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“Nosotros No Tenemos Armas Para Echar A Pique Sus Fuerzas Navales,
Pero Tenemos el Arma de Echar a Pique Su Prestigio en El Mundo.” Albizu 1930

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Campaign to Free Oscar Strong at Cleveland’s Puerto Rican Parade and Latino Fest

For the weekend of August 4, a contingent from Chicago went to Cleveland to assist its National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN) chapter in the campaign to free the political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. The head of the chapter, Nozomi Ikuta, warmly welcomed and housed the group and made arrangements for the campaign’s presence at the city’s Puerto Rican Parade and Latino Festival organized by the Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center.
This included marching in the parade, hosting an informational table during the festival, and speaking about the campaign on the main stage on both Saturday and Sunday before the main musical acts. Aside from distributing hundreds of fliers about the campaign, getting over 100 signed petitions for a Presidential pardon, and recruiting folks for the Cleveland chapter, the group also gave – on stage – a painting of Julia de Burgos made by Oscar to the event organizers to hang-up in their facility. The Puerto Rican community of Cleveland also warmly welcomed the group, chanting “¡Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!” when they were on stage and standing respectively when our very own Casandra Figueroa sang the original La Borinqueña. Lastly, the contingent made a connection with members of the Puerto Rican community in Lorain, Ohio and is working to organize a group for the campaign at their festival late next month.

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