January 28, 2011
NY with UPR (New York with University of Puerto Rico Solidarity Committee) applauds students at the University of Puerto Rico who have developed and implemented creative and peaceful civil disobedience tactics in opposition to the University Administration’s implementation of an unjust tuition increase, the current trend towards privatization, and the use of riot police on University grounds. More than 125 students have been arrested in the past week and the harassment of students continues. We, the NY with UPR urge the government of Puerto Rico to withdraw the police from the campus grounds immediately!
The University and government of Puerto Rico’s response to the student’s call for mediation and a peaceful settlement has been to send in riot police to handcuff, forcibly remove, beat and arrest students. The Internet and much of the island’s mass media has shown pictures and videos of riot police at the ready to attack at the slightest infraction. In addition, they have singled out those they determine to be “leaders” and arrested them. Moreover, the UPR Administration has singled out and expelled from the University several students including – Adriana Mulero and Ian Camilo Cintrón Moya – for having led student marches opposing the tuition increase on the first day of the student strike on January 13, 2011.
We urge the Puerto Rican/Latino community and all people of conscience to support the demands of the students, to urge the government of Puerto Rico to withdraw the police from the campus, to cease and desist with the random arrests of students and those they deem to be the “leaders” of the strike and civil disobedience actions, to reinstate any and all students that have been expelled from the University, to dismiss charges against any and all participants in peaceful civil disobedience, and – most of all – to halt the police repression and unwarranted use of police force against the students and the people of Puerto Rico.
The Administration of the University of Puerto Rico and the government must sit down and negotiate a settlement with the students and listen to their analyses for sound alternatives to the tuition increase and privatization. These issues also concern us here in NY as students in the public Universities CUNY and SUNY also face tuition increases and the threat of privatization, as well as elementary and high schools which are being defunded, torn up and charterized.
Sent via email to Bernice Sosa-Izquierdo from cemiunderground.com
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