It was only fitting that on this Centennial celebration of Lolita Lebron's birth, the Independence Contingent, over 400 people strong, was lead down 5th Ave by Lolita Lebron's family.
A group of very powerful Puerto Rican women who have celebrated Lolita's life in preparation for her Centennial birthday appropriately follow the family with Dignity, Grace and Determination.
El Frente leads affiliated and non-affiliated Independence Organizations. Groups from New York, Boston, Western Mass, Connecticut and Puerto Rico, amongst others, rallied together in solidarity.
We believe that if the people are presented with the truth, the vast majority will opt for Independence. For that reason, we developed our Educational component and main idea of the march - 200 Reasons: Why We March for Independence.
We created a 30 foot banner to extend the width of 5th Ave. The banner, while moving, stands at about 15 feet high. We wanted our message to be loud and clear: We March for Independence!
When Las Lolitas reached the red carpet at 68th Street, they turned around and lifted their fists which signaled everyone to lay down on the floor for our symbolic 'Die In.'
We did a Die In to symbolize all of the lives we've lost because of colonization. We 'died' in honor of our lost heroes who struggled for Independence, and we 'died' in remembrance of the 4600 lives lost due to the US response after Hurricane Maria.
At the signal from Las Lolitas, the entire contingency rose again signifying our inevitable rebirth in a post colonial and Independent Puerto Rico. What We Demand is our Freedom!
Patria o muerte!
As we marched down 5th Avenue, the response from our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters was quite clear: The people's desire for Independence is growing and getting stronger. As we mobilize, we are comforted in knowing we will prevail because our fight is moral, our cause is just and our people are valiant. Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
Following the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan, affiliated organizations of Frente Independentista Boricua headed to Sunset Park, Brooklyn to march at the 5th Annual Sunset Park Puerto Rican Parade and Festival.
In addition to marching in front of a great crowd, affiliated El Frente Organizations were proud to support Lorraine Liriano Chavez of A Call to Action and Frente Independentista Boricua, one of the honorees and longtime resident and activist of Sunset Park.
Rafael Agosto-Miranda of New York Boricua Resistance said, "It's crucial we engage with the community in local events as we continue to build not just coalitions, but a movement to achieve our objective of an independent Puerto Rico." Rafael added, "We oppose imperialism in all its form from Puerto Rico to the Philippines and we stand in solidarity with all oppressed people."
Also present in Sunset Park were members of Comite del PIP de NY, A Call to Action and Puerto Rico me Llama, amongst others. Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre.
This short documentary, A Fight For Life, discusses the lethal effects of the toxic AES ashes on the Puerto Rican people and the fight Puerto Ricans are waging against this injustice.
Video short from Democracy Now regarding the toxic ashes in Puerto Rico