14 MAY, 2010
HUMANITIES ACTION COMMITTEE
TO STUDENTS AND CIVILIANS WORLDWIDE
STATE OF PUERTO RICO LOCKS STUDENTS INSIDE UNIVERSITY
Just yesterday, May 13th, the students of Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico ratified the 22 day strike with an evident majority of votes in favor at a General Assembly that was proposed and organized by the institution’s own administration. Today, that same administration backed with full government support have intensified and reinforced their repressive schemes against the student movement stepping over our constitutional right to protest. We condemn rector Ana Guadalupe’s decision to activate the police forces against us and we reiterate yesterday’s vote demanding her resignation as well as president Jose Ramón de la Torre’s. Since 4am there has been heavy police presence around the campus; different police units have been brought to guard all possible entrances and to restrict access of students and those in solidarity. We wish to publicly alert the national and international media that up until now they have prohibited not only the entrance of civilians, but also, and more alarming, the entry of food donations and supplies needed by the hundreds of students that are currently occupying the campus. The students that reside on campus are being forced to move out and are being threatened with the non-renewal of housing contracts. We also expect water and electricity on campus to be cut off by 1:00pm.
We exhort all students, professors, workers and civilians; every member of every community, to surround the university gates as they have done themselves. We exhort everybody’s presence here today; we need everyone’s solidarity and support if we are to endure this struggle. We want to let the administration know that their attempts to intimidate have been not only repressive but exaggerated and unnecessary. We will not allow that the democracy of the university’s administration proclaims to practice be arbitrary and partial. Those who participated in the Students’ General Assembly yesterday, experienced a real democratic process in action. The assembly is sovereign and in assembly we voted to continue the strike. We are here to defend the right of all Puerto Rican students to a public education and here we will remain until the administration decides to cooperate and negotiate.
We need everyone’s solidarity and support. Ten out of eleven campuses that make up the UPR system have declared themselves on strike. All are participating in the same struggle. The same struggle being fought all over the World.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Humanities Action Committee
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus