Chaos in the Colony pt. 6

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Unfortunately the clearest result of today’s spontaneous acts of violence and intimidation of University of Puerto Rico chancellor Ana Guadalupe is that, for the moment, the student strike movement has lost the moral high ground. They have also played into the hands of the university administration and the monopoly ruling party by providing a modicum of justification for the reinstitution of police presence on the campus. The success achieved by forcing the university to remove the tactical riot police squadrons and even the resignation of the university president Ramón de la Torre has been compromised a bit. But this should not invalidate their cause.

As the video above demonstrates, the violence involved in the incident pales in comparison to the violence that striking students faced on several occasions at the hands of the tactical riot police, who used choke holds, pepper gas, pain-inducing techniques, and sexual harassment of women that would shame any civilized country. While it is clear that Guadalupe’s hair was pulled a couple of times and there was some genuine fear on her face as she struggled to get out of the university building and into a flatbed security truck, it’s not certain that she was injured in any way. News outlets are reporting minor wounds sustained by security personnel, but none of this is ascertainable in the video posted above.

What you do see in the video is that the smashing of the security truck’s windows happened after security personnel, when trying to speed Guadalupe out of the parking lot, almost ran over a couple of students who were trying to block its path. And what you don’t see in the initial reports is that Guadalupe is one of the main flashpoints of the entire conflict. Her role has been to obstinately enforce university policies that took away students’ rights to demonstrate on campus, that invited the tactical riot personnel onto the campus and continually justified its presence, and perhaps worst of all, refused to negotiate the legitimate proposals to shift cost burdens brought forth by the students time and time again.

It was that refusal to even recognize these proposals while unleashing several weeks worth of physical and mental violence on student strikers that drove the students’ anger and frustration, which you can clearly see on their faces. And it’s not only the students who are fed up with Guadalupe. The following is a demand that Guadalupe be removed from her position submitted by UPR faculty:

Departamento de Psicología
UNIVERSIDAD DE PUERTO RICO
Facultad de Ciencias Social
PO Box 23345
San JuanPR 00931-3345
En reunión extraordinaria del día 15 de septiembre del 2010, la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras aprobó la siguiente resolución: Por cuanto la Rectora Interina Dra. Ana Guadalupe:
• No ha cumplido con su deber ministerial de defender la educación universitaria pública del país ante los foros pertinentes convirtiéndose en partícipe del desmantelamiento del proyecto de educación pública que encarna la universidad;
• No ha cumplido con su deber ministerial de exigirle a la Legislatura una revisión justa a la Ley 7 que dispone las asignaciones de presupuesto del Estado a la Universidady la restauración del presupuesto utilizando la base total de los recaudos del país;
• No ha sido firme en la defensa de la autonomía universitaria ante las intromisiones indebidas de las ramas del gobierno;
• No ha defendido firmemente las condiciones laborales de sus claustrales e inclusive ha avalado políticas que socavan los logros alcanzados por la facultad en los últimos años;
• Ha dado instrucciones, mediante las Cartas Circulares 01 y 04 del 2010, para el cierre de cientos de secciones que no cumplen con los nuevos criterios de cupo mínimo atentando así contra la calidad de la enseñanza que caracteriza nuestra institución y contra la propia existencia de muchosprogramas graduados y de bachillerato que aceptan una cantidad limitada de estudiantes;
• Ha sido partícipe de la política de persecución y represalias administrativas y judiciales al estudiantado de nuestro recinto;
• Ha violentado el espíritu y el principio de la política de no confrontación al permitir la presencia de la fuerza de choque y el posterior despliegue de abuso policíaco en los predios del Recinto haciendo caso omiso a la política de no-confrontación que existe en el Recinto;
• Decretó un cierre patronal de dos mesesagudizando el conflicto existente, demostrando su falta de disposición al diálogo, y optando en vez por recurrir a los tribunales; y
• No ha demostrado acoger la democracia participativa que promueve la comunidad universitaria
Por tanto:
•Exigimos la renuncia inmediata a la Rectora Interina Dra. Ana Guadalupe. •Demandamos que el Senado Académico no valide la candidatura de la Rectora Interina, Dra. Ana R. Guadalupe y que no se incluya en la lista de candidatos a la Rectoría en propiedad
Departamento de Psicología
UNIVERSIDAD DE PUERTO RICO
It was sad to see a woman, even as misguided as Guadalupe, recoiling at what seems to be an out-of-control mob. But it’s also evident that she has been left exposed by the authoritarian mob she represents. While ex-president de la Torre rests comfortably out of the scene, and people like Fortuño, Rodríguez Ema, Rivera Schatz, and McClintock (who recently told the press the UPR struggle provides “entertainment”) are also nowhere near Rio Piedras, Guadalupe is left to bear the brunt of the anger. Hopefully the people of Puerto Rico will see this truth and the students can retain their respect and support.

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