by Yari Pares, NJ Committee to Free Oscar López
The 35 Poets for Oscar Open Mic event was basically a way to raise awareness for the release of the longest held prisoner in Puerto Rican History Oscar Lopez Rivera who will be entering his 35th year of imprisonment.
Here in Newark NJ,the Committee to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera was supported by local politicians and the NJ Puerto Rican Day Committee as well as Taino s Kitchen Restaurant which allowed us to hold the event there.
The event was open to any artist, writer, poet , singer, anyone that wanted to share any readings. People who participated in the readings were: Eddie Feliciano , Clara Rocha ,Jose Velazquez, Katilia, Ritchie , Legend, Enok, Jsin, Malik, Tony, Millie, Lee Olson and myself Porta Rock.
The NJ Committee to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera designated the task of coordinating this event here in Newark to me, Porta Rock (Yari Pares) since they know I am a writer/poet as well as being a member of the committee. They connected me with Eduardo Arocho and Luis Alejandro Molina from the Boricua Human Rights network in Chicago to help join their 35 Poets campaign.
We had many guests ranging from Jesus Casiano Representative from the Newark Municipal Council to Jossue Torres from the NJ Puerto Rican Day Committee, a couple who drove all the way from Trenton NJ who run a cultural center there (Sam and Ivy) to local mural artists like Alex Brillante and Anibal Alvelo from Afro Boricua Photography who will be sending me some fotos of the event.
We had a little over 50 people in the house, which was great!!