In truly progressive fashion, Chicago renamed one of its streets after a terrorist.
Earlier this month Alderman Robert Maldonado submitted a proposal to name three blocks of a city street after Oscar Lopez Rivera, the founder of the Puerto Rican terror group FALN, which was responsible for 120 bombings and armed robberies in the U.S. during the ‘70s and ‘80s that killed nine and injured hundreds of others.
On Wednesday, aldermen approved the measure honoring Lopez Rivera, the terrorist whose 70-year sentence was recently commuted by Barack Obama…..
The morning of the vote last Wednesday, I pleaded with the Chicago aldermen to reject this indecent proposal in an Op / Ed published the Chicago Sun Times.
In this age of constant terror threat, the words “disgrace” and “outrage” do not come close to describing the insanity, the insult and the pain that honoring the leader of Puerto Rican Terrorist group, Armed Forces for National Liberation National Liberation, brings to our family, the families of all FALN victims and all Americans.
You see, Lopez’s FALN murdered our 33 year old father Frank Connor and four other innocent people during their reign of terror from 1974 to 1983.
It’s not bad enough that Lopez refused President Bill Clinton’s 1999 clemency grant, saying he had a problem with atonement and choosing to stay in prison rather than renounce violence as a condition of freedom.
It’s not bad enough that a group of FALN victims and family members went to Lopez’s 2011 federal parole hearing in Terre Haute, Indiana, looking for contrition but receiving only lies and excuses from the sworn terrorist.
It’s not bad enough that President Barack Obama offered an unconditional and unprecedented second presidential clemency to Lopez Rivera, releasing the terrorist as Obama left office just last month.
But now our second city, a city under daily siege by violence, mayhem, fear and murder, may vote to honor a terrorist who trafficked in violence, mayhem, fear and murder.
My plea ended as follows ultimately falling on the deaf ears of the disgraceful Aldermen who despite 9 votes against approved the shameful resolution.
Lopez has never expressed regret nor sought forgiveness; not even at his parole hearing where his very freedom depended on it. Not once in his 2013 autobiography did he express regret for his actions nor cooperate with authorities to bring some kind of closure to unsolved FALN crimes like Fraunces.
This is the felon whom Chicago plans to honor. I ask Ald. Maldonado, in the name of decency, to withdraw the honorary street designation for terror leader Oscar Lopez Rivera and cancel the vote. Should Maldonado refuse, I ask Mayor Emanuel and the other aldermen to reject and vote against the naming of Oscar Lopez Rivera Way.
I implore Chicago leaders to ask yourselves: Why? Why Oscar Lopez Way? Why?
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But maybe there is hope.
Since this travesty, many outlets have covered this insanity and I have received great support from the people of Chicago who condemn supporters of terrorism.
Great letters like the one below were posted to the Sun-Times website.
“On behalf of those and myself who find naming a street honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera appalling; we are truly sorry, Mr. Connor, and to all those who have been hurt with those radical and extremist ideas. As a Puerto Rican female, I am so ashamed that Oscar Lopez, leader of the FALN, and a convicted terrorist, will be getting a street sign honoring him,” Janette Lopez wrote in a letter to the editors of the Chicago Sun Times.
“I’m assuming Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) couldn’t find anyone who truly deserved this honor. I am speechless. Shame on you Ald. Maldonado! Shame on all of you who supported this thoughtless designation!”
We seek justice for Frank Connor and all victims of violence and terror. We must call out those who, like Oscar Lopez and his terror supporters in government and media, deny, lie and subvert justice.
Justice must be for all and sought by all not Just Us.
Steve Malzberg interview