Who says conservatives and independents aren’t activists? Hundreds of phone calls from Media Research Center’s “Action supporters inundated Univision with phone calls” for several days to “demand the network withdraw its support from an event honoring a violent left-wing terrorist.” It worked. According to the New York News, “outraged sponsors have been dropping like flies.”
Before Barack Obama left the White House permanently in January, one of his last acts was to the commute the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, 74, the leader of a group responsible for over 100 bombings during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1981, he was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for 55 years. After he was found guilty of conspiring to escape from Leavenworth Federal Prison in 1988, 15 more years was tacked on to his term.
Shortly before his release on May 17, organizers for the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade announced Lopez-Rivera would be honored with their first-ever National Freedom Hero award on June 11. But there was immediate negative response against the decision. Union spokespersons from various New York fire and police announced they would be boycotting the parade to protest the “outrageous decision to honor a convicted felon in the very city where the attacks took place.”
The Daily News reported “outraged sponsors have been dropping like flies” since López Rivera will participate and be honored. Lopez Rivera was released by Obama after 35 years in prison for his role in the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). Coca-Cola, AT&T, The New York Yankees, Corona, Jet Blue, Univision, Goya, the Daily News, and others have joined the unions that decided not to sponsor or support the parade.
Four people were killed in a bombing attack by FALN at a Lower Manhattan tavern in 1975.
“Oscar Lopez Rivera’s actions led to the death and serious injury of innocent civilians and Police Officers,” said Uniformed Fire Officers Association president Jake Lemonda. “He is a convicted felon, plain and simple, and one who has not apologized or repented for his cowardly attacks.”
“It is also important to note that he has not been pardoned for his crimes; he merely had his sentence shortened,” Lemonda added. “His conviction stands and the idea of honoring someone such as he should be rejected by all.”