On the 22st day (May 14th) of the University of Puerto Rico student strike: The situation in Puerto Rico has intensified. Over the last few days the university students have demonstrated heroic & militant resistance. Yesterday, at a huge assembly of students at the PR Convention Center, students overwhelmingly decided to to step up the 22-day takeover/strike at the University of PR despite intimidation & harassment attempts by the university administration.
The colonial government has responded with intolerance and repressive police tactics. On this day the riot police squad was mobilized against the students! Water has been cut off to the Rio Piedras campus, the campus dorms have been evacuated, and folks have been arrested for simply trying to pass water & food through the fences to the striking students.
The father of a striking student who was bringing food and water was beaten and then arrested.
Fortunately, the blockade was broken when hundreds of professors, parents, and supporters began to arrive with water and bags of food, which they successfully tossed over the fence and over the heads of the cops, unable to stop them in front of the TV cameras. In the face of this repression, hundreds of parents, workers, community leaders and concerned have joined the picket lines (at all the island campuses) to protect the striking students.
Later in the day, José Pérez, a disabled graduate student who has won the love and respect of the entire striking community for his militancy and dedication, was badly beaten, dragged on the floor, and arrested for “aggression” when he attempted to re-enter the campus, after leaving momentarily to take care of personal affairs. Professors and fellow students who tried to come to his aid were doused in pepper spray. Two more students have been also been arrested for unknown reasons.
This afternoon, the workers unions of Puerto Rico have announced a general strike (work stoppage) for Tuesday May 18th in unity with the student movement and to denounce the confrontational politics of the colonial government of PR.
A call has been made to all people & workers to mobilize in unity with the students at all the various UPR campuses on the island.
In NYC, the Network in Support of the Workers of PR CALLS for ALL TO DENOUNCE THE REPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT AND FOR SOLIDARITY WITH THE STRUGGLE OF WORKERS AND STUDENTS OF UPR.
Join the NYC Protest!
Tue May 18,
at the Offices of the PR colonial Government (PRFAA)
135 West 50 (between 6th and 7th Ave)