(en) All Out to the United Nations June 19 & 20

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Mon, 2 Jun 1997 15:28:37 +0000


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All Out To The United Nations

(PLEASE FORWARD)

On June 19, 1997 the colonial case of Puerto Rico will once again be discussed before the United Nations Decolonization Committee. Since 1972, the case of Puerto Rico has been on this Committee's agenda. However, indications are that after 25 years, the island's status will no longer be discussed by this body. Meanwhile, in the United States Congress, the Young Bill, "THE UNITED STATES-PUERTO RICO POLITICAL STATUS ACT," recently passed a committee of the House of Representatives. Its purpose? To hold a referendum in 1998, as the "legitimate" answer to the 100 year colonial dilemma of Puerto Rico, thus avoiding the decolonization process established by international law.

The United Nations, and now the United States Congress, are apparently in accord in exposing the colonial nature of the case of Puerto Rico. The Young Bill states:

"In the period 1950-1952, Congress authorized, amended, and then approved a constitution for Puerto Rico's local government, which is now called the 'Commonwealth of Puerto Rico', without altering the territory's fundamental economic, political, and legal relationship with the United States"

"Full self-government for Puerto Rico is attainable only through establishment of a political status either without or within United States sovereignty, under which Puerto Rico is no longer an unincorporated territory subject to the plenary authority of Congress arising from the Territorial Clause."

In 1964 the United Nations approved Resolution 1514XV, upholding the right of colonized people to self-determination and independence:

"The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and cooperation.

"All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

"Immediate steps shall be taken, in trust and non-self-governing territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom."

But the Young Bill fails to deal with the release of the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War, who are in jail precisely for their role in trying to solve the problem of colonialism in Puerto Rico. In their joint statement to the Young Committee Hearings in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners stated:

"At this juncture, we want to express our disposition to participate in reaching a just and dignified political solution to our colonial problem. If the US Congress and the executive branch of the US government desire to reach a political solution through a truly democratic process, we are disposed to participate in that process which is necessary for reconciliation to take place, for healing one hundred years of wounds to begin.

"This process could best begin with a gesture of goodwill on the part of the US government, in releasing us from prison so that the inclusive process includes those of us who have sacrificed all for that which every nation, including Puerto Rico, is entitled-- independence from colonialism."

The majority of the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners have endured inhuman treatment and isolation in US jails for more than seventeen years.

They are not murderers yet they have spent more time in prison than the average murderer. They are not rapists yet they have spent more than twice the time in prison than the average rapist. Their crime is their passion for freedom, their love and commitment to see their nation stand sovereign among the nations of the world.

On June 19 and 20, The National Committee to Free Puerto Rican Prisoners of War and political Prisoners is calling on all freedom loving people to stand in vigil in front of the United Nations Building (42nd & 1st Ave.); to fast in support of the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners; and to join family, friends, religious supporters and activists for two days of activities in support of unconditional amnesty for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and independence for Puerto Rico.

Points of Unity:

1-UNCONDITIONAL AMNESTY FOR THE PUERTO RICAN POLITICAL PRISONERS AND PRISONERS OF WAR

2-INDEPENDENCE FOR PUERTO RICO

3-AFFIRMATION OF THE RIGHT OF THE PUERTO RICAN DIASPORA TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DECOLONIZATION PROCESS OF PUERTO RICO

All of the following activities will take place outside the United Nations Building in New York City (42nd st. &1st Ave):

Vigil & Fast: June 19 & 20; (June 19, 8:00 am to conclusion of hearings which may last into June 20) Ecumenical Religious Service: June 19, 10:00 am Rally at the UN: June 19, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.(speakers & cultural presentations)

Convoked and sponsored by The National Committee to Free Puerto Rican Prisoners of War and Political Prisoners and the Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Ministry (IPOC).

Co-sponsored by Comite Pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico

To co-sponsor, or for more information call : 773/278.0885 or send email to: prpowpp@aol.com

Buses will leave from Chicago on Wednesday, June 18, 1997 at 6:00 p.m. Transportation will also be available from other cities.

Contact your local National Committee Chapter:

Ann Arbor, MI 313/971-1539 Boston, MA 617/296-4512 Chicago, IL 773/278-0885 Cleveland, OH 216/631-2051 New York, NY 212/427-3874 Orlando, FL 407/322-7010 Philadelphia, PA 215/227-0894 St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN 612/639-1836 San Francisco, CA 415/285-4452

http://www.radio4all.org http://www.radio4all.org/freepacifica

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