Section 6

Resistance and New Imaginaries

The varied ways in which Puerto Ricans—on the island and abroad—have challenged the Fiscal Oversight Board and policies of austerity.

Citizens have organized themselves,

for example, to protest the first scheduled conference of the Board for the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act. However, there are also various newly-formed activist groups, such as Campamento Contra la Junta, #SeAcabaronLasPromesas, and Frente Ciudadano por la Auditroía de la Deuda. One unit refers to this last group’s dedication to accomplishing a citizen-led debt audit, their protests, and their confrontations with the police.

The University of Puerto Rico, a historically powerful source of protest, is particularly vulnerable to austerity measures since most of its funding comes from the government. The Fiscal Oversight Board’s threats of drastically reducing the university’s budget propelled the students into a two-month strike. Another unit surveys the students’ demands and negotiations, their role in the general political struggle on the Island, and the way in which their tactics provoked criticism from other students and from different sectors of society.

Outside the Island, The Puerto Rico Diaspora Summit, which has its own unit, brought academics, politicians, and activists together to organize the Diaspora and find solutions to the Island’s economic struggles. Although artists are involved in many of these groups, one unit focuses specifically on how they have used their craft to underscore the experiences and crises Puerto Ricans endure and to challenge the colonial relationship between the Island and the US.

Disaster Literature

Dystopian/ Utopian Realities

Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez, et al., Ricanstruction: Reminiscing and Rebuilding Puerto Rico. Somos Arte, 2018.

Juan Carlos Quiñones, “Bar Shopenhauer.”Ediciones Une, 2015.

Juan López Bauzá, BaratariaLibros AC, 2012.

Juan Lopez BauzáEl resplandor de Luzbella. Planeta, 2018.

Pedro Cabiya, Tercer MundoZemí, 2019.

Luis Negrón, Mundo Cruel. Libros AC, 2010.

  

Luis Othoniel Rosa,Caja de Fractales. Entropia, 2013.

Marta Aponte Alsina, Somos Islas: ensayos de camino. Educación Emergente, 2015.

“Se acabaron las promesas:” Disrupting PROMESA

Ana Gabriela Calderón, “Puerto Ricans’ Struggle Against US-Imposed Austerity Heats Up,” Global Voices, September 11, 2016.

Jhoni Jackson, “Young Boricuas Have Been Camped Out For a Month Protesting PROMESA. Meet the Faces Behind the Movement,” Remezcla, July 27, 2016.

Mario Mercado Diaz, “Puerto Ricans’ Response to the Economic Crisis Rooted in Misinformation and Frustration,” CounterPunch, August 9, 2016.

Luna Olavarría Gallegos, “Puerto Rican Activists Shut Down the First Scheduled PROMESA Conference in San Juan,” Remezcla, August 31, 2016.

Gabriela Ortiz Díaz, “Las Victorias de la jornada: Se acabaron las Promesas,” Claridad, September 6, 2016.

Adriana De Jesús Salamán, “Mujeres lucharán en contra de la austeridad en Puerto Rico,” NotiCel, June 3, 2017

Eliván Martínez Mercado, “Tanto apretar hasta que explota el paro general,” Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, April 30, 2017.

Alejandra Rosa, “Las nubes del 1 de Mayo,” Diálogo, May 2, 2017.

Patricia Mazzei, “Protest in Puerto Rico Over Austerity Measures Ends in Tear Gas,” New York Times, May 1, 2018.

Leysa Caro González, “Human Rights Organizations Question Police Action,” El Nuevo Día, May 3, 2018. Spanish version.

Gloria Ruiz Kuilan, Presentan un proyecto para que se consulte al pueblo la eliminación de la Junta,” El Nuevo Día, August 16, 2018.

Evelyn Dean-Olmsted and Isabel Rivera-Collazo, “From the Golden Mile to the Blacker Barrios: The Geography of Intimidation,” AAA Blog, May 16, 2018.

PRIMARY SOURCES AND MULTIMEDIA:

Propuesta de la Colectiva Feminista en Construcción al pueblo de Puerto Rico,“ 80 Grados, May 5, 2017

Perla Rodriguez, “Las caras detrás del #CampamentoContraLaJunta,” Diálogo, July 23, 2016.

Protests Erupt in San Juan as Obama Forms Unelected Control Board to Run Puerto Rico,” Democracy Now, September 1, 2016.

“The Puerto Rico Fiscal Board Meeting Video You Very Likely Haven’t Seen Yet” Latino Rebels October 01, 2016

Paro nacional en vídeos Primera Hora May 1, 2017

VIDEO: Teatro 220: Paro Nacional PR 2017 desde New York

Diaspora Summit: United Against Austerity

Angelo Falcón, “The Puerto Rico Crisis: A Diasporic Update,” The NiLP Report, March 15, 2015.

Susanne Ramírez de Arellano, “Island, Mainland Puerto Ricans Gather to Draft Plan of Action,” NBC News, April 25, 2016.

Gabriela Sierra Alonso, “Puerto Rico Puerto Ricans: Diaspora Summit Unites Puerto Ricans to Face Crisis As One,” Centro Voces (2016).

José A. Delgado, “The diaspora advocates for debt relief,” El Nuevo Día, May 13, 2017.

PRIMARY SOURCES AND MULTIMEDIA

Diaspora Summit Website (view schedule and video of events)

“No es luto, es resistencia:” Artists Respond

Ivette Feliciano, “‘I will fight for my island’ — Puerto Rican artists on territory’s future,” PBS Newshour, March 18, 2017.

Odalis Garcia, Giovanni Cortez, and Eva Scazzero, “¿Y Ahora Que? — Artists respond to the economic crisis in Puerto Rico,” Medium, December 11, 2016.

Max Haiven, “Black Flags and Debt Resistance in America’s Oldest Colony,” Roar, August 2, 2016.

Jhnoni Jackson, “Powerful Photo Series ‘Puerto Ricans Underwater’ is a Biting Metaphor For an Island Drowning in Debt,” Remezcla, November 28, 2016.

Raquel Reichard, “How Puerto Rican Artist Lester Rey is Fighting PROMESA through Music,” Latina, November 28, 2016.

Andrew S. Vargas “All-Female Puerto Rican Art Collective Moriviví Recreated Controversial “Puerta de La Bandera” Protest Art in NYC” Remezcla, July 26, 2016.

Marlena Fitzpatrick “Miguel Luciano Cycles through Puerto Rico’s Colonial History in ‘Ride or Die‘” Enclave March 2, 2017.

Jessica Ríos Viner, “La ‘Resistencia boricua’ llega al Desfile Puertorriqueño en Nueva York,” El Nuevo Día, June 8, 2017.

PRIMARY SOURCES AND MULTIMEDIA:

Joseph Rodriguez, “Turning Puerto Rico’s Lament into Hope,” New York Times, August 21, 2015.

Edwin J. Torres, “Portraits of Resilience: Puerto Rican millennials face economic meltdown with a spirit of pa’lante,” The Ground Truth Project, March 1, 2016.

Colectivo La Puerta, “Un llamado a la solidaridad” (artist’s statement) July 7, 2016

Transferencias electrónicas (un Poemario gratuito a la medida de la crisis)

“La UPR no se vende, se defiende:” The Battle for the University of Puerto Rico

Frances Robles, “Puerto Rico’s University Is Paralyzed by Protests and Facing Huge Cuts,” New York Times, May 25, 2017.

Juan C. Dávila, “Students Of Puerto Rico Lead Resistance Against PROMESA,” Huffington Post, April 9, 2017.

José Laguarta, “Pensar la huelga,” 80 Grados, April 7, 2017.

José Caraballo Cueto “UPR: mitos y realidades,” 80 Grados, April 7, 2017.

Ed Morales “Students Are Now Leading the Resistance to Austerity in Puerto Rico” The Nation, April 27, 2017.

Francisco J. Fortuño Bernier, “Cerrar para abrir:” Puerto Rican Student Struggles and the Crisis of Colonial-Capitalism,” Viewpoint Magazine,  April 27, 2017.

José Karlo Pagán Negrón, “Huelga 2017: 72 días en defensa de la UPR,” Diálogo UPR, June 8, 2017.

José Karlo Pagán Negrón, “Se acabó la huelga en la UPR de Río Piedras,” Diálogo UPR, June 5, 2017.

Cara a cara estudiantes de UPR y Junta de Control Fiscal,” Diálogo, March 28, 2018.

Joanisabel González, “El dilema de endeudarse para aprender,” El Nuevo Día, August 12, 2018.

Héctor J. Huyke, “Golpe a una generación intelectual,” El Nuevo Día, August 7, 2018.

Luis A. López Díaz, “La universidad que nos dejará el plan fiscal de la UPR,” UPR Diálogo, March 27, 2018.

FURTHER READING:

María de Lourdes Vaello Calderón, “Una lucha por la Universidad y el País,” El Nuevo Día, April 1, 2017.

Universidad de Puerto Rico es también un motor de la economía y el bienestar social” 80 grados, April 14, 2017

Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera, “Weaponizing Accreditation,” Jacobin, May 24, 2017.

Nydia Bauzá, ”Profesor Fernando Picó hace llamado a continuar el diálogo,” Primera Hora, May 8, 2017.José Encarnación, “Huelga UPR: ¿por qué finalizó y hacia dónde va la lucha estudiantil?,” Diálogo UPR, June 11, 2017.

Benjamin Torres Gotay “La Universidad del Norte” El Nuevo Dia May 28, 2017

(For comprehensive coverage of the 2017 UPR strike against austerity see Pulso Estudiantil, a student run news collective.)

STATEMENTS OF SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT:

In Solidarity with the UPR Student Movement,” 80 Grados, April 6, 2017.

Letter from Rutgers Faculty, Alumni, Staff, and Students in Solidarity of the UPR Student Movement” (2017).

PAReS, “Defendamos la universidad pública,” April 22, 2017.

Rita Perez-Padilla, Mobey Irizarry Lambright, and Andrés González “Oberlin Stands in Solidarity with University of Puerto Rico” Oberlin Review May 5, 2017

Puerto Rican Faculty in the Diaspora, “Open Letter In Solidarity with the University of Puerto Rico,” 80 Grados, April 30, 2017.

#AuditoríaYa!: The Fight to Audit the Debt

Noticel. “Nace campaña educativa sobre la deuda caribeña,” NotiCel, September 20, 2019.

Kate Aronoff and Alleen Brown. “Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez Call for Reversal of Puerto Rico Austerity Measures.” The Intercept, September 23, 2019.

Camille Alexandra Padilla Dalmau. “Caribbean Activists Call for Regional Unity and Debt Reparations.” Latino Rebels, September 23, 2019.

Luis José Torres Asencio. “La Junta Nunca Auditó la Deuda.” El Nuevo Diá, September 25, 2019.

Carla M. Pérez Meléndez, “Encuesta revela apoyo a la auditoría de la deuda,” Diálogo, April 4, 2017.

Inicia jornada de acciones ciudadanas por la auditoría de la deuda,” 80 Grados, April 17, 2017.

Leysa Caro González, “Aprueban a viva voz derogar comisión que examinaría la deuda pública,” El Nuevo Dia, April 18, 2017.

La auditoría va, ¡pero ciudadana!” 80 Grados, April 20, 2017.

Carlos Esteban Cana, “Puerto Ricans Hold a ‘Vigil for Light and Truth’ to Demand an Audit of Public Debt,” Global Voices, April 20, 2017.

Sadot Santana Miranda, “Choque durante protesta en reclamo por auditoría de la deuda,” Diálogo, April 19, 2017.

José A. Delgado, “Calls to audit debt made,” El Nuevo Día, May 3, 2017.

Luis J. Valentín Ortiz, “Retrasada la auditoría de la Junta, mientras coge impulso la negociación de la deuda,” 80 grados, June 12, 2018.

Hedge Clippers, “The Golden Revolving Door,” HedgePapers No. 61, August 21, 2018.

Melissa Correa Velázquez, “Protesta en reclamo de la auditoría de la deuda pública,” El Vocero, July 25, 2018.

Luis José Torres Asencio, “La auditoría, el derecho a saber y las políticas del dolor,” 80 grados, July 13, 2018.

Joanisabel González, “Publican reporte sobre la investigación de la deuda,” El Nuevo Día, August 20, 2018.

Javier Colón Dávila, “Juez se reserva fallo en petición hecha para ver documentos de la deuda del país,” El Nuevo Día, August 24, 2018.

Video: Julio Rivera Saniel. “Realizan Asamblea para Retomar Agenda de la Auditoría de la Deuda.” September 2019.

FURTHER READING:

Comisión para la Auditoría Integral del Crédito Público, “Pre-Audit Survey Report” (2016).

Comisión para la Auditoría Integral del Crédito Público, “Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority: Power Revenue Bonds, Series 2013A” (2016)

Katefrans Flores Sanabria, “Razones por las que no se audita la deuda pública,” Índice, April 19, 2017.

Velázquez, Nydia M., “OPINION: Puerto Rico’s debt must be audited now,” The Hill, June 7, 2017.

VIDEO:  “Puerto Rico: En Busca de la Verdad,” Frente Ciudadano por la Auditoría de la Deuda, March 7, 2017.