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News ::
Statement Of Latinos On The Puerto Rican Festival of Boston 2001
30 Jul 2001
Modified: 06:09:05 PM
Our organization, Latinas & Latinos For Social Change, denounces the way in which the Puerto Rican Festival of Boston has been managed. For the reason we will explain below.
Our organization, Latinas & Latinos For Social Change, denounces the way in which the Puerto Rican Festival of Boston has been managed. For the reason we explain below, we have decided not to participate this year at the Parade or Festival to protest the leadership of this event

1.The structure of the leadership of the festival has been characterized by anti-democratic decision making mechanisms. There is a small clique that makes decisions without considering or allowing other important sectors in the Puerto Rican community to participate and much less to have a say in the contents of the Festival. Mr. Tony Molina has been in the position of president of the Festival for the last 10 years.

2.The Puerto Rican Festival of Boston is represented as an affirmation od Puerto Rican culture. Yet, in practice, its organizers have made of it only a commercial event to promote the companies that sponsor it.

3.Once the Festival is over, never have we seen an open financial report, showing income and expenses. If this event is to be Festival for the people, not only the Puerto Rican people, but also for all Latinos, there should be absolute clarity on the fanancial aspect of it.

4.During the artistic presentations, usually sexism prevails through jokes that denigrate women, young women who dance with little clothe on portraye as clear sexual objects, and master of ceremony who use a trivial and vulgar language, undetermining the intelligent of those attendance.

Last year, LFSC presented months before the Festival a letter from leaders in the struggle to get the U.S. Navy Out of Vieques requesting that the Puerto Rican Festival of Boston be delicated to Vieques. The letter was signed by leaders in that struggle such as Ismael Guadalupe, Carlos Zenón and Robert Rabin, in representation of many religious, political, environmental, feminist, organizations and also organizations of fishermen, students and teachers. We never received response from the Festival organizers in spite of our constant calls. The Boston Festival refused to support Vieques, while in other large cities such as New York and Chicago, the Puerto Rican festival supported the struggle of the people in Vieques. Futhemore, each time we have attempted to bring to the local community the struggle of the Puerto Rican people to obtain the freedom of their political prisoners or the struggle to get rid of the colonial yoke the U.S. has on Puerto Rico, we have been repressed by the organizers.The organizers have not hesitated to call the Boston Police to remove us from the grounds of the Festival.

We suggest that decision making structure be replaced bu one that is democratic, where all people in the community will have the right to speak, vote and elect its leadership, including also other members of the Latino community. The presidency of the Festival should be renewed annually. A true affirmationof the Puerto Rican identity should the spirit of those who have founded and defended the Puerto Rican nation, such as Ramon Emeterio Betances, Pedro Albizu Campos, Juan Antonio Corretjer and Lolita Lebrón. Also, all financial statements of the festival should ne made public. An ethic commission should be formed to decide the artistic presentation and the character of the MCs. At th same time, efforts should be made so that the Puerto Rican flag be respect and not presented just like a rag that is useful to sell merchandise. The Festival should also be an event where the Puerto Rican community of Boston has a oppotunity to express solidarity with their brothers sisters in Puerto Rico and in other communities throughout the U.S.

At this time, however, we have no alternative but to repudiate the leadership of Puerto Rican Festival of Boston for putting out an event that does no represent the true essence of being Puerto Rican, nor the history nor the grandeur of Boricua people.
See also:
www.lfsc.org
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Paul Hays Apoya Carta de Latinos y Latinas pa
30 Jul 2001
Me gustaria a oir noticias sobre gente de herencia puertoriqueno!
Al fin-y en una nota muy breve es evidente que hay una organizacion luchando para topicas muy clave para el desarolla del gente de Vieques, Bayamon, Arecibo, Comerio, y otra areas del isla del Borinquen.
Yo ha hablado publicamente para el pasado 20 anos a gente aqui en Georgia y Tenneessee sobre la realidad alli. Tambien muchos estudiantes de otras paises quen conoczo mas bien la historia y problemas de la tiera de bohios, plena y cafe.
Nosotros aqui deseamos que la luch continua sin violencia.

Cuando ustedes visita ATLANTA no mira a Cable News Network solamente pero tambien escuche a 89.3 FM con salsa, merengue, cumbia y mas cada Sabado continualmente desde 1975. Radio Libre de Georgia con 100,000 watts de potencia transmitiendo de Clark Atlanta University acerca del West End y I-20 3 milas del downtown.

Palante, Respecto y Vamos a Bailar
Paul Hays