Archive for the ‘Statements/Communiqués’ Category

University of Minnesota Occupation Press Release

29 March 2011

from UMNsolidarity:

3/28/2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Hallie (612)217-2462, umnsolidarity@gmail.com

Students and Community Supporters Occupy Social Sciences Tower at University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus – West Bank

Occupying in Solidarity with Wisconsin Students and Workers and Against University Budget Cuts

Minneapolis – On Monday, March 28th, a group of students and community members have occupied the first floor of the Social Sciences tower on the West Bank of the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota. Following a rally in front of Coffman Memorial Union, participants marched across the East Bank of campus and crossed the Mississippi River onto the West Bank. Students and supporters entered into the first floor of the Social Sciences tower and held an assembly to discuss possible courses of action. Using a democratic process of consensus, protesters decided to hold the space in an open and soft occupation.

Since the occupation is non-violent and open, as of press time the University has not removed the occupiers. However, the University buildings close to the public at 11 pm each night. “We have a solid group of people here who are committed to the occupation, and we are using social media to bring more students and supportive community members to the space,” said undergraduate student Andrew, who has chosen not to give his last name. “We are planning specific events for the space in order to benefit the entire community, which we will be posting on our blog, umnsolidarity.wordpress.com,” added Sara, a U of M student who was forced to take a semester off of school for lack of finances.

Students and community supporters are outraged over soaring tuition, budget cuts, skyrocketing administrative salaries, mounting student debt, attacks on cultural diversity groups on campus, and blatant disregard for workers’ rights across the nation. In light of recent student and worker uprisings around the world, students in the Twin Cities are no longer willing to bear the burdens of the economic crisis while the rich only get richer. Inspired by the actions of students at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Madison, and other campuses around the state, U of M students are standing up against injustices in their own state and their own university.

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UPR Students Prepare for 1.11.11

10 January 2011

PUERTO RICO – Students of the University of Puerto Rico have announced tomorrow, January 11th, as a day of strike against the $800 tuition increase.

UPR Students Call for Support

9 January 2011

from EmancipatingEducation:

Greetings,
(pardon my broken English – public education in here is not a priority…)
Since December the 14th, the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), the only public university of the Island, has been on strike against a $800 special fee they want to put us for this new semester. Since the strike began just weeks before the current semester was about to end, the support of students has not been as massive as the last Spring strike (who longed for 62 days).
Everyday we wake up with massive display of police inside the Campus … even on [December 20] there was a huge riot [which ended in] the [arrest] of 18 students and dozens of wounded.
Here’s 2 videos of the riot:

Now, January the 11th is the day that the UPR administration said that it will be renewing the classes of the semester who hasn’t ended … this day we are trying to get any type of international support since the Government has already said that they will not keep tolerating this strike. Therefore, we will be looking forward to maybe even worst violence that we have already lived in this strike already.

-UPR_on_Strike

[Editor: Updates will be posted as they come.]

Call to Europe, from to Rome to London: this is just the beginning!

9 December 2010
from UniRiot:
…You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: occupation of universities everywhere in Europe, blockage of the cities, manif sauvage, rage. This is the answer of a generation to whom they want to cut the future with debts for studying, cuts of welfare state and increasing of tuition fees.

The determination of thousand of students in London, the rage of who assault the Italian Senate house against the austerity and the education cuts, has opened the present time: this is because the future is something to gain that start when you decide collectively to take risk and to struggle.
The extraordinary struggles that we are living have the capacity to show a present with an intensity that exceed the linearity of the time, that refuse our precarity condition: it is an assault to the future!

We don’t want to get into debt, we don’t want to pay more fees to study in London as well as in Paris, Wien, Rome, Athens, Madrid, Dublin, Lisbon. This European movement is about refusing austerity policies, refusing to get into debt for these miserable politicians. Que se vayan todos!

What is happening nowadays in Rome first spread out in Athens and Paris, then in Dublin and London: it is the irruption of a movement who speaks a common language, the same young generation in revolt, who inhabits different cities but shares the same determination to struggle, «floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee».

We have to meet each other and invent a new political grammar against the weakness of the Nation-state and their strategy to face the crisis: their receipt is just austerity, cuts and debt.

In Italy we have occupied not only universities, but also blocked motorways and the mobility of the country in order to circulate struggles outside the national borders and coming in Europe and beyond. The circulation of struggles is living within the Book Block and the wild demonstration in London, Paris and Rome.

This autumn we are living a real European student movement, that is various and radical, really heterogeneous. Its common reclaim comes from a protest that is born in the middle of the crisis, and that represents the most courageous answer. It is a struggle composed by different struggles, heterogeneous temporalities that reclaim more scholarships for student and a public university for everyone.

Within the book block a new generation recognized and found itself in the protest. Today in lots of cities the Italian student movement is showing something more than just solidarity: this is because your struggle is our struggle and all around Europe students are against the increasing of fees, the privatisation of the university and the education cuts.  You are not alone in UK: an European event, a new generation do not want to stop. We have the force whom want to change the world and we have the intelligence to do it. It is just the beginning!

We propose to students, researchers, precarious workers and PhD students to build up together an European meeting at the beginning of the 2011, to continue the struggle, to transform this wind in a tempest!

Statement from Occupied SOAS

22 November 2010

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE USE
Contact:
Bernard Goyder 07551319742
Elly Badcock 07581418837

Central London college occupied by students over education cuts.

Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, have today taken over the Brunei Gallery, a central college building, in protest at the Coalition government’s plans to impose £4.3bn cuts to higher education.
SOAS is predicted to face 100% cuts to its teaching budget as it specialises in languages and humanities subjects.
Following a mass meeting of the Students’ Union last week, which voted to support occupations at the college, protestors gathered on campus at Monday lunchtime.
The Brunei Gallery was taken over shortly after by cheering students.
The demands are as follows:

Occupation Statement

“At a huge Emergency General Meeting (EGM) last week, SOAS students voted in favour of occupation as part of our fight against Coalition government plans to cut higher education funding and raise tuition fees. Today, over sixty students have occupied the Brunei Suite at SOAS. This number is growing.

We stand in solidarity with other University occupations across the country and all those resisting the government’s draconian and unnecessary cuts. We encourage all students to participate in the National Day of Action against fees and cuts on 24th November. We call on the University administration to join us in our fight to defend education. In particular, we demand:

No victimisation of participants in this occupation and in previous and future student actions against fees and cuts.

That students who participate in the walk-out organised on the 24th of November are not marked as absent from lectures or tutorials on that day

Greater transparency in the School’s budget and in the School’s financial decisions.

That Paul Webley, SOAS Director, releases a statement openly condemning all cuts to higher education and any rise in tuition fees, and writes to the Government in the form of an open letter asking Vice-Chancellors across the country to unite against all threats to Higher Education.

That Paul Webley and SOAS management refuse to budget for the cuts and commit not to raise tuition fees.

We also request that all lecturers devote 15 minutes of lecture time to discuss the impact of the cuts in their classes throughout this week.

The occupation space is open to all students and staff and we encourage everyone to participate in occupation activities”

University of Sussex Occupied

15 November 2010

BRIGHTON, England – The University of Sussex is occupied as of Monday, November 15.

from DefendSussex:

This afternoon, over 170 students occupied the lecture theatre in the Fulton building at the University of Sussex in protest of the trebling of tuition fees and the attack on our education system.

In light of Wednesday’s demonstration, which saw 52,000 people come out in opposition to the government’s proposed cuts to education and raising of fees, we feel it is necessary for further action to consolidate the efforts made so far and push on in the opposition to these ideologically motivated cuts to both education specifically and public services as a whole.

We reject the notion that these cuts are necessary or for the benefit of society. There are viable alternatives which are not being explored. While the government has suggested that ‘we are all in this together’, we completely reject this and are insulted that these cuts are being pushed through alongside reductions in corporate tax. We feel these cuts are targeting those who are most vulnerable in our society.

Furthermore, not only are these cuts damaging our current education, but are changing the face of the education system as we know it. The hole in finances left by government cuts will inevitably be filled by private interest. This marketization of education will destroy the prospect of free and critical academic enquiry, on which universities should be based. The trebling of tuition fees will further exclude another swathe of society and make university accessible only to the rich.

We reject the media manipulation of the occupation of Millbank. The cost of the damage to 30 Millbank is less than insignificant when set against the damage of lost livelihoods and destruction of public services for future generations.

This occupation recognises that Aaron Porter’s statements condemning the demonstration are counter-productive and serve only to divide and segregate the movement. We are disappointed that, as a national representative of students, Aaron Porter’s statements have detracted from the real issue at hand by focusing on the events at Millbank Tower.

We believe that this Tory led coalition government has no mandate for lifting the cap on tuition fees. Nick Clegg has openly manipulated student voters in his campaign for election, and following the recent exposure of plans to drop his pledge to reject any rise in tuition fees, this occupation condemns his dishonesty and undemocratic methods.
Education is a right, not a privilege.

– We demand the University of Sussex management makes a statement condemning all cuts to higher education and rise in tuition fees
– We are opposed to all cuts to public services
– We oppose a rise in tuition fees
– We call for solidarity and support for those arrested or victimised on Wednesday’s demonstration
– We stand in solidarity with others taking action, both nationally and internationally, in the fight against austerity measures.
– We call for all other university, college and school students and staff to strike and occupy in defence of the future of our education system, and to participate in the national day of action on the 24th November 2010.

Call for Action on Nov. 16

22 October 2010

The University of California Administration and the UC Regents in particular have continued to demonstrate their callous disregard for the lives and futures of the Students and Workers who make up the University. The malicious assault which they are now leading against the pensions of employees, the conditions and wages of academic workers, and the future of students with a new proposed fee hike of as much as 20%, demonstrates not only the depth of their commitment to privatization but also their amnesiac forgetfulness regarding the events of last year. In the relative calm of the last few months they have forgotten the magnitude of the discontent which exploded in the form of mass occupations and strikes last November and on March 4th. As the regents meet to consider further austerity measures, we must act to demonstrate that if they fail to repeal the fee hikes implemented so far, if they continue to impose intolerable conditions on the Students and Workers of the University of California, we will render the University ungovernable. The UCSC Strike Committee calls upon Students and Workers across the UC system to take action on their campuses November 16th, both to demonstrate the continuing strength of our resistance and build the social power which can make the threat of an ungovernable university a reality.

UC Santa Cruz Strike Committee

Chop from the Top

1 September 2010

from occupyLA:

Today [September 1st], several students decided to take back control of their university from big business and little bureaucrats, reclaiming a single building of University of New Orleans’ campus for they, the tuition-payers, themselves.

Despite what benevolent administrators, politicians (student or otherwise), or the police may say, we know that this financial crisis is not ours, and that we will not pay for it.  We know that this “depression” effects us disproportionately and we refuse to allow those who are already hurt to be injured any further.  If there will be cuts, they will be from the very top.

We would like to state how overwhelmingly impressed we were with the organized Walk Out that also took place today.  Y’all are amazing.  Despite the fact that no one “led” the march or “organized” the rally, the students found no trouble whatsoever in finding common ground surrounding the slow and systematic demolition of the only public university available to them in the city of New Orleans.

Unfortunately, after being forcefully removed from a university building by violent, angry campus cops wielding batons and pepper spray, and after the beatings and arrests of two of our fellow students, and after Chief Harrington put a student in a headlock and wrongfully accused him of assault, the faculty, staff, and students alike were able to finally witness the police undeniably affirm all of our accusations–the university and its administration empower their goons, not their students, in order to better serve private interests at the cost of public education.

Please keep our two imprisoned comrades in your thoughts.  Please contact the UNO Campus Police and let them know how nasty you think Chief Harrington is for sicking his officers on students. [UNO PD phone number listed in the previous post]

Again, UNO made us proud today.  We can’t wait to see how students will organize themselves this semester, this year, forever.

This was only the first.

Universidad de San Carlos Occupation

31 August 2010

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – On August 9th, the Students for Autonomy (Estudiantes por la Autonomía, or EPA) occupied part of the University of San Carlos (USAC). Their demand for autonomy and a return to elected student representatives for university governance has faced an onslaught of media and state manipulation and repression. After 23 days, the occupation continues.

Four days ago, a group of medical students in the Autonomous Committee of Medicine (CAM), took over another building, the Centro Universitario Metropolitano (CUM). As a result of the new occupation, a handful professors from the faculty of medicine assaulted students. On the night of August 29th, a couple of students left the CUM building and entered their vehicle to leave. After a confrontation with police, the students lost control of the vehicle and crashed, leaving one student dead and the other critically injured. Read more about the current situation on the EPA’s website, here (en Español).

A video communiqué from the EPA:

An open solidarity letter has been drafted by Cascadia Solidaria in English:

Solidarity with Students for Autonomy, San Carlos University, Guatemala (Estudiantes por la Autonomía, EPA)

As students, workers, and community members in the United States and Canada struggling in defense of public education, we have been immensely strengthened by the example of movements in resistance against the privatization and neoliberalization of higher education across the world: in the Phillippines, in South Africa, in Puerto Rico and El Salvador, in Greece, Austria and various countries in Europe.  Now our solidarity and support turns to Guatemala and Students for Autonomy of the University of San Carlos (Estudiantes por la Autonomia, Universidad de San Carlos, EPA-USAC) and their allies, who have maintained the University under occupation since August 9 in protest against the systematic violation of the USAC’s constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

We state our support for the principle demands of EPA, and condem the reduction of student votes in the election of the University’s Board of Directors, due to a 2007 decision of the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, with the support of the University Administration (Consejo Superior Universitario, CSU).  We support EPA’s opposition to the increase of tuition fees at Guatemala’s only institution of public higher education; as well as the imposition of entrance exams and punitive measures against students who must repeat courses.  Policies which, in addition to increased fees, result in the progressive elitization of public higher education.  We support EPA’s call for the full funding of San Carlos University, as guaranteed by the Guatemalan constitution.

We call on the USAC Administration to negotiate in good faith and immediately implement policies to protect and restore students’ rights and the political autonomy of the University.  We reject the Administration’s calls to confrontation with students who have taken direct action in defense of their rights, and ask that no reprisals be carried out against these students.  We denounce all threats against the students of EPA and their allies, as well as any actions by State security forces which would violate the physical autonomy of San Carlos University.

Public higher education is a right, not a privilege or a private commodity.  We join EPA in calling for Universities which meet public needs and respect the rights of students and workers.

i. communiqué

22 August 2010

from radical women’s kitchen:

This is an unwavering political statement, a conscious effort to politicize an event without being apologetic or defensive. This statement is written by a collective of women who came together in the spring of 2010 based on shared experiences and concerns surrounding patriarchy and sexual violence within the radical scene and beyond. In our meetings and discussions, we learned that many of the women within our network have experienced some form of sexual violence. It is no coincidence that we have had this experience with power. Rape is not a personal misfortune but an experience with domination shared by many women. When more than two people have suffered the same oppression the problem is no longer personal but political – thus, rape is a political matter (New York Radical Feminists Manifesto, 1971).

Violence against women contributes to a system of power, organizing society into a complex set of relationships based on a sometimes invisible and internalized assumption of male supremacy. Rape is not the only form of control that male-bodied individuals can practice in romantic, friend, or comradely relationships. Physical as well as emotional abuse function as ways of maintaining involuntary hierarchies and control over women, female sexuality, and reproductive systems.

The silence and secrecy that often surrounds issues of power and domination should in no way to be taken as complicity, however, we as women and survivors will remain silent no longer.

Ideologically speaking, male-bodied anarchists and communists align with principles of egalitarianism and anti-authoritarianism, yet daily practices in this regard oftentimes fall short.  We have repeatedly seen a chasm between theory and praxis in male-bodied treatment of women and other oppressed people.  We have seen over and over again, male-gendered behaviors reproduce the very systems of domination that we are fighting to dismantle.  We refuse to allow this to continue.

In the course of our meetings, we identified one male-bodied individual as a repeat perpetrator of sexual violence against female-bodied people: Jan Michael Dichter, also known as Maus. This particular individual, whose vocabulary consisted of anti-patriarchal jargon, had committed sexual violence before, and participated in survivor-defined accountability processes. Since he continued to transgress boundaries, raping and sexually assaulting women in Boston and Santa Cruz, we decided to confront him. We met him at his home and verbally confronted him. He refused to take responsibility and his words were manipulative and insulting. When he refused to shut up, we shut him up. The intent was to inflict pain, albeit it would only be a small portion of the amount of pain his victims have felt.

We did what had to be done out of sheer necessity. As radicals, we know the legal system is entrenched in bullshit – many laws and legal processes are racist, classist, heterosexist and misogynist. Alternative accountability processes, much like the traditional ones, often force the survivor to relive the trauma of the assault and force her to put her reputation – a problematic concept in itself – on the line as “proof” of her credibility. They end up being an ineffective recreation of the judicial process that leaves the perpetrator off the hook, while the survivor has to live through the memory of the assault for the rest of her life (Anonymous communiqué from NYC, 2009). The US legal system and the alternative community-based accountability processes are simply not good enough for survivors, and certainly not revolutionary.

Rape is entangled in a system of patriarchy and domination. It would serve us well to consider rape as part of class and race analysis. It is not only a crime committed by individuals against individuals; it is systemic and structural. It is our material interest as women that pushes us to stand up for ourselves. The material consequences of patriarchy and male supremacy push all women, regardless of how they define themselves ideologically, to fight against our oppression. In our work as a radical community, both female- and male-bodied, we must work to dismantle this form of oppression and domination. We find it an incomprehensible and unacceptable betrayal that our so-called male-bodied ‘friends’ would perpetrate this kind of subjugation of female-bodied comrades. Just because you can articulate feminist theory does not mean that you are to be trusted.

We also find tacit support of male-bodied perpetrators, as well as the hijacking of our collectively defined accountability process particularly offensive. Attempts by some self-identified “male allies” to take control of the action by confronting Maus themselves, pressuring women for inclusion and calling a public meeting without our permission undermined our practice of self-organization. Rather than demonstrating their support these men made it clear that they were unwilling to allow us to act on our own behalf without their involvement. The type of action we took as a group of female-bodied comrades aligns clearly with anti-hierarchical politics and goals of self-determination. If our male-bodied ‘comrades’ want to be considered as comrades, we’d like to see them behave that way.

This action sets a precedent, the beginning of a new kind of accountability process, one that leaves the perpetrator in pain and articulates our call for the dismantling of male supremacy in radical political communities and beyond. We know that Maus is not the only guilty one. We know there are more of you out there…

It would take a revolution to eliminate structural violence; thus an anti-rape agenda must be part of any revolutionary agenda. We demand this now.

http://radicalwomenskitchen.wordpress.com

References:
Anonymous communiqué from NYC (2010),
http://twincities.indymedia.org/2010/apr/anarchist-rapist-gets-bat-well-show-you-crazy-bitches-2

New York Radical Feminists Manifesto (1971).

Strike on October 7th!

5 August 2010

(Please scroll down for more recent posts.)

October 7th, 2010 – Day of Strike & Action

Under the guise of an economic collapse, we see the public resources that once supported us, and the public spaces that once provided fertile grounds for shelter and inspiration degrade. Every level of public education has been cut to the bone, programs for the homeless and public welfare have been scaled back in contradiction to escalating needs, and dozens of basic necessities have become difficult to obtain or too expensive to afford—from finding healthcare to transportation, jobs to housing.

The managers of industry, university administrators, and bank executives have undercut our public commons, imposed burdens on workers and gambled away our future in a thoughtless, last-ditch reaction to prop up a failing system. The bailout of banks, bloated managerial budgets and salaries, and the privatization of public schools are some of the devastating initiatives they continue to push; and so now, we’re beginning to see the aftermath: high foreclosures rates, lay-offs and unreasonable tuition. What seemingly began as an economic crisis, has become a crisis of social values. Do we stand by and accept their tired policies, or do we refuse them and reinvent ourselves?

As a mosaic of communities that recoil from the unbearable, we have the ability to network and join together, not only to fight off cuts and injustices, but to recreate and sustain our future. In the emergence of the student movement, we’ve seen our creativity flourish and the formation of new ties and connections between commonly separated groups. We see our united strength, and we know that together we can challenge the false options between housing and the environment, education and prison reform, and the false division between workers and students. We reject any “solutions” that would maintain one community at the expense of other vulnerable populations.

In April, organizers fighting for education converged and called for a day of strike and action on October 7, 2010. In recognition of the increasing struggles we face today, not only as students, but as teachers, parents, and workers, we wish to broadly organize direct actions with a diversity of communities who wish to be involved in this defense of education, in this struggle to take back our lives.

Take this message to your friends, your family, to the union forums and to your coworkers, to your community organizing meetings and your allies struggling to reverse the erosion, to students at every level of education, to your teachers and your tutors, to anyone who ever opened a book and spoke to friends about building a better world. United we are a flood that sweeps away the decay of defeatism, that brings forth new seeds to instill a fighting spirit and form new opportunities. (via Facebook Event)

(Endorsements and call available here)

5 More Members of Landless People’s Movement Arrested

5 June 2010

from libcom:

The crackdown on the Landless People’s Movement in Johannesburg continues. Two LPM militants have been killed in recent days and, following the arrest of five people last night, ten are currently in prison.

Friday, 04 June 2010
Landless People’s Movement Press Statement

The Attack on the Landless People’s Movement Continues
Five More People have Been Arrested in Protea South

Last night the police went from door to door with an informer in the shacks of Protea South, Soweto. They arrested five members of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM). Three of the people that they arrested are children of Maureen Mnisi, chairperson of the LPM in Gauteng. The other two are her neighbours.

Since the current wave of repression began when the LPM was attacked in Protea South by the Homeowner’s Association on 23 May 2010 two people have been killed. One was shot dead by the Homeowner’s Association in Protea South and one was shot dead by the police in eTwatwa. Other people have been beaten, shot, arrested and threatened with having their homes burnt down. Two people have had their homes burnt down in eTwatwa. There are now seven LPM members in jail in Protea South and thee LPM members in jail in eTwatwa.

The police have promised that they will make more arrests soon. They said that the five people arrested last night will be charged with burning the electricity transformer in Protea South. The transformer was burnt down on 23 May. On that night the wealthier residents of Protea South living in private bonded houses armed themselves and went around beating shack dwellers who had connected themselves to electricity and forcibly disconnecting them from electricity. They shot two people and one person died. They also tried to burn down Maureen Mnisi’s house. Her house was saved when LPM members defended it by erecting a burning barricade and throwing stones at the mob from the Homeowner’s Association. Some members of the community burnt down the electricity box to show the wealthier residents of Protea South that if they want to deny electricity to the poor then it will be denied to everyone. This is tactic of disconnecting the rich if they disconnect the poor (or ask the state to do it) has been used in Siyanda, Pemary Ridge and Motala Heights in Durban. (more…)

Message from UPR Negotiators

3 June 2010

Translation: (more…)

Police Kill Landless People’s Movement militant in Johannesburg

3 June 2010

from libcom:

The Landless People’s Movement in Johannesburg continues to face repression. A number of its leaders are now in hiding. Police attack in eTwatwa, Ekurhuleni; one person is dead and another seriously injured.

Saturday, 29 May 2010
Landless People’s Movement Press Statement

On Sunday 23 May residents of the bond houses in Protea South, Soweto, attacked the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) in the shacks in Protea South. They went around disconnecting us from electricity and beating those who had been connected to electricity. They tried to burn down Maureen Mnisi’s shack and two people were shot. One died on the scene.

Today the police attacked the LPM in eTwatwa, Ekurhuleni. At least three people were shot with live ammunition. One person has died and another is currently being operated on in hospital. (more…)

Death at University of Puerto Rico Strike

26 May 2010

MAYAGÜEZ, Puerto Rico – (The following is in Spanish and English.)

La UPR está de luto.

Universidad de Puerto Rico
Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez
26 de mayo de 2010

Hoy el RUM y sus estudiantes están de

Today, RUM and its students are in mourning

A través de los distintos medios de comunicación masiva, hemos recibido la terrible noticia del fallecimiento de nuestra compañera Natalia Sánchez López, de 21 años de edad. Las razones de su fallecimiento aun son desconocidas. De igual manera se desconoce si la joven tenía algún padecimiento previo que fuera el causante de tan nefasto final.

We have received the terrible news from the media about the death of our comrade, Natalia Sánchez López, 21. The cause of death is still unknown. It is also unknown if she suffered from any condition that might have precipitated her most unfortunate end.

Colegiales en Acción y los estudiantes de la huelga expresamos nuestro más sentido pésame a su familia y amigos. Les queremos extender nuestras sinceras condolencias en este momento tan difícil que atraviesan.

Colegiales en Acción and the students on strike would like to offer our condolences to her family and friends, in this difficult moment.

Natalia había participado en la asamblea estudiantil del RUM, el pasado lunes 24 de mayo, pero tuvo que ser removida antes de que la misma concluyera. La estudiante sufrió un colapso durante la celebración de la asamblea y tuvo que ser llevada en ambulancia hasta su residencia.

Natalia had participated in the student assembly of RUM, on Monday, May 24, but had to be removed before she passed away. The student suffered a collapse during the assembly and had to be taken to her home by ambulance.

Las condiciones de hacinamiento y extrema calor fueron la orden del día en dicha actividad. El estacionamiento del Darlington fue testigo de una asamblea a la cual 12,000 estudiantes fueron convocados cuando claramente el espacio provisto no era suficiente para abarcar dicho número. La misma contó con la asistencia de más de 2 mil estudiantes, cuya participación fue mermando debido a lo prolongado de la asamblea. Esta se extendió por 8 horas, a causa de la maléfica organización que allí permeaba. Los estudiantes carecían de ventilación, de agua y acceso a las facilidades de baño. Sin mencionar que, sólo contaban con un acceso tanto de entrada como de salida.

During the activities, the place was normally crowded and extremely hot. 12,000 students gathered at the Darlington parking lot when it was clear that there was not enough space to comfortably fit that many people in it. Then there were more than 2,000 people who kept joining the assembly crowd as it proceeded rather at length. The assembly lasted longer than 8 hours, due to an evily organized plan. The students did not have ventilation, water, nor access to restrooms. Without mentioning, that they only had one entrance which also served as an exit.

La falta de organización fue el talón de Aquiles de la asamblea, ya que no contaban con los suministros ni las condiciones para cubrir las necesidades del estudiantado. Las facilidades del estacionamiento Darlington cuentan con baños, a los cuales el acceso y uso de los mismos les fue negado a los estudiantes. Mientras que, los miembros del Consejo General de Estudiantes del |RUM hacían uso de los mismos cuando así les pareciera. Incluso, al momento de contabilizar los votos en la asamblea, el CGE brilló por su ausencia en esa hora y media que tomó el proceso ya que se encontraban cómodamente dentro de las facilidades. De igual manera, impedían la entrada de botellas de agua y sombrillas al área del estacionamiento.

The lack of organization was the Achilles heel of the assembly, since there was a clear lack of services and the conditions were not met to insure the safety of the student body. The facilities at the Darlington parking lot have restrooms, but access and use of such places was not permitted to the students. In the meantime, the members of the General Council of Students from RUM did make use of them. Also, when it was time to count the votes of the assembly, the Council were notibly absent for an hour and a half while comfortably inside the facilities. In the same fashion, they did not allow students to bring in water bottles nor umbrellas for shade.

Los estudiantes y profesores denunciaron los percances de celebrar la asamblea en el “corral”. El médico José Ríos Orlandi denunció su preocupación acerca de las condiciones de la asamblea al cuerpo de bomberos, los cuales al llegar al área del estacionamiento procedieron a no permitir la entrada de más estudiantes a la actividad. Aunque, al cabo del tiempo, y por denuncias de los mismos estudiantes, se procedió a seguir permitiendo la entrada al estudiantado. Era tarea del CGE agenciar un lugar adecuado y neutral para llevar a cabo dicha asamblea, que permitiera la participación de la mayor cantidad del estudiantado posible y que a su vez, contara con las facilidades pertinentes para celebrar una asamblea, la cual fue convocada por ese cuerpo.

Both, students and professors denounced the format in which the assembly took place and the setting, since it resembled a “corral”. José Ríos Orlandi, a medical doctor, informed the local fire department about his concerns regarding the event. The firefighters then arrived and stopped allowing people inside the parking lot. However, after a while, and as a response to the petitions of some students, more students were let inside. The task of securing an adecuate and neutral space for the assembly, which would allow for the participation of the maximum number of students possible, and counting with the adecuate facilities and services in order to celebrate such event, was the duty of the Council, who also called the meeting.

Lamentamos grandemente la pérdida de un ser humano tan alegre y comprometido como lo era nuestra compañera Natalia. Todos nuestros corazones lloran hoy su partida y estamos en total solidaridad con tod@s aquell@s allegad@s a ella. La Universidad de Puerto Rico y el pueblo puertorriqueño se encuentran de luto.

We deeply regret the loss of such a happy and dedicated human being like our comrade, Natalia. Today, all of our hearts cry for her departure and we declare our solidarity with all of the people who loved and appreciated her. The University of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people are in mourning.

Dania García
Comité de Prensa, Colegiales en Acción

(special thanks to UC Rebel Radio for the translation.)

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