Building Bridges over WBAI radio, 99.5FM with Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash


Mon., March 17, 2014, 7 – 8pm EST

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The Colonization of Puerto Rico & The History of African-Americans:
Same Struggle, Same Fight
and the Imperative to Free Oscar López Rivera

with Jose López, Ex. Dir. Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Chicago IL.,
brother of political prisoner, 70-year-old Oscar  López Rivera
Dr. Cornel West, America’s most renowned public intellectual, author of over 20 books and activist
Dr. Samuel Cruz, sociologist of religion, race, Latino studies,
sexuality and gender, Senior Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church.

Cornel West and Samuel Cruz are joined by Jose López to continue the groundbreaking ‘Common Ground and Common Hope: Black & Latino Dialogue’ of 2012 and in the aftermath of their historic trip to Puerto Rico  discuss the impact of their recent talks and  connect many of the most pressing moral, spiritual and political issues raised to the ongoing struggle to liberate Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican political prisoner who has been incarcerated for over 32 years.  They draw on Dr. King’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ written in April 1963, where he defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws.

Oscar  López Rivera has been imprisoned since 1981 for seditious conspiracy, directly related to his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico.  He was not accused of causing harm or taking a life.  He is the longest-held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico and Latin America, and among the longest-held political prisoners in the US. He is a caring community organizer; a creative, self-taught artist; a voracious reader; a brilliant thinker whose imprisonment constitutes an ongoing human rights violation.