by Erika Abad, National Boricua Human Rights Network
This Sunday, May 29, marked the 35th anniversary of Oscar Lopez Rivera’s arrest. In Chicago, family, friends and activists gathered this Memorial Weekend Sunday to call attention to the struggle for Oscar’s freedom, who continues to defend our right to self-determination from inside prison walls. For Oscar, self-determination is one of the primary goals of any community invested in freedom. He writes: “freedom is the most important goal to be achieved by human beings who are victims of colonialism, neocolonialism and slavery because they have never had the opportunity to enjoy freedom and to exercise their inalienable and most fundamental right of self-determination.”
After gathering and chanting out for his release while collecting petitions, many reconvened at 2628 W Division St, sharing poems and spoken word pieces inspired by Oscar’s life-altering legacy and the continued efforts the generations that followed him are undertaking to continue the struggle. Chicago was one of 5 cities that mobilized 35 women and 35 poets for Oscar, calling on President Obama and our greater communities to let Oscar come home.