“Historic” Vote: Newark City Council Passes Resolution in Favor of Oscar’s Freedom!

By José E. Velazquez , NJ Committee to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera

At the request of Councilman Luis Quintana, the Municipal Council of Newark, NJ passed a resolution demanding President Obama the release of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. The resolution demands an immediate pardon as his continuous incarceration is unjust and serves no legitimate purpose. The resolution proposed by Councilman Quintana was seconded by Councilor Osbourne and approved by all present, with the exception of Councilwoman Mildred Crump, who abstained from voting. It is with this that the Newark Municipal Council joins the New York City Council and the movement for the release of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican political prisoner imprisoned for more than 34 years in federal prison. The release of López Rivera has become a point of unity among Puerto Rican society and has the support of international groups, recipients of the Nobel Prize, President Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Coretta Scott King and dozens of other political, cultural, and religious leaders, who have asked President Obama that Lopez Rivera be released based on political and humanitarian positions. Lopez Rivera was part of a group of Puerto Ricans imprisoned in the 1980s for “seditious conspiracy” for actions related to the struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico. Oscar Lopez Rivera is serving a sentence of 70 years. Councilman Luis Quintana described the municipal council vote as “historic” and said he will continue to support the release of López Rivera. Recently, the Puerto Rican Parade of Newark decided to dedicate the 2016 parade to the political prisoner. Luis Negrón Ocasio, NJ Coordinator of the Oscar Lopez Rivera Pro-Freedom Committee, thanked the work of Councilman Quintana and said that those who want to support this cause may do so.