International Women's Network Against Militarism Asks for Presidential Pardon for Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera


RESOLUTION
INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF WOMEN AGAINST MILITARISM
IN SUPPORT OF THE RELEASE OF PUERTO RICAN POLITICAL PRISONER: Oscar López Rivera

8th Gathering of the International Network of Women Against Militarism: “Forging Nets for Demilitarization and Genuine Security”
Countries/Regions represented: Philippines, Guahan, Japan, Hawaii, South Korea, Okinawa, Puerto Rico and United States

February 19-25, 2012 – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Introduction:

The International Women’s Network Against Militarism started in 1997 when some 40 women activists, policy-makers, teachers and students from South Korea, Okinawa, mainland Japan, the Philippines and the United States gathered to share information and to strategize together about the negative effects of U.S. military operations in all our countries. Since then, women from Puerto Rico, Hawai’i and Guahan (Guam) have joined the Network. We recognize Puerto Rico, Guahan, Hawai’i, and Okinawa as sovereign nations.

In all our communities, militarism jeopardizes people’s opportunities to live in sustainable ways. Despite our very different locations, we face many similar issues: distorted national budget priorities due to high levels of military spending, military violence against women/human trafficking, health effects of environmental contamination caused by preparations for war, the challenges of base conversion to civilian uses, and the everyday militarization of our societies. In the United States (including Guahan, Hawai’i, and Puerto Rico), low-income communities face aggressive military recruiting and inadequate services due to inflated military budgets at the expense of socially useful programs. Learning from each other’s situations, we analyze these issues in terms of gender, race, class and nation. Part of our work is to redefine security, especially for women and children. This year, our 15 year together as a Network, we met at Puerto Rico, February 19–25, 2012, to share strategies, information and further our collaboration.

WHEREAS, Oscar López Rivera has served close to 31 years in United States prisons for his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico;

WHEREAS, along with 14 other men and women in the early 1980’s, he was convicted of seditious conspiracy and related offenses, but neither he nor any of his co-defendants was convicted of harming or killing anyone;

WHEREAS, in 1999 as a result of an international human rights campaign, President Bill Clinton determined that their sentences were disproportionately lengthy and offered to commute their sentences after they had served 16 to 20 years behind bars. Most accepted and
were released in 1999. However, under the terms of the offer to López Rivera, he would have had to serve an additional ten years with good conduct in prison. He did not accept the offer, as the president did not include all of his co-defendants, and, given his experience in prison, he felt his jailers would not allow him to successfully complete the conditions;

WHEREAS, had he accepted, he would have been released in September of 2009, given that he has successfully completed the conditions;

WHEREAS, he is now the only one of the 1980’s pro-independence prisoners remaining in prison, while all of his co-defendants are living productive, exemplary, law-abiding lives, fully integrated into civil society;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Parole Commission recently denied parole, ordering that he serve an additional 15 years in prison, which would mean serving 45 years in prison for politically motivated offenses where no one was hurt and no one killed;

WHEREAS, he is a 68 year old Vietnam veteran, who in an additional 15 years would be 83 years old;

WHEREAS, support for his immediate release comes from virtually the entire civil society of Puerto Rico, from the Puerto Rico Bar Association to the Ecumenical and Interreligious Coalition of Puerto Rico (which includes every religious denomination) to elected officials across party lines, including many, like the representative of the almost 4 million people of Puerto Rico in the U.S. Congress, who ardently supports his release, despite personally favoring statehood and opposing independence;

WHEREAS, support also includes several members of the U.S. House of Representatives; prominent personalities, civic and religious leaders throughout the U.S.; elected officials, including from New York, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois; international figures from Haiti, Mexico, and Australia; as well as Puerto Rican and Latino communities throughout the United States;

WHEREAS, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization has adopted resolutions annually, as recently as 2010, calling on the President of the United States to release López Rivera.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED:
* that the International Network of Women Against Militarism calls on the President of the United States to exercise his Constitutional power of pardon, and to grant immediate and
unconditional release to Oscar López Rivera;
* International Network of Women Against Militarism send this Resolution to the President of the United States, to convey its sentiments directly to the person in whom this Constitutional power rests.

Dated: February 23 , 2012
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Signatures of Participants International Women’s Network Against Militarism

International Delegation:

1. Hope A. Cristobal
Guahan, Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice

2. Lisa Linda Natividad
Guahan, Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice

3. Kozue Akibayashi
Japan, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and Ritumeikan University, Kyoto

4. Yuuka Kageyama
Japan, Ritumeikan University – International Relations, Japan

5. Elise Davis
Hawaii, Cancer researcher for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders

6. Eri Oura
Hawaii, Third Path Movement for Reproductive Justice, Hawaii

7. Kim Ku’ulei Birnie
Hawaii, Protect Kaho’olawe’Ohana, Hawaii

8. Terri Keko’olani
Hawaii, Women’s Voices, Women Speak, Hawai’i Peace and Justice, Ohana Koa, Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific

9. Suzuyo Takazato
Okinawa, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

10. Hiromi Minamoto
Okinawa, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

11. Harumi Miyagi
Okinawa, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

12. Emiko Utsumi
Okinawa, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

13. Sachika Takara
Okinawa, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

14. Atsumi Ikemiyagi
Okinawa, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

15. Manami Tasaki
Okinawa, Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

16. Yoko Fukumura
Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

17. Ahn Jeong Ae –
South Korea, Network for Anti-US Crimes in South Korea

18. Aida F. Santos-Maranan
Philippine Women Network for Peace and Security

19. Gwyn Kirk
United State Women for Genuine Security

20. Debbie Lee
United State, Women for Genuine Security

21. Ellen-Rae Cachola
United State, Women for Genuine Security, Women’s Voices Women Speak Hawaii

22. Michiko Hase
United State, Women for Genuine Security

23. Junko Kanamura
United State, Women for Genuine Security

24. Dianne Cabcabin
United State, Women for Genuine Security

Puerto Rico’s Delegation:

25. María Reinat-Pumarejo
Colectivo Ilé

26. Dominga Flores-Anaya
Colectivo Ilé

27. Frances Negrón Ramos
Colectivo Ilé

28. Mariluz Franco-Ortiz
Colectivo Ilé

29. Jessica Gaspar
Colectivo Ilé

30. Esterla Barreto
Colectivo Ilé

31. Saraivy Orench-Reinat
Colectivo Ilé

32. Abigail Amador
África en mi piel, África en mi ser
Colectivo Ilé

33. Raúl Quiñones-Rosado
c-Integral

34. Onelia Pérez Rivera
Centro Mujer y Nueva Familia

35. Judith Conde-Pacheco
Alianza de Mujeres Viequenses

36. Zaida Torres
Alianza de Mujeres Viequenses

37. Wanda Colón Cortez
Proyecto Caribaeño de Justicia y Paz

38. Anita Yudkin
Prof. Universidad de Puerto Rico

39. Liliana Cotto
Prof. Universidad de Puerto Rico

40. Edwin Quiles
Prof. Universidad de Puerto Rico

41. Sonia Santiago
Madres en contra de la Guerra

42. Nilda Medina
Committee for Rescue and Development of Vieques

43. Robert Rabin
Committee for Rescue and Development of Vieques

44. Olga Orraca
Taller Lésbico Creativo

45. Verónica Rivera-Torres
Comisión de la Mujer del Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas de Puerto Rico