Free All Puerto Rican Prisoners of WarPrimary Artist: Terry Forman

Created: San Francisco Collective, 1983

Medium: Silkscreen

Dimensions: 11.5″ x 17.5″

Oscar López Rivera is a Puerto Rican revolutionary who was a member of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), a Puerto Rican clandestine organization fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico. The FALN carried out 130 attacks in the United States between 1974 and 1983. Oscar and 14 other members of FALN were arrested between 1980–1983 and convicted of seditious conspiracy. They declared themselves prisoners of war and refused to take part in their trials maintaining that according to international law they were anti-colonial combatants and could not be prosecuted by the US government. In 1999, several political and religious groups petitioned for their release. President Clinton offered him and the other FALN members clemency in 1999. López Rivera rejected the offer on the grounds that not all incarcerated FALN members received pardons. In January 2017, President Barack Obama commuted Oscar’s sentence; he was released in May 2017, having served 36 years in prison.

Learn more about him and listen to an interview by Democracy Now.

Image: Drawing of Oscar López Rivera.

Words: Free All Puerto Rican Prisoners of War! Independence and Socialism for Puerto Rico! Statement by Oscar López Rivera: I have been slapped and spat upon. I have been arrested for demonstrating peacefully and legally. There is no such thing as fighting the system legally and democratically. That is a farce and a lie. The US government is using their force and lies to deny us our freedom. I stand here because I have had the courage to fight. I admit that, and my presence here is a result of that. I attest to that as I attest to the fact that Puerto Rico will be free and a socialist country.

Color: white and black, on burnt orange paper.

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