Students at the University of Puerto Rico have been protesting fee hikes and privatization for over a year now at many of the university’s 11 campuses. Numerous times the university has sent in cops who have brutalized students with batons, clubs and pepper spray. Some have been seriously injured, including brain trauma.
On February 24th, the Chancellor of the Río Piedras campus, in San Juan, announced a moratorium on mass gatherings. Chancellor Ana Guadalupe declared a 30 day ban on mass gatherings and demonstrations.
On Monday, March 7th, students defied the ban and held a protest. Demonstrators surrounded the department of Architecture, where the chancellor was holding a meeting. Blocked from entering the building by campus security, some students found an unlocked window and entered, disrupting the meeting. When the chancellor tried to leave the building, students grabbed at her, pulling on her hair and spraying her with water, despite the cordon of security guards surrounding her. Protesters also smashed the windows of her car.