Puerto Rican environmental activist “Tito Kayak” turned himself in to police on November 14 after a spectacular televised escape, following a week-long protest atop a 200-foot construction crane in San Juan. He was protesting a disputed luxury development that environmentalists warn will cause serious damage to public beaches.
Tito Kayak (real name, Alberto de Jesus) has a long history of high altitude stunts behind him. In the United States in 2000, he climbed the Statue of Liberty and hung a Puerto Rican flag from her crown. In 2005, he attempted to exchange the UN flag in front of the UN building with the Puerto Rican one. Two years later he hung the Palestinian flag from an Israeli tower in the West Bank.
Photos are copyleft from IndymediaPR.org
Dominican blogger Catarsis Diaria [es] writes:
¿Y qué es lo particular e interesante de esta protesta? Su huída -evadiendo a la Policía, que tiene una orden de arresto en su contra- a través de sogas y un kayak, para luego huír a nado por la laguna del Condado, en San Juan. Tan espectacular “hollywoodense” fue, que mis amigos del blog puertorriqueño de noticias humorísticas “El Ñame“, le han dedicado una noticia en el sentido de que ya lo están buscando para ser el próximo Bruce Willis.
And what is so interesting about this protest? His escape – evading the police, who had an order for his arrest, with ropes and a kayak – and then fleeing by swimming through the lake of Condado in San Juan. It was so spectacularly “Hollywood”, that my friends at the Puerto Rican humor blog “El Ñame”, have dedicated a news item to him, announcing they are offering him the position of the next Bruce Willis.
Indymedia Puerto Rico have posted a video of Tito Kayak's escape, and another (below) recorded moments before he turns himself in. He encourages Puerto Ricans to unite, commit civil disobedience, and do everything they can to stop and delay the construction of luxury housing and hotels on the coastline of the island.
Several bloggers posted links to the video, including Fulano X [es] who wrote: “This is a small tribute to the actions of Tito Kayak, admired by some misunderstood by others, who with his actions has created the necessary movement to provoke a discussion about the atrocities of this country.”
Rue Morn at Latrina.net [es] says:
El desarrollo de Puerto Rico no puede construirse a cuesta de la destrucción de los recursos naturales y de la violación de los reglamentos existentes … no se le puede seguir riendo las gracias a los que por soltar par de billetes y decir que crean unos cuantos empleos quieran convertirse en los dueños de lo que nos pertecene a todos por derecho propio. Puerto Rico como un todo es el que debe lucrarse de los recursos naturales e históricos, no los que tienen la capacidad de engordar a las ratas que se hacen llamar Gobernantes.
Development in Puerto Rico can not be created at the cost of the destruction of our natural resources and the violation of existing laws … we can't keep smiling thanks to everyone who hands over a few bucks and say they will create jobs. They want to become the owners of what rightfully belongs to us all. Puerto Rico as a whole is who should be profiting from those natural and historic resources, not just the ones who have the capacity to fatten the rats who call themselves our leaders.