Convicted Terrorist Oscar López Rivera Booed at NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade
A Puerto Rican nationalist who served 35 years in prison for his ties to the FALN terror group stepped off at the head of New York City’s Puerto Rican Day Parade Sunday, with a top city official by his side.
— PM Press (@PMPressOrg) June 11, 2017
Oscar Lopez Rivera drew cheers and boos as he stood on the first float of the parade, which moved up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Organizers had offered to honor Lopez Rivera with the parade’s “National Freedom Award,” but he declined after a backlash that saw sponsors, including AT&T and Jet Blue, and politicians like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pull out.
“I feel good about being here,” Lopez Rivera told the New York Post as he pounded his chest and chanting “Que viva Puerto Rico!” “This parade is for the Puerto Rican public.”
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Nanchelle Rivera — no relation — was not among them. From the sidelines, the 28-year-old spectator said she refuses to back the man who was convicted for his involvement with the FALN, responsible for bombings that killed and maimed dozens in the 1970s and 1980s.
“He did not represent me,” said the young woman visiting from Orlando told the Associated Press.
She said she would not have come to watch the celebration if she’d known Lopez Rivera would be there.
A supporter in the parade heard her booing, and shouted back, “This is your history!”
“This really pisses me off,” spectator Mark Rivera told the Post. “This is a day for honoring the republic of Puerto Rico, not honoring a terrorist. This man has no place in our parade. He makes me ashamed to be a Puerto Rican.”
Others were equally unimpressed
— Tim Sumner (@SgtTim911) June 11, 2017
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) June 12, 2017
— Diana Blass (@dianablass) June 2, 2017
Decades ago, FALN claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including a lunchtime blast in 1975 that killed four people at New York’s historic Fraunces Tavern.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who for weeks defended his own decision to march, said last week that he was uncomfortable with the idea of honoring Lopez Rivera all along. He showed up for the march, making no comments but shaking hands with people across police barricades.
Several cops gave López Rivera and Democratic City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who was on the float with him, “sour looks,” according to the Daily News.
This is crazy folks, just crazy! Sad times we’re living in, sad times. In what society is it okay to honor a killer? Only one that I can think of. What do you think?