Friday, May 14, 2010

Puerto Rican police beats parent for bringing food for his son

My alma mater has been on strike for the past few weeks due to proposed changes in services and increases in fees and tuition. Unlike mainland US, access to higher education is considered a right in PR, and increasing tuition (because the state cut about $100 million in funds for the university) would decrease access to working class and poor students.
The University of Puerto Rico plays a vital role in increasing social mobility. Plenty of us that are now in prestigious graduate and medical schools in mainland US wouldn't have had any higher education if it weren't that accessible.
The police department, however, has had a strained relationship with the university and the students since the 1960's. They have been banned from entry to the Rio Piedras campus since the Riot Police shot and killed a student that was in her apartment balcony shouting at them to stop beating the crap out of protesting students in 1970.
As I've posted earlier, it is quite common for the police to beat up UPR students for no reason. My husband was at the receiving end of one of those beatings when he was a freshman.
Unsurprisingly, this strike has been peppered with accusations and video evidence of police brutality against the students. In this instance, the police beats up a parent for bringing food to his son that is striking inside the campus.

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