Monday, February 25, 2008

Cops attack striking teachers in Puerto Rico

NOTE: Keep an eye on the way the UFT/AFT addresses this issue. This is the kind of militancy that scares them - remember, unions of professionals collaborate, not strike. They will not oppose a support reso support the teachers but will probably substitute pablum.

Photos of police attacking strikers on Day Three of the Puerto Rican Teachers Strike:

This is how the president of FMPR, Rafael Feliciano, ended his update for today. The strike is holding fast in its third day. 84% of students are not attending classes. 80% of classes across the island are not being held. 54% of teachers, or 23,000 are directly or indirectly (staying home) supporting the strike, of which 8,000 are participating on the picket lines [amazing statistic].

The Dept. of Education is warning parents that students will receive an "F" for their class grade and will not be promoted to the next grade as well as that the school year will be extended

A big demonstration is planned in front of the Dept. of Education for tomorrow at 1 PM. Feliciano adds "no hay triunfo sin lucha!"
This Wednesday at Hunter College, there will be an event to build support for the important and exciting PUERTO RICAN TEACHERS' STRIKE. The colonial government is trying to break that strike and destroy the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation. This is part of the same attack on public education that we face at CUNY, throughout the U.S., and many other places around the world.
This Wednesday, at 3:15 p.m. until about 4:30, Revolution Film Club will help hold an event in Thomas Hunter 109 (office of the Puerto Rican Club and Latino Honor Society) to hear more about the strike, including an eyewitness account, hear a CD of great songs from the strike, and watch some videos about it.

All are invited who want to learn more about the strike.

Joan asked about last Friday's rally. I was out of town, but activists there said there were about 80 people and it was very spirited. There's video coverage on U-Tube, (see link here), and a brief report from rhe NY support committee.
At the D.A. it will be very important to raise the resolution for UFT support to the strike. It was distributed last month, but did not get raised as a motion. Also, members of the New York support committee for the strike will be outside the D.A. distributing educational materials about the strike and asking for our support.

Here's the report put out by the NY Support Committee for the Strike:
New Yorkers Support The Teachers Federation of Puerto Rico!
Friday, February 22, 2008
New York City
During a snow storm and 20 degree temperatures, NYC teachers, tradeunionists and political and community activists, responded to the call of the FMPR Support Committee – NY. At a picket in front the offices of the Free Associated Stated (ELA) government of Puerto Rico, in Manhattan at Park Avenue South, more than 80 demonstrators gathered to protest. With no need for electronic sound to project their voices, the group denounced the anti-worker actions of the government of Anival Acevedo Vilá and denounced the actions of the AFT and SEIU, U.S.-based unions, that have joined in efforts to destroy the organization of struggle of the Teachers in Puerto Rico, the Teachers Federation of Puerto Rico (FMPR).
Loudly and militantly chanting, accompanied by musical instruments, participants also distributed information to the press and area citizens as they left work for the day. The demonstration caused alarm with the security personnel at the new Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration offices of the colonial government of Puerto Rico.
Among the chants that the public heard were:
“¡Lucha Si, Entrega No!”
“¡Huelga o Convenio!”
“Puerto Rican Teachers, New York is With You!”
“¡FMPR, En Pie De Lucha”
“¡La Lucha Obrera, No Tiene Fronteras!”
“Support Puerto Rican Teachers, Support The Strike in Puerto Rico!”
“Say NO to Privitization! Say YES to Free Education!”
“¡Gobierno Colonial, Gobierno Patronal!”


  1. Here's a brief report from Sandor John, a Hunter College professor and PSC activist who was in Puerto Rico for the first two days of the strike. Tonight at Hunter is a meeting of the strike support committee, and we'll have more information on the strike.

    Things continue to heat up in the strike. Several more arrests were carried out today. Yesterday the Univerversity of Puerto Rico student José Laguarta was arrested. José is a former CUNY student who was the co-chair of the Grad Center's AELLA (Association of Latino and Latin American Students). He is presently studying at the University of Puerto Rico and is still enrolled at the Grad Center. (See http://www.primerah otras_panorama/ noticias/ arrestan_ estudiantes_ y__maestra/ 162616).Meanwhile, a march of what the press estimated at 5,000 strikers shut down the streets in front of the Department of Education in San Juan. See video:http://www.primerah otras/noticias/ forcejeo_ en_la_miguel_ such/162823Cops escort scabs and attack strikers at Miguel Such Vocational School in San Juan:http://www.primerah otras/noticias/ forcejeo_ en_la_miguel_ such/162823Other videos on the same site show the decision of a mass assembly of the students at the University of Puerto Rico to shut down the university for a day in support of the FMPR strike

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