Archive | May, 2008

PACHS takes a trip to Springfield to plan for the Future

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

On April 16, a classmate of mine, María Ramos and I, were hand chosen to accompany Lourdes Lugo, the Director of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School (PACHS) and Alejandro Molina to Springfield to help represent our school. YCCS (Youth Connection Charter Schools) organized to have a meeting regarding funding for alternative schools. Our two-night stay was an amazing experience as I was able to bond with Lourdes and Alejandro, as well as see the world of politics.

As we entered the Capitol I was immediately overwhelmed with seeing so many businessmen and women and the beautiful architecture of the building. Our first stop was to meet with State Rep. Cynthia Soto. She greeted all of us with a hug and kiss, which was warm and inviting. Our second stop was to State Senator Iris Martínez’s office, in which Lourdes and Alejandro took the initiative to discuss the problematic issues in alternative schools and why we needed these funds. I can remember sitting there watching her speak and taking quick glances around her office. She had pictures of her along with the representation of the Bandera Puertorriqueña. Our last stop was with State Senator William Delgado and he was a true character. As he drank his warm coffee, he overlooked the paper work and charts from YCCS, while he did that I took the time to look around at his office and began to wonder how this world of politics actually worked.

I appreciated this trip and felt honored to actually have had a chance to visit the state capital and meet with important people who actually grew up in the Puerto Rican community and hav helped make a difference. This opportunity was never given to me at my old school, Bloomington High School. I also became emotional at one point because meeting these people and getting recognized by them is such an inspiration to continue my education.

I can remember State Rep. Cynthia Soto commenting that Latino and African American students are the next generation to conquer the world and to keep working to succeed in life. Through out my struggles I am going strong and with the support of my aunt Teresita Rosario, my cousin Angela Román, and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School. I have them to thank and will acknowledge them when I succeed in life.

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Boricuas Present at May 1st Immigration March

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

For the past two years, May 1st has been the day that thousands of people demand the rights of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. This May 1st, nearly 20,000 marched from Union Park to Downtown Chicago. Over 250 Puerto Ricans, including many youth from Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, marched from Humboldt Park. The fleeter march began with a press conference at Adalberto Methodist Church on Paseo Boricua where undocumented mother Flor Crisostomo is in sanctuary.

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In Memoriam: Juan Alberto Rivera May 8, 1951 – April 18, 2008

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

La Voz del Paseo Boricua and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center extend its deepest condolences to the family of Juan Alberto Rivera.

Throughout his life Juan struggled on behalf of the interests of the Puerto Rican and Latina/o peoples. From his activism at the University of Illinois-Chicago to his involvement in the movement to release two generations of Puerto Rican political prisoners, Juan made important contributions to our community. He was a member of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Movimiento Liberación Nacional-Puertorriqueño (MLN).

Juan was a loving and caring husband, father, son and friend. All our lives are better today because of Juan Rivera. All who had the honor and privilege of knowing him will miss him greatly.

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Political Prisoner Marilyn Buck undergoes surgery

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

North American Political Prisoner Marilyn Buck has finally had the knee replacement surgery she so desperately needed for many years. The Bureau of Prisons repeatedly denied her the surgery, claiming that it was an elective procedure and therefore no obligation existed to provide it. Despite that claim, BOP prisoners at other facilities were receiving knee replacement surgery routinely. Over the years Marilyn’s ability to walk deteriorated requiring her to rely on a cane and then crutches. Marilyn is pleased and hopeful that she will regain full mobility in the coming months. After more than 25 years of incarceration, she has a release date in February 2011.

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Bail Denied to Avelino González Claudio

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday, April 15, that Avelino González Claudio, 65 years old, accused of having participated in a 1983 robbery of a deposit from armored cars, might flee, and thus must remain in jail without bail until his trial. Authorities said Claudio was one of more than 12 alleged members of the Puerto Rican independence group The Macheteros, which expropriated 7 million dollars from a Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford.

Family members offered collateral of real estate worth $500,000. However, Smith said that González remained a fugitive for 23 years, and that the robbery was the largest bank robbery in the history of the United States, making the charges “incredibly serious.” Victor Gerena and González’ brother, Norberto González Claudio, are the only suspects who remain fugitives.

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Community Premiere of “Crime Against Humanity”

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

On April, 5, 2008, the Batey Urbano and the National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN) debuted their play “Crime Against Humanity” to the Humboldt Park community. Over 60 persons attended the opening, with such notables as Miguel Palacio of Association House, ex-political prisoner Jose Luis Rodríguez, Jan Susler of the People’s Law Office and many more in attendance. The night began with a dinner with ex-political prisoner Luis Rosa, the co-author of the play. It was a successful evening, raising over $400. The play has shown in Chicago throughout the entire month of April, with over 200 individuals seeing it. It has also shown at various universities: Northeastern Illinois University, University of Illinois at Chicago and DePaul University. In total over 800 people have been able to experience the play and learn about the political prisoners. In May, the play will tour the East Coast with showings in Fitchburg, MA, Cleveland, NY, Hartford, CT, and Boston.

“Crime Against Humanity” is a co-production of the Batey Urbano and the National Boricua Human Rights Network. It is comprised of 27 scenes taken from interviews with the ex-political prisoners and written correspondence with the 2 remaining political prisoners. That in itself makes this play truly an experience to watch. It is the intention of the Batey Urbano and the NBHRN to educate people with this play about the issue of the political prisoners, to further expose the injustice that two men continue to be imprisoned for more than two and a half decades and to reinvigorate the campaign for their release.

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In Memoriam: Qwusu Yaki Yakubu

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

Qwusu Yaki Yakubu (aka James Sayles) was an extraordinary human being. He died on March 28, 2008, at age 60 after spending almost 40 years in prison. Yaki was a revolutionary, a nationalist and an internationalist in the spirit of Malcolm X. He was an activist and theoretician, and a writer and editor of several influential journals.

Yaki gave leadership to the struggle to free the Pontiac Brothers, a successful fight against the death penalty, and he helped lead the campaign to free C number prisoners (hundreds of prisoners unfairly held).

A memorial service was held on April 5, an outpouring of love, admiration and respect from ex-prisoners, family members and many others, including José López from the Puerto Rican Cultural Center who spoke of how Yaki understood that nationalism and internationalism must go hand in hand.

As one speaker said: “We love you, Yaki. We love you for being a husband, a father, a friend and a great human being with a smile that we saw far too rarely. And we love you for being a revolutionary.”

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Latest News: Eliot Monteverde Torres subpoened

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

On May 13, 2008, the FBI searched and served a Grand Jury subpoena on the compañero attorney and educator Elliot Monteverde Torres. The subpoena orders the activist to appear in the federal court of New York on May 23, 2008. Elliot lives with his wife and daughter in Texas. He was a student leader in the US and a distinguished leader of the movement in solidarity with Vieques in New York.

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Over 250 delight in Mapeyé concert of Corretjer poetry

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

On April 4th, over 200 people crowded into Casa Puertorriqueña for the National Boricua Human Rights Network’s (NBHRN) annual fundraiser, entitled “Legacies of Corretjer: Narratives of Resistance and Struggle.” The evening also commemorated the 1980 April 4th arrest and incarceration of 15 Puerto Rican political prisoners (two prisoners, Oscar Lopez Rivera and Carlos Alberto Torres, are still incarcerated). The event featured a performance by Orchestra Mapeyé, a group that plays traditional Puerto Rican music, and SieteNieve, a hip-hop artist from Carolina, Puerto Rico who infuses traditional rhythms into his social justice-oriented music. Eduardo Villanueva, former head of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, spoke movingly about the legacy of Juan Antonio Corretjer, the former Secretary-General of the Nationalist Party whose 100th birthday provided the theme for the evening. Alicia Rodríguez, former political prisoner, along with Tania Frontera, a grand jury resister from New York, were honored by the NBHRN for their continuation of Corretjer’s work. The event also included a slide show of historic and current images, compiled by Jonathon Rivera. In attendance for the evening were community activists and residents, as well as local and national political leaders, including Congressmen Luis Gutiérrez. A highlight of the evening occurred when Mapeyé dedicated a song about the situation of undocumented Mexican immigrants to Flor Cristosomo from Adalberto United Methodist Church, an institution that works on immigration issues.

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Humboldt Park Forever: The Flags Will Never Come Down!

Posted on 17 May 2008 by admin

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