From: V. Alba
Yesterday the people of Puerto Rico held a massive demonstration of support of the student strike at the University of Puerto Rico. Estimates by diverse long time , experienced activists ranging from upwards of 10,000 to as high as 25,000 people describe the gigantic outpouring of support for the student demands that fuel the strike.
The march which began at about 2:30 PM in the Plaza of Rio Piedra made its way to the edge of the UPR campus. From there the march made its way around the entire campus. I personally marched about 1/4 mile back from the front of the march. Reaching the top of the incline of the broad avenue and looking back all that one could see was an ocean of humanity which stretched from sidewalk to sidewalk on this four lane wide roadway as far as the eye could see.
The march then went into a highway were an 11 minute (1 minute for each campus of the UPR) sit down act of peaceful civil (dis)obedience was held. The police stood by unable to stop the action and relinquished their role to blocking the traffic.
The end to the Police presence on campus has been a central demand of student strikers, Their acts of acknowledged torture, unnecessary excessive violence and sexual assaults particularly on female students culminated with the UPR presidents letter to the police commissioner, asking for the police withdrawal from campus before he resigned.
The yet to be determined, massive number of people who marched the march, the young and grey haired, parents , children, workers and activist spoke for a nation.
The campaign that the students of the University of Puerto Rico have been waging is amongst the most responsible, intelligent, and effective student campaigns. It has become an example to be studied and emulated by other student movements around the world as well as the labor, environmental and other social movements in Puerto Rico.
The student movement of the UPR is providing one more reason why the education of the UPR must be fought for and won
By Gloria Ruiz Kuilan | firstname.lastname@example.org
El Nuevo Dia (February 12, 2011)
translated from Spanish by NiLP
With the sounds of Pleneros, batucada and slogans to protest the presence of the police in Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico, thousands of people marched today through the streets of Rio Piedras in support of students in the demonstration dubbed “I love the UPR.”
At about 2:30 p.m. coming out of the Plaza de la Convalescence, in the center of town Rio Piedras, was the mass demonstration led by the leadership of the Puerto Rican Association of University Professors (APPU), students and members of various political organizations, professional, civic and community organizations.
Notable was the participation of students accompanied by parents or relatives who sympathize with the claim of the university community to leave the uniformed Rio Piedras campus.
Beatriz Miranda, mother of a student of this campus, said she participated in the march “to let them know (the government) that these guys are not alone.
This is an outrage against the students,” said the woman, who lives in Bayamon.
The march went around the campus and went through the main access points to the Rio Piedras campus, where police officers were stationed, who were the target of call to leave by the protesters.
University of Puerto Rico president resigns
The Associated Press (February 12, 2011)
The president of the University of Puerto Rico has resigned amid student protests against a new fee. Jose Ramon de la Torre submitted his resignation letter on Friday, a day after dozens of students clashed with police on campus. He said he was stepping down for personal reasons. De la Torre spokesman Peter Quinones provided a copy of the letter.
Sen. Eduardo Bhatia said in a statement that de la Torre’s departure does not solve the university’s problems and demanded that police leave campus. Bhatia also requested that the island’s governor and university officials meet with students. Students have organized several protests against an $800 yearly fee imposed to reduce the system’s budget deficit.