Friday, April 30, 2010

Puerto Rico: Students, Educators and Other Workers Fill the Streets

Picket with a dual purpose

Fortuño and repudiate support the strike in the UPR

Protesters of all ages and various causes took Ponce de Leon Avenue to protest the Governor.

By Gary E. Alvarado León /

While Gov. Luis Fortuño yesterday offered his second budget message, dozens of unions, civic and student, among others, gathered in front of the main gates of Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), to repudiate economic policies of the current administration and at the same time supporting the demands of university strike.

From 4:00 pm, the rails of the Ponce de Leon Avenue began to fill with people of all ages, to the point that the road was closed to traffic both locally and the collective.

The demonstrations, in which reigned quietly began when four students were thrown flower petals 12 policemen of the Tactical Operations Unit who provided security at the gates. Subsequently, two other students stood in front of two separate feeders such agents with dog food.

To the beat of a batucada, who arrived accompanied by mosquitoes and heads, the picket line was formed and immediately began to rumble with him as "Workers and students united and forward", "The student is cansao of this abuse descarao" and "from within and we'll give out candle."

The parade of greetings and messages began shortly before 6:00 pm.Among the most prominent was the environmental planner and member of the Coalition All Puerto Rico by Puerto Rico, Jose "Tato" Rivera Santana, who called the words of fortune as a "contramensaje."

"The real message I have given the students, who have raised the banner of justice and defense of public education," he said.

Also, Bishop Juan Vera, also of the Coalition, said the Governor's speech was "The message can not."

"(The Message) is full of arguments to justify the crisis and their poor choices. One doctor who has not committed to prescribe bitter medicine for workers, poor communities and students, but given the rich sweet country, "outlined the religious.

Labor leaders, including President of the Union of Workers of the Electric Industry and Irrigation (UTIER), Angel Figueroa Jaramillo and Luis Pedraza Leduc, spokeswoman for the Broad Front for Solidarity and Struggle, agreed that the university "have been a professor" of a struggle of people who should be emulated by the organizations they represent.

"Students have said that the only alternative that has a people under a fascist government is organized street fighting," said Figueroa Jaramillo.

"This struggle of the students raises the need for unity and communication over the differences," said Pedraza Leduc.

Meanwhile, Rafael Feliciano, president of the Federation of Teachers, said that students are charting the right path to fight the "anti-labor management" Fortuño.

The former senator Independence Party (PIP), María de Lourdes Santiago, said, meanwhile, that no one can take the message of hope after Fortuño.

As an option to bring more receipts to the Government without having to lay off public employees, Santiago recommended to implement a surcharge "which is not confiscatory" to foreign companies, who continue to receive "preferential treatment."

In the squad also attended the Coalition Against the Death Penalty in the context of the 81 anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in Puerto Rico

The activity ended at about 9:00 pm.

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