Organizers had offered to honor Lopez Rivera with the parade's "National Freedom Award," but he declined after a backlash that saw sponsors, including AT&T and Jet Blue, and politicians like New York Gov.
From the sidelines, the 28-year-old spectator said she refuses to back the man who was convicted for his involvement with the FALN, responsible for bombings that killed and maimed dozens in the 1970s and 1980s.
He makes me ashamed to be a Puerto Rican." Most of the tens of thousands of revelers turned out simply to celebrate Puerto Rico, happily salsa dancing and waving Puerto Rican flags.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who for weeks defended his own decision to march, said last week that he was uncomfortable with the idea of honoring Lopez Rivera all along.
government, partly because of the elimination of tax credits that many say led to the collapse of the island's manufacturing sector.