Hundreds Gather in NYC In Support of Puerto Rico
100 Days After Hurricane Maria
The NiLP Report (December 30, 2017)
Close to a thousand New Yorkers gathered on Friday evening December 29th to show support for Puerto Rico's marking of 100 days since the Island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Organized by a broad coalition under the banner of #OurPowerPRnyc, they were supporting the following demands:
- Drop the debt
- Repeal the Jones Act
- Show solidarity & support
- Say "No" to PROMESA (the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act)
- Push for a Just Recovery and Transition
- Support Puerto Rican Climate Refugees
- Reject the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act"
This action was supported by a broad coalition made up of the following organizations: the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Center for Constitutional Rights, Climate Justice Alliance, Defend Puerto Rico, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, MUEVETE, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Queer Kitchen Brigade, The CHULO brand, The Staten Island Urban Center, and UPROSE.
One of the lead organizers of this demonstration, Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE, explained, "Let us be clear, the feeble response we have seen from this federal administration is not out of passive indifference, but rather active cruelty. It is consistent with the second-class citizenship that Puerto Ricans have long suffered. Climate disasters expose and exacerbate inequality and injustice. But it also gives us an opportunity to build a better future from the grassroots up."
"The present conditions in Puerto Rico must be defined as genocidal," according to Marta Moreno Vega, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. She stated further that "As taxpayers and citizens, the Puerto Rican Diaspora and all communities committed to human rights must hold our government accountable before the United Nations and World Court."
The demonstration's organizers call on all concerned about the future of Puerto Rico to join them in demanding that the U.S. government provides a just recovery for Puerto Rico as a path towards decolonization.
This is a follow-up to an October 11th National Day of Action for Puerto Rico that environmental justice advocates organized to launch a new translocal campaign to push for a resilient recovery for Puerto Rico. The long-term goal is to provide Puerto Rico with resilient tools so its people don't rebuild on pollution, debt, dependence, and crumbling infrastructure, but rather bounce forward to environmental justice, economic democracy, self-determination, and climate resilience. This campaign is being led by Climate Justice Alliance and UPROSE, and joined by It Takes Roots, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, LEAP and Grassroots International. Together they represent 30 states and 150 organizations across the US and Puerto Rico.
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