This is not the only place in East Harlem where you will find Oscar Lopez Rivera’s name or face plastered on a wall. Rivera’s legacy as a Puerto Rican Marxist political prisoner is not forgotten, all though he has been in prisoner for about 40 years. Although he was pardoned, and is set to be released next month his ideology is important more than ever among the people of East Harlem.
Rivera was arrested for conspiracy to overthrow the government, as well as with bombing incidents. A key component of Rivera’s ideology was the necessity of being armed, and not allowing your oppressor to have a monopoly of violence. All though radical, the state’s monopoly on violence through police can be countered with an increase of legal black/Latino gun ownership.
I have seen countless white conservative protestors in the south display their arms. Cops usually do not provoke them, and they practice their rights. Try imagining a Black Lives Matter protest with a few protestors carrying legally obtained arms protecting themselves. It would be a threat to the status quo, because it diminishes the state’s monopoly on fear and imitation.