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17-02-11 Democracy in Egypt- Repression in Puerto Rico

17-02-11 Democracy in Egypt- Repression in Puerto Rico

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Published by William J Greenberg
Police attacks on the students and journalists echo those
that took place in Cairo, except none of the national
television networks in the United States chose to broadcast
the photos and videos of Puerto Rico that were readily
available to them. Repression in Cairo was headline news,
but similar attacks on non-violent students in our Puerto
Rican colony were swept under the rug. Videos from UPR show
police firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray, as
well as applying pressure point holds to the non-resisting
students' necks to cause intense pain.
Police attacks on the students and journalists echo those
that took place in Cairo, except none of the national
television networks in the United States chose to broadcast
the photos and videos of Puerto Rico that were readily
available to them. Repression in Cairo was headline news,
but similar attacks on non-violent students in our Puerto
Rican colony were swept under the rug. Videos from UPR show
police firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray, as
well as applying pressure point holds to the non-resisting
students' necks to cause intense pain.

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Published by: William J Greenberg on Feb 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/20/2014

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Our struggle is to bring social, political, and economic justice to our nation. This page is published by the Anti Racism network and the Latino network of Democratic Socialists of America to share our work with others.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2011Democracy in Egypt- Repression in Puerto RicoLuisa (a pseudonym) has been receiving Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC,www.rfc.org
 
) support since she was 15 yearsold. She's now a student at the University of Puerto Rico(UPR), the largest university in the Caribbean and thepremier Spanish-speaking institution of higher learningunder the control of the United States. Recently she's beenin touch with our staff and a Board Member because thecomputer we purchased for her when she entered college threeyears ago required repair. When our Board Member called her last week to get details, he heard screaming in thebackground when Luisa answered. Luisa said she couldn't talk because she was running from pepper spray and police withnight sticks. (She got away....)Since December hundreds of UPR students have been passivelyoccupying their campus to protest massive tuition increasesthat have made it impossible for almost one third of theundergraduates (5000 out of 16,000) to re-enroll in classesthis semester. The students have not been destructive, evenorganizing brigades to keep the campus clean. But thegovernment decided to attack them. The parent of another RFCbeneficiary wrote on January 27th: "Levels of violence usedagainst Puerto Rican non-violent striking students haverisen exponentially. I strongly urge you to open the photosand videos (available at http://pr.indymedia.org/) of  yesterday's actions, brought to you by the incredible presspeople of Puerto Rico, who were also subject to directpolice threats ... [and] were physically attacked, just asthe students were."Police attacks on the students and journalists echo those
 
that took place in Cairo, except none of the nationaltelevision networks in the United States chose to broadcastthe photos and videos of Puerto Rico that were readilyavailable to them. Repression in Cairo was headline news,but similar attacks on non-violent students in our PuertoRican colony were swept under the rug. Videos from UPR showpolice firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray, aswell as applying pressure point holds to the non-resistingstudents' necks to cause intense pain. Women's groups joinedthe protests after videos were released of police groping afemale student's breasts.Meanwhile, the conservative Republican Governor Luis Fortu
oof Puerto Rico was on a Heritage Foundation-sponsored tripto California. He became a most-favored Latino leader in theRepublican Party after he laid off 20,000 public sector employees and began systematically dismantling UPR, whichjust happens to be a center of liberal and left-wingactivity.The student strike continued into this month despite thepolice violence. On February 7th police armed to the teethwith shotguns, rifles, and submachine guns were forced toretreat when the students were reinforced by union members.To protect the students, the workers formed a human chainthat even the masked SWAT team could not break.Our federal government's and national media's willfulblindness to what is happening within what is technicallyUnited States territory, while focusing its attention onEgypt, is monumental hypocrisy. These students arestruggling to save their university. They are risking their bodies, and even their lives, so they can attend school! Itis past time for all progressives to speak up in support of these courageous young people.[Robert Meeropol is the younger son of Ethel and JuliusRosenberg. In 1953, when he was six years old, the UnitedStates Government executed his parents for "conspiring to

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