An inspiring evening of conversation was had on February 27 with Francisco “Cisco” Torres and Dylcia Pagán, two life long Puerto Rican activists and former political prisoners. The program followed a reception for Emory Douglas' art show, a benefit for political prisoner Marshall Eddie Conway who called in to talk with the audience.
Dylcia Pagán is one of the 11 Puerto Rican former political prisoners granted clemency by President Clinton in September 1999. After serving 19 years, she immediately returned to Puerto Rico, where she and her compañeros/as were met with a huge welcome celebration. She has remained active in the Puerto Rican struggle and will discuss the case of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera as well as what is happening in Puerto Rico today.
Francisco Torres is the last remaining defendant in the SF 8 case. This is a 40 year oldcase based on testimony obtained through torture. The defendants were community activists formerly associated with the Black Panther Party. Charges against five of the eight men were completely dropped, while two others got probation and time served. The California Attorney General’s office has refused to drop the charges against Francisco and has dragged on this case for over three years, apparently hoping that the huge public support which the SF8 has built will disappear.
[Note: Judge Philip Moscone signed and filed an order dismissing charges against Francisco Torres late Thursday, August 18, 2011. For more info, see more recent posts.]