the Batey Urbano, La Capilla youth and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School on Oscar López Rivera and an update on the campaign to free him. Download the leaflet here.
Date: Sunday, January 8, 2012
Place: La Capilla del Barrio, 3054 W. Armitage Ave
Time: 11:30am

Former Political Prisoner Speaks



Puerto Rican Nationalist Carlos Alberto Torres to Lecture on His Incarceration, Political Prisoner Campaigns, and Puerto Rico

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This week, the UCSB MultiCultural Center (MCC) presents Art as Activism: Political Prisoners, and Puerto Rican Independence, a talk by Puerto Rican independentista Carlos Alberto Torres. Torres will speak about his experiences as a political prisoner in the U.S. for 30 years, Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. territory, and ongoing campaigns for political prisoners — as well as how these issues relate to human rights. The talk begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11, in the MCC’s lounge (UCSB campus). Admission is free. Call 893-8411 for more info.

Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Speaks at Evergreen State College

Sat, 10/08/2011 – 3:04pm — Anonymous

Puerto Rican history, the struggle for independence!

Carlos Torres, 30 years served as political prisoner in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican history, the struggle for independence!
Carlos Torres, 30 years served as political prisoner in Puerto Rico.
Saturday, October 15 · 2pm, The Evergreen State College, Seminar 2 E1105

Carlos Alberto Torres spent 30 years in prison for his politics and is here in Olympia to share his human story of liberation, incarceration, torture, survival and the struggle of the Puerto Rican people in their Independence movement.

Carlos Alberto will be speaking on Puerto Rican history and the struggle for independence, Puerto Ricans in the diaspora, his inspiring history and the situation of political prisoners.

Carlos Alberto has been a major activist in the Puerto Rico independence movement. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy and sentenced to 78 years in prison in 1980. He served 30 years as a political prisoner before being released on parole one year ago. As a prisoner he suffered both mental and physical torture.

He is living in Puerto Rico, making pottery and is currently is on a tour of the United States sharing his experiences and knowledge of Puerto Rico and the independence movement, and of current political prisoners.…

Event Date:
Saturday, October 15, 2011 – 2:00pm

May 29 Commemorative Events in Chicago

An update on the day’s program for Chicago as we head toward the events commemorating May 29, 2011 (the day of Oscar’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment for the last 30 years),

1) Arrival of the Freedom Walkers
Over 30 Freedom Walkers will be arriving to the Unity Ecumenical Service, several of which will have marched almost 200 miles in 10 days, from Terre Haute, IN to Chicago, IL and the majority marching 30 miles to Chicago. HELP US GREET THEM by joining us at the Ecumenical Service below.

2) Unity Ecumenical Service
Lincoln Methodist Memorial Church
2242 S. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

3) Arrival of the Freedom Bikers and Cultural Event at La Casita de Don Pedro
Over 30 Freedom Bikers will be arriving to La Casita de Don Pedro, after biking to and from Glenview, IL where Oscar Lopez Rivera was arrested on May 29, 1981. HELP US GREET THEM! Join us at the cultural celebration below.

La Casita de Don Pedro
2625 W. Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622

Included are a series of attachments, including the Sunday Bulletin announcement insert for the service on next Sunday, May 29, 2011 as well as the press release for the Freedom Walk, pledge sheet and leaflet. Lastly, the Call to a Season of Prayer and Meditation for Oscar Lopez Rivera is also attached. Please download the attachments to gather pledges, mobilize your church and contact press for this event. See you on Sunday, May 29!

Organizer’s Meeting to Free Oscar

Join supporters of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López in the renewed campaign for his release!

Saturday, January 15 from 05:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Resist Art Collective at 2708 West Division Street, Chicago

Hear a report back on Oscar’s case from Jan Susler. Alejandro Molina will discuss the second phase of the campaign. Learn how you can help. ¡Qué salga ya!