Revolutionary Worker #1023, September 26, 1999

Friday, September 10, eleven Puerto Rican political prisoners walked
out of U.S. prisons in Indiana, California, Connecticut, Oklahoma
and Illinois. They were Alejandrina Torres, Alberto Rodríguez,
Edwin Cortez, Ricardo Jiménez, Luis Rosa, Elizam Escobar, Dylcia
Pagán, Ida Luz Rodríguez, Alicia Rodríguez, Carmen Valentín and
Adolfo Matos. The prisoners were greeted with celebrations, at
the prison gates--in New York, in Chicago and in Puerto Rico
itself.

These women and men have been unjustly imprisoned and brutally
mistreated for many long years. The prisoners were accused of
being members of clandestine armed revolutionary organizations
that targeted symbols of U.S. domination in the 1970s and '80s
the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) and the
Macheteros. Many of these prisoners were convicted of
"seditious conspiracy"--which means that they were convicted
of working together to rise up against the U.S. government
and to free their country from U.S. military occupation,
economic exploitation and cultural invasion.

In other words, these prisoners were not guilty of any crime
at all--but were imprisoned because they dared to take up arms
in the fight for liberation. While the 11 prisoners were
released under a recent clemency deal proposed by the Clinton
White House, others remained behind--in the cellblocks of
Yankee prisons. Oscar López Rivera, known as a leading figure
within the FALN, rejected the clemency deal. The RW has not yet
seen any statement from him explaining his decision.

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