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,
5:30PM
at the Offices of the PR colonial Government (PRFAA)
135 West 50 (between 6th and 7th Ave)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Students in the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras have announced their plans to occupy both faculties on April 12th.

“Throughout the day we will have performances, music, poetry, art, work-shops and concerts. We will occupy against funding cuts, decrease of students rights and moratorium on tuition waivers.”

Ocúp(arte): The Humanities Manifesto

The Humanities faculty is yours, his, hers, and ours. Let’s transform it then, into an active and dynamic space filled with participation and collaboration. Let’s modify the State and the Administration-fed attitudes of competition and anxiety, and replace them with cooperation, compassion and youthful jubilation. As existing power structures have already started to crack and shown their anti-humanist agendas; so let today and tomorrow be filled with love and a call to action. Our academic spaces are under siege from the powerful, and must be reclaimed as tools for liberation. As humanists we can imagine and create all sorts of possible worlds. It is time to realize them.

We are occupying our faculty in order to find ourselves, to cast aside any attempt to separate and alienate us. Instead of this kind of death, we have decided to un-muzzle our mouths and let the world know that a new world has taken shape from our hearts. We are a multitude which thinks, reflects, and criticizes; a generation whose heartbeat is steeled by the shared interaction between the fist and a kiss. Read the rest of this entry »