On September 23, there is a rally for Puerto Rican Independence and Self-Determination in New York City. Details can be found below, and you can also go to www.September23.org for more.
Rally for Puerto Rican Independence and Self-Determination
Puerto Rico is the oldest colony on the planet, first invaded by Spain in 1493, then in 1898 by the United States. After 109 years, it continues under U.S. colonial rule.
Within those 500 plus years of invasion and occupation, the Puerto Rican people have been engaged in anti-imperialist/ anti-colonial resistance that continues to this day.
The Significance of the September 23rd date
September 23rd, 1868 is traditionally celebrated and commemorated as the birth of the Puerto Rican nation, when Puerto Ricans rose up against Spanish colonial rule in a revolt known as El Grito de Lares. By 1898, Puerto Rico had achieved a form of autonomous self-rule, which came to an end later that year with the United States invasion of the island during the Spanish- American War. Puerto Rico has been under the political rule of the United States ever since and has continued to struggle throughout that time for its independence and self-determination.
Well aware of this date’s significance to the independence movement, on September 23rd, 2005, U.S. FBI agents assassinated Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Comandante Filiberto, who founded el Ejercito Popular Boricua (the Puerto Rican People’s Army) – Los Macheteros, was a revered revolutionary leader of the Puerto Rican liberation struggle. The assassination of Filiberto on this date was a clear attempt to kill the spirit of the ongoing Puerto Rican liberation struggle.
Why the UN location?
In spite of their attempt to kill our spirit, the FBI assassination of Ojeda Rios served to rally additional support for the independence movement. Since his death, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization voted unanimously on a resolution calling for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico. This resolution, in addition to several declarations made on the colonial situation of the island reiterates: “the Puerto Rican people constitute a Latin American and Caribbean nation that has its own unequivocal national identity.” If picked up by the UN General Assembly the Puerto Rican status question will be addressed in September of 2008. This historical decision would put Puerto Rico’s status issue on the UN agenda for the first time since 1953. The September 23rd march will rally national and international support so that the United Nations will make it a priority to resolve the colonial situation in Puerto Rico once and for all, through its natural right to be a free nation.
What, when and where?:
On Sunday, September 23rd of 2007:
12PM Begin gathering at Times Square (Broadway between 41st & 42nd)
1PM: Begin marching towards the United Nations
2PM: Rally at the UN- Dag Hammarskjold Plaza featuring speakers from Puerto Rican and ally communities and live hip hop and bomba performances.
For more information and march route/ program details visit:
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