Friday, October 16, 2009

Puerto Rico General Strike: Videos

There are three videos and a foto essay after the two fotos and intro.

1. Puerto Rico was paralyzed on the 15th of October.
All labor unions united behind the call for a strike protesting Law 7 which has been used by the governor Luis Fortuño to fire over 22,000 workers this year and break all union contracts with public workers.
There were 10 feeder marches to the huge Plaza Las Americas shopping mall which was forced to close for the day.
Organizers estimated more than 200,000 persons took part in the rally.
But thousands of non unionized workers from the public and private sectors also obeyed the call for a strike.
There is a never before expressed national sense of disgust with the governor who demonstrated such disdain for the suffering of so many people.

2. Puerto Rico is also a colony of the US, invaded in 1898 and the crisis is a colonial and capitalist crisis.
Union members were joined by many community organizations, the lawyer's bar, student organizations, religious groups and all the opposition political organizations, bourgeois and socialist.

3. As Luis Pedraza Leduc, spokesperson for the Frente Amplio de Solidaridad y Lucha states in the first video, even the financial district came to a halt. San Juan and many small towns came to a standstill. This labor coalition represents the Teachers Federation of Puerto Rico, the public sector electric company workers in the UTIER, the public sector water authority workers in the UIAAA, university workers, many other unions and community and socialist organizations.
There were no classes and many shoping malls outside of the San Juan area were or empty. There were also protests throughout the country. And the union representing thousands of truck drivers also heeded the call and mobilized.
Luis Fortuño is a pro statehood governor. But thousands of members of his party, workers who were fired or relatives and friends of fired workers also took part in the strike.
FASyL unions insisted the protest be at Plaza Las Americas since it was a symbol of the power of the private sector which is
masterminding the governor's anti labor policies.

There also seems to be a general feeling that a one day strike is not enough and that the call by the Frente Amplio de Solidaridad y Lucha for an indefinite strike needs to be implemented. Thousands cheered when a huge a banner calling for "Revolution Now" was placed high above the protest site by well known activist Tito Kayak. This banner appears in one of the videos.

Governor Fortuño es called a Nazi.

Lawyers Bar (Colegio de Abogados) also backed the strike.

1. Video of Ffrente Amplio de Solidaridad y Lucha Luis Pedraza is interviewed before a feeder march takes off.

2. Video of the protest site.

3. Video of hhundreds of students blocking traffic on the main highway to Plaza Las Americas after the protest. A nasty clash with cops was avioded when the former president of the UTIER, electricity company workers' union, Riardo Santos, and former political prisoner Rafael Cancel Miranda who participated in the 1954 shooting of the US Congress intervened with the police and students.

4. Foto essay of the day's events.

1 comment:

Technology said...

[...] a good number of people in Puerto Rico will take to the streets to protest a series of policy decisions that have left thousands unemployed, displaced poor people [...]