Puerto Rico Student Protests 2010/11

Police at one of the entrances of the Río Piedras campus, Puerto Rico. Photo by Ricardo Alcaraz of Diálogo (CC License NC-ND 3.0).

Police at one of the entrances of the Río Piedras campus, Puerto Rico. Photo by Ricardo Alcaraz of Diálogo (CC License NC-ND 3.0).


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In December 2010, students from the state-run University of Puerto Rico staged a series of protests and blockades and a second strike in less than a year, this time specifically against a proposed $800 annual tuition fee, and have clashed with police and private security guards hired by the administration. For the first time since 1981 police forces have entered and occupied the main campus indefinitely, ostensibly to “guarantee the rights of those willing to go to class.”

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What we do: Global Voices bloggers report on how citizens use the Internet and social media to make their voices heard, often translating from a variety of different languages.

Featured Global Voices Posts – Puerto Rico Student Protests 2010/11

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28 Jan – Puerto Rico: Violence Continues as Students Engage in Civil Disobedience
18 Jan – Puerto Rico: Online Debate on Hooded Protesters


27 Dec – Puerto Rico: Violent Clashes at the University of Puerto Rico
13 Dec – Puerto Rico: Police Occupies the University of Puerto Rico
08 Dec – Puerto Rico: Tense Prelude to the Student Strike


A severe economic crisis was compounded for many citizens when Governor Luis Fortuño dismissed 20,000 civil servants in October 2009 when unemployment rates were already peaking. In March 2009, the newly elected governor pledged that his goal would be to cut $2 billion from the budget. Puerto Rico experienced two general strikes in less than a year, with students joining in full force in April, 2010 objecting to educational budget cuts, the elimination of certain merit-based fee waivers, and privatization attempts. They occupied [es] the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras, San Juan for two months. Students of campuses from all over the Island joined the protest. They were supported by professors, artists, activists, intellectuals, workers, and civil society at large.

Online citizen media has been building in importance throughout the convening of the protests, and in documenting clashes with police.

Student clashes 2010

01 Jul – Puerto Rico: Student Strike is Over After 60 Days
11 Jun – Puerto Rico: Decisive Moment 50 Days into the Student Strike
21 May – Puerto Rico: The University Protest seen through Online Video
21 May – Puerto Rico: Violent confrontations with demonstrators
18 May – Puerto Rico: Second national strike in less than a year
14 May – Puerto Rico: Tensions arise at the student strike
30 Apr – Puerto Rico: Amidst protests, students speak up for themselves online

National strike 2009

16 Oct - Reflections on the National Strike
15 Oct – Puerto Rico: The National Strike (update)
13 Oct – Puerto Rico: Ready for the National Strike
02 Oct – Puerto Rico: A Crisis with Many Names



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Alternative media sources

Mainstream media (newspapers)




#huelgaUPR | #luchaUPR | #paroUPR | #radiohuelga |#UPRstrike







Live-streamed student radio:

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