Celebrating the Release of Oscar López Rivera
(January 29, 2017) The 35 Mujeres NYC x Oscar movement returned to Times Square Plaza to celebrate the upcoming release of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. Less than two weeks ago, in one of his final acts before departing the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama commuted Rivera’s sentence and scheduled a release date of May 17, 2017.
The New York City group of women were inspired by the actions of 32 women in Puerto Rico who organized public rallies three years ago to mark the 74-year old Vietnam veteran’s 32nd year of imprisonment. A year later, 33 women formed 33 Mujeres NYC x Oscar and became part of the international effort to secure Oscar López Rivera’s freedom. Monthly rallies, for 33 minutes to signify the 33 years that Rivera had been imprisoned, kept his name and face fresh in the public eye throughout NYC’s five boroughs. Their monthly rallies were held in solidarity with those organized by the 33 Mujeres x Oscar group, occurring at the same date and time in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Now, after 35 years of incarceration, Oscar López Rivera will go free. The elation expressed by the women of 35 Mujeres NYC x Oscar and other supporters present rang true throughout Times Square Plaza. The longest held Puerto Rican political prisoner in the history of the nation’s independence movement will soon be heading home.