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Vieques Picket/Holiday Party/Oscar Lopez Rivera

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  • ProLibertad Campaign
    THURSDAY DECEMBER 4, 2003 AT 5:30PM PICKET IN PROTEST OF THE SENTENCING OF THE VIEQUES 12 AT THE UNITED NATIONS RALPH BUNCHE PARK E42ND ST AND 1ST AVENUE Join
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2003
      THURSDAY DECEMBER 4, 2003 AT 5:30PM
      PICKET IN PROTEST OF THE SENTENCING OF THE VIEQUES 12 AT THE UNITED NATIONS
      RALPH BUNCHE PARK E42ND ST AND 1ST AVENUE

      Join the ProLibertad Freedom Campaign on Thursday December 4th, 2003 as we
      protest the unfair and
      unjust sentencing of the Vieques 12!!

      The Vieques 12 are activists, community members and residents of
      Vieques/mainland Puerto Rico that have been targeted by the FBI for their
      activities in Vieques on May 1st, 2003. The arrests of ten of the Vieques 12
      in June is another attempt by the FBI and U.S. government to repress and
      punish Vieques activists for participating in the struggle to remove the
      U.S. Navy from Vieques. Two of the twelve, Jose Perez went to trial in
      Sept. and Jose Velez turned himself in after the arrest. It is also an
      attempt to discourage activists from continuing the struggle to achieve the
      four demands of the People of Vieques
      (Decontamination-Devolution-Development-Demilitarization)!!

      We urge all people in solidarity with the Vieques cause to help us protest
      this unjust and unfair targeting of activists by the FBI in Puerto Rico.

      We are calling on all organizations to endorse this activity and commit to
      mobilizing for this event!! To endorse please email
      ProLibertad@..., call 718-601-4751!!

      __________________________________________________________________________________

      SATURDAY DECEMBER 13, 2003 AT 7PM PROLIBERTAD HOLIDAY PARTY!!
      THE BRECHT FORUM 122 W27TH ST 10th floor (BETWEEN 6-7TH AVES.)

      Join the ProLibertad Freedom Campaign for our annual Holiday Party at the
      Brecht!!

      Join us for a night of DELICIOUS PUERTO RICAN FOOD, FABULOUS MUSIC (Salsa,
      Merengue and Hip Hop), DANCING, and our famous HOLIDAY AUCTION OF
      ART/COQUITO/CRAFTS for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Commissary Fund!!
      ONLY $10 (no one will be turned away)

      Come out and party with us as we celebrate a year of organzing for freedom!!
      All are welcome!! if you are a poet and want to perform come on over,
      you want to sing, we would love to have you, if you have any talent and want
      to share it, we would love you too!!

      __________________________________________________________________________________

      The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is happy to support the campaign to demand
      medical treatment for Oscar Lopez Rivera and to circulate this update on the
      campaign. The time is critical please get these latters out and support
      Oscar, we are close to a date for surgery and we need more letters out there
      to increase the pressure.

      GET THOSE LETTERS OUT!! CIRCUALTE THE CALL TO DEMAND MEDICAL TREATEMENT FOR
      OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA!!

      Dear Friends,

      The COMIT� PRO DERECHOS HUMANOS DE PUERTO RICO and the BORICUA NATIONAL
      HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK would like to thank everyone for their letters, faxes,
      and postcards in support of the campaign to obtain medical care for Oscar
      L�pez Rivera. We know that many people in Puerto Rico, Boston, Camden,
      Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC,
      and other areas have already participated in this effort.

      We have just received word that on October 27, 2003, Oscar was taken to the
      infirmary and shown the letters that had come in. He was told that the
      letters were unnecessary because the surgery was already approved, but he
      was not given a date. He was also told that they would only operate on one
      of his two hernias.

      We need to keep the pressure on to make sure that Oscar is given a date
      immediately, and that both hernias are safely and successfully repaired.

      The original press release and sample letter are enclosed in case you do not
      have them.

      With many thanks for your solidarity and support!

      COMIT� PRO DERECHOS HUMANOS DE PUERTO RICO
      Condominio Caribbean Towers, 670 Ponce de Le�n, Apto. 1018
      San Juan Puerto Rico 00907
      787/725-6284
      PRESS RELEASE
      October 21, 2003

      The health and well being of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar L�pez
      Rivera is at this moment at risk. Last March, Dr. Taude, a surgeon at USP
      Terre Haute, diagnosed bilateral hernias. The doctor indicated he would
      recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that the hernias be surgically repaired.
      Since that time Mr. L�pez has reported to medical staff that he has
      increasing pain in the area of the hernias. Three months ago he was still
      able to exercise vigorously, but he currently unable to do so because of the
      pain. After enduring months of pain and discomfort since diagnosis, Mr.
      L�pez again saw Dr. Taude in early October. The doctor assured Mr. L�pez
      that he had recommended surgery, but apprised him that it was up to the
      Bureau of Prisons to decided whether to provide the surgery.

      We have consulted with physicians who inform us that although the hernias
      seem to be reducible, with the increasing pain, one of the two hernias might
      become stuck, which could result in a surgical emergency.

      Oscar, serving a 70 year sentence, is not eligible for release until 2027.
      For more than half of his 22 years in prison, he was held in the most
      maximum security prisons in the United States in the strictest solitary
      confinement, politically punitive conditions calculated to break his will.
      Withholding needed medical care is another weapon in the government�s
      arsenal to seek this same end.

      Prison officials at the maximum security United States Penitentiary at Terre
      Haute, Indiana, where he is held, seem to be using his high security status
      to delay needed medical treatment, at no small cost and risk to Oscar�s
      health and well-being. We have written in protest to the Harley G. Lappin,
      director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and we are calling on all people
      of conscience to join in a letter writing campaign to insist that Oscar be
      immediately provided with the medical care their own doctors have determined
      he needs.

      Contacts in Puerto Rico:
      Comit� Pro Derechos Humanos, Condominio Caribbean Towers, 670 Ponce de Le�n,
      Apt. 1018,
      San Juan, PR 00907, Margarita Mergal 787/732-3209

      Contacts in U.S.:

      The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign, ProLibertad@...,
      http://ProLibertadWeb.tripod.com, bronx 718-601-4751, Manhattan
      212-927-9065, New Jersey 201-435-3244

      National Boricua Human Rights Network, P.O. Box 112, 2820 W. North Ave.,
      Chicago, IL 60647, 773/342-8022

      ****************************************************************************

      Harley G. Lappin, Director
      Federal Bureau of Prisons
      320 First Street N.W.
      Washington, D.C. 20534
      BOP fax number: 202/514-6878

      Re: Oscar L�pez Rivera, 87651-024

      USP Terre Haute

      Dear Director Lappin:
      In March of 2003, a surgeon at USP Terre Haute, Dr. Taude, diagnosed Mr.
      L�pez with bilateral hernias. The doctor indicated he would recommend to the
      Bureau of Prisons (BOP) that the hernias be surgically repaired. Since that
      time, Mr. L�pez has reported to the medical staff that he has increasing
      pain in the area of the hernias. Three months ago he was still able to
      exercise vigorously, but he is currently unable to do so because of the
      pain. After enduring months of pain and discomfort since the diagnosis, Mr.
      L�pez again saw Dr. Taude in early October. The doctor assured Mr. L�pez
      that he had recommended surgery, but apprised him that it was up to the BOP
      to decided whether to provide the surgery.

      We are concerned, based on his attorney's consultation with qualified
      outside medical personnel, that although the hernias seem to be reducible,
      the pain is increasing, and if one of the hernias becomes stuck, the result
      could be a surgical emergency. We further understand that since he has two
      hernias, they could both be repaired at the same time so that he will have
      to recover from only one surgery, and avoiding the necessity for anesthesia
      on two occasions.

      Finally, given the political nature of the acts and beliefs for which Mr.
      L�pez is in prison-fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico- we are
      concerned that prison authorities are placing an inappropriate emphasis on
      his high security status, at no small cost and risk to Mr. L�pez' health and
      well-being. We insist that you immediately provide him with the care that
      the surgeon has already determined he needs. You can be sure that we will
      continue to monitor his situation and advocate for his human rights. We
      expect a forthcoming response.

      Sincerely yours,

      Name ________________________
      Address _______________________

      ********************************************************************************

      Background Information on Oscar L�pez Rivera and the Puerto Rican Political
      Prisoners.
      Oscar L�pez Rivera was among fifteen Puerto Rican men and women imprisoned
      in the 1980's and 1990's for their acts and beliefs in favor of Puerto Rican
      independence. The support for their release included several members of
      congress, Nobel laureates, labor leaders, the Catholic Archbishop of Puerto
      Rico, and all the major Protestant churches of Puerto Rico and many
      denominations in the US, as well as the entire political spectrum in Puerto
      Rico.

      By the time most of these supporters became involved in the campaign for
      their release, the prisoners had all served over a decade in prison. The
      supporters held many different views about pacifism vs. just war and
      political status, but they agreed that that these prisoners had received
      disproportionately long sentences (ave. over 65 years) and had more than
      served whatever debt they may have owed to society.

      Of those fifteen, in 1999 President Clinton commuted the sentences of
      eleven, declaring that their sentences were indeed disproportionate. Of the
      four who remain in prison, two are scheduled for release before the end of
      next year. Mr. L�pez and Carlos Alberto Torres, however, continue to face
      the equivalent of life sentences, with release dates in 2027 and 2024,
      respectively.

      Most of these political prisoners, including Mr. L�pez and Mr. Torres, were
      associated with the FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) and were
      convicted of seditious conspiracy (the same charge for which Nelson Mandela
      was convicted, and which has been used primarily against the Puerto Rican
      independence movement). They were accused of military actions against
      corporate and military targets related to the colonial condition of Puerto
      Rico, but not of any act resulting in human injury or loss of life. Because
      they invoked the international law position as prisoners of war, insisting
      that they had a right under the Geneva Conventions to be tried by an
      international tribunal instead of by the colonial power, they did not defend
      themselves in court.

      Just as their disproportionate sentences were calculated to punish them for
      their political beliefs and acts, so have their prison conditions,
      particularly in Mr. L�pez� case. For over 12 years he experienced the most
      maximum security prisons in the U.S., including USP Marion, Illinois,
      condemned by Amnesty International as violating virtually every one of the
      United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, and
      ADX Florence, Colorado, the "Alcatraz of the Rockies," known for interning
      those regarded by the government as "terrorists."

      Since September 11, the risk to those who remain in prison has only
      increased, as the "anti-terrorist" order of the day has ushered in a harsher
      regime, making their segregation and isolation even more imminent, and
      elevating their high security status to the point where it interferes with
      needed medical care.

      While those of us who sought the release of all fifteen celebrate that
      eleven have come home, we continue to strive for the heath, welfare and
      freedom of those who remain behind bars.

      Contacts in the US:

      The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign, ProLibertad@...,
      http://ProLibertadWeb.tripod.com, bronx 718-601-4751, Manhattan
      212-927-9065, New Jersey 201-435-3244

      National Boricua Human Rights Network, P.O. Box 112, 2820 North Ave.,
      Chicago, IL, 60647, 773-342-8022; Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience
      Project, PO Box 770608, Lakewood, OH 44107, , 216 780-9262.

      Contacts in Puerto Rico: Margarita Mergal, Comit� Pro Derechos Humanos,
      Condominio Caribbean Towers, Ave. Ponce de Le�n, n�m. 670, Apto. 1018, San
      Juan, P.R., 00907; Tel: 787-732-3209.

      _________________________________________________________________
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