COLUMBIA/BARNARD STUDENTS: We’ll be meeting at the gates (116th st and Broadway) at 4:25pm SHARP to hop on the train and head down to the rally/vigil!
Check out the statement from Equality Across America in Socialist Worker
IN MEMORIAM – Rally for JORGE STEVEN LÓPEZ MERCADO
Date: Sunday, November 22, 2009
Time: 5:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: HUDSON PIER 45 AT CHRISTOPHER ST
Street: Christopher Street & West Side Highway
City/Town: New York, NY
THOUSANDS OF NEW YORKERS GATHER FOR VIGIL IN MEMORIAM OF JORGE STEVEN LÓPEZ MERCADO, VICTIM OF HATE CRIME
In an act of solidarity, New Yorkers will gather at Pier 45 in NYC for a vigil followed by optional *mass on Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm.
NEW YORK, NY – On the night of Friday, November 13, 2009, 26-year-old Juan Martinez Matos picked up 19-year-old Jorge Steven López in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and drove him to the nearby town of Cidra, PR. After discovering that Mercado, who was dressed as a female, was a man, Matos, in a whirlwind of rage, not only murdered Mercado, but beheaded and dismembered his body. Its remains were partially set on fire. Mercado’s body was discovered in the nearby town of Cayey, PR. A search for the murderer immediately began.
Matos has been apprehended, has confessed, and is imprisoned with bail set at four million dollars. Initial reports seem to indicate that the line of defense will be invoking “gay panic,” a strategy used commonly in recent times with varying degrees of success. In a troubling interview with Univisión, police investigator Ángel Rodríguez Colón is on record as saying (as translated into English), “These types of people, when they enter this lifestyle and go out into the streets know that this could happen.” We find this unacceptable, and furthermore call for a stop to victim blame in this case. Never in Puerto Rico’s history has a crime been prosecuted with hate crimes provisions attached, despite the existence of said provisions since 2002. We want to make sure this is the first case.
In response to sudden and widespread outrage due to the murder, thousands of New Yorkers will gather at Manhattan’s Pier 45 (at Christopher Street) on Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 5:00 PM for a vigil ceremony.
The Manhattan vigil will occur in conjunction with satellite Sunday vigils in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Durham, and other American cities. The resulting photographic and video footage will be used in efforts for full prosecution of this case.
Speakers slotted include major political, social, and artistic leaders of New York City.
We thank GLAAD, The LGBT Community Center, Dignity, Anti-Violence Project, Latino Commission on AIDS, and the office of Speaker Quinn for their continued support in these efforts.
Reference Link: http://mercado-vigil.tumblr.com/
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/4tkNLm