Major strike in Puerto Rico

(Daniel lives in Puerto Rico)

Don’t have a lot of time right now but I’ve been following a major protest strike that is taking place in Puerto Rico right now.

Here is an article explaining the reason behind the strike. The government even threatened to use the PATRIOT Act against protest organizers. Fortunately Eric Holder told them to back off.

In a nutshell, we have the political and ideological equivalent of George W. Bush for a governor. While he gives millions of dollars in contracts to campaign-funders, he has fired almost 30,000 people from government jobs, in many cases, both working parents in a family. He has plans to give away many ecological preserves so that private companies can build their exclusive hotels. As a matter of fact, one prominent member of his cabinet shamelessly gave a speech to some concerned citizens, basically saying that “If you are poor and don’t even have a quarter-dollar to buy yourself a [frozen drink], well ‘Such is Life’. Play the lottery or else all you will be able to do is watch the rich people buy expensive stuff.” Check out the link.

The Twitter feed is using the #ParoPR hashtag. Some of it is in Spanish, but some are in English. There are also a lot of pictures of the protests.

So far, the protests have successfully shut down the major highway going into San Juan as well as access to other areas of the capital; they have also amassed around one of the largest shopping malls in San Juan (Plaza las Américas, very centrally located) and students have taken over some of the streets surrounding the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).

The president of the University of Puerto Rico shut down the university during this week in order to deny students the right to assemble; he also closed down the university dorms, in many cases leaving students on the streets. The students responded by assembling on the streets and taking over the surroundings.

Well… gotta go now. It is too bad that I can’t be there to protest, but I am 100% in solidarity with the people.

Check out the Twitter feed, you might find more info in English. Alternatively, you can also check if you can use an automatic Tweet-feed translator. 🙂