The annual Puerto Rican Day Parade down Fifth Avenue is typically a celebration of ethnic heritage, music, and personalities. But this year, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has politicized the festivities by naming convicted terrorist and Puerto Rican separatist Oscar López Rivera as the parade’s first-ever “National Freedom Hero.” López Rivera spent 35 years in prison for coordinating a campaign of bombings that killed and wounded dozens of New Yorkers. He is not a suitable honoree for any parade, let alone in the city where he committed his crimes.
The Facts You Need to Know
Freedom Fighter?: López Rivera refused to mount a defense in his trial, asserting that he was a “combatant” in an anticolonial war. Read more.
Not Sorry: López Rivera has never expressed remorse for his crimes. Read more.
No Support: Every major corporate sponsor has withdrawn support for the parade because of López Rivera’s participation. Read more.
“I usually do march in most of the parades with the fraternal organizations, but I'm not going to be marching this year. I cannot support a man who is a co-founder of an organization that engaged in over 120 bombings.”
The Past is Present
“San Juan, Puerto Rico, mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s visit to New York last week made headlines, but for the wrong reasons.”
And in other news...
“A horse got loose and galloped through Hell’s Kitchen during rush hour Tuesday afternoon, cops said.”