Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Violence and Repression of Puerto Rican Students

Students went on strike again today at Rio Piedras, the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico, in a continuation of the ongoing protests against fee hikes and to keep public education from being privatized. Some protesters tried to occupy buildings and smashed windows, eventually leaving campus when riot police arrived. There have been no report of injuries or arrests so far.

"They fear us because we don't fear them" (Nos tienen miedo porque no tenemos miedo).

William Francisco Ayala beaten by private guards
While not receiving the same media attention as those in London and Rome, there have been numerous militant student protests in Puerto Rico over the past year. In November, students were met with riot police, SWAT teams, military helicopters and rooftop snipers. The protests started in response to an $800 per student fee hike. Then the Supreme Court outlawed student protests. Hundreds of students defied the order, carrying banners that said, “Nos tienen miedo porque no tenemos miedo.”

Thousands protested again in December. This time parents, teachers and unionists joined students in demanding lower fees, a halt to privatization, and an end to police violence. 17 were arrested and many were injured. The police attacks were violent and some of the injuries quite serious.

Stay tuned for more . . .
La Lucha Continua

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