Things That Matter

At The Unity March For Puerto Rico Rita Moreno Called Trump’s Paper Towel Throwing ‘Obscene’

Credit: NBC Latino

On Sunday, Puerto Rican icon Rita Moreno joined Lin-Manuel Miranda and thousands of other protestors to support the “Unity March for Puerto Rico” in Washington D.C. With half of the island still without electricity and many without clean drinking water or food, protestors took to the capitol to demand more be done for Puerto Rico.

Miranda could be seen at the head of the march taking selfies with the crowd.

They marched to the Lincoln Memorial where Miranda stopped to address the large group.

Protesters sang classic Puerto Rican chants along the march route.

From “¡Que bonita bandera!” to “¡Yo soy Boricua, pa’ que tu lo sepa!” the crowd shouted the classic chants heartily along with Miranda and his family.

Many marched with anti-Trump signs that showed their frustrations with the government’s tepid hurricane relief efforts.

President Trump visited the island two weeks after the Hurricane Maria disaster. Many felt he made a public display of ignorance by throwing rolls of paper towels at survivors. He also openly celebrated that “only 16” people, at that point, had died. He later claimed that Puerto Ricans wanted “everything done for them” on Twitter.

Although Trump claimed that Puerto Ricans want “everything done for them,” the administration hasn’t really spent as much for Puerto Rico as it did for Texas and Florida.

Credit: The Opposition with Jordan Klepper/ YouTube

According to information obtained from FEMA by “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper,” Puerto Rico has gotten significantly less aid than other parts of the U.S. for similar hurricane disasters.

Moreno spoke to the crowds at the march and brought up the paper towel incident.

Moreno spoke passionately to the crowd saying “Our people are hungry, thirsty, sick, and as a panacea, are having rolls of paper towels thrown at them as though they were animals. That is insulting. That is obscene.”

The march took place on November 19th, a date that is symbolic in Puerto Rico’s history.

November 19th marks the 524th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ accidental landing in Puerto Rico. His arrival marked the beginning of the end for Los Taínos, the indigenous people of the island. Puerto Rico is still marred by the continuing effects of colonialism and continues to be neglected by the United States.

Moreno and Miranda both addressed the crowd.

Buttoned up for warmth, Moreno threw her fist in the air, the universal symbol for unity, solidarity, and resistance.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez also addressed the crowd.

Congressman Adriano Espaillat, waved a Puerto Rican flag while marching with the crowd.

Listen to Moreno and Miranda address the crowd that gathered at the Lincoln Memorial.

Participants in the Unity for Puerto Rico March made it to the Lincoln Memorial and were rewarded with speeches from Rita Moreno and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Posted by NBC Latino on Sunday, November 19, 2017

Credit: NBC Latino/ Facebook

Takeaways from the day are that Puerto Rico needs more help and more aid; that the Jones Act be lifted for the island to receive help much more easily; and that the islands $70+ billion in debt, which has mostly been created by the Jones Act, be forgiven; and that not only is the current administration’s reaction to the disaster inadequate, it is also a slap in the face.


[H/T] NBC Latino

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A Chilean Police Officer Is Charged With Attempted Murder After Throwing a Protestor Off Of a Bridge

Things That Matter

A Chilean Police Officer Is Charged With Attempted Murder After Throwing a Protestor Off Of a Bridge

Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

Earlier this month, a police officer in Santiago, Chile was captured on video pushing a 16-year-old male demonstrator off of a bridge. The boy fell into the canal below, fracturing his wrist and suffering head trauma. He was transported to the hospital and is in stable condition.

The violent video sparked an additional wave of protests against the Carabineros–Chile’s militarized national police force that the officer was a part of.

Before the video surfaced, witnesses who were protesting voiced their anger at the police officer’s actions and demanded that he be brought to justice. Initially, a spokesperson for the Carabineros, General Enrique Monrás, denied any wrongdoing on the part of the officer, claiming that the boy “lost balance and fell”.

Monrás claimed the police force even had footage that refuted the purported events. But when the footage of the boy being pushed over the bridge went public, there was no question as to what happened.

The footage of the incident went viral in Chile, prompting a surge of demonstrations and protests in Santiago–a city already racked with civil unrest.

CLAUDIO REYES/AFP via Getty Images)

Days later, Chile opened up an investigation against the police officer, saying the officer “gave false information to the Prosecutor’s Office” and had “abandoned the victim” after throwing him off the bridge. The officer’s lawyer says he was following procedure. Nevertheless, by then the damage had been done.

Following the incident, protestors threw red die into the canal, making it look like it was running red with the metaphorical blood of protestors. The protests are part of an ongoing civil unrest that was sparked by economic inequality in Chile as well as President Sebastián Piñera’s failure to address the people’s concerns.

To make matters worse, the Piñera government has responded to the protests with excessive violence.

In the last year, Chile has been making headlines for permanently blinding protestors with rubber bullets. Protestors claim that Caballeros are deliberately shooting people in the eyes, aiming to blind them for life.

This most recent incident has simply served to bolster the protestors’ claims that they are being treated brutally by the Chilean government. “The police are violent. We can’t bear it anymore,” said a protestor named Carmen Soria to Al Jazeera News. “They’ve raped, tortured, run people over, blinded others, and now, they’re throwing people in the Mapocho river. The government doesn’t want us to protest, doesn’t want us to gather together, but they don’t care that we gather in the busses and in subways like sardines to go to work.”

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‘Siempre, Luis’ Is A Touching Love Letter From Lin-Manuel Miranda To His Father

Entertainment

‘Siempre, Luis’ Is A Touching Love Letter From Lin-Manuel Miranda To His Father

Mat Hayward / Getty Images for The Latinx House

We all have that one person who has changed the world for us. For Lin-Manuel Miranda, that person is his dad. The Puerto Rican entertainer created a documentary to tell his father’s story and it is a love letter to his father.

“Siempre, Luis” is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s love letter to his father.

The trailer for the HBO Documentary is a moving testament to the indomitable spirit of Luis Miranda. The Puerto Rican powerhouse helped lead a movement to get Latinos involved in and interested in politics focusing on Puerto Ricans who had left the island.

Lin-Manuel’s documentary is a deep dive into the life of the man who raised the creator of “In The Heights” and “Hamilton.” Luis was Lin-Manuel’s inspiration when playing Alexander Hamilton in his wildly popular and famous musical.

“He’s just a relentless motherf*cker,” Lin-Manuel says in the documentary.

The documentary takes people on a ride covering decades of Luis’ life. The main focus is his political activism and how one man helped create a movement to get Latinos involved in politics. Luis leveraged the hate and pushback against the Latino community as a way to energize and mobilize Latinos to get them involved like never before.

Then, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Luis’ home and magical escape. The island endured a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, which knocked out power to millions of Americans for months. Many Puerto Ricans fled the island for the mainland giving them a chance to vote for president in 2020.

“For me, Puerto Rico is this perfect place that all of a sudden doesn’t exist anymore,” Luis says through tears in the documentary. “I immediately saw it as my responsibility to rebuild the island.”

He added: “Doing everything we can becomes the job.

“I told him, ‘I don’t want to be a widow. There isn’t another you to replace you,’” Luz Towns-Miranda recalls to the camera about her husband’s mission to fix Puerto Rico.

Luis’ time talking about his work in Puerto Rico is accompanied by videos images of the “Hamilton” stage being constructed for the show on the island. There are shots of Luis offering aid to people and preparing meals for those impacted by the hurricane.

Luis’ activism has grown over the years and he is ready to keep making change.

“Siempre, Luis” is now available on HBO and HBOmax for your viewing pleasure. People have praised the film’s insightfulness into one of the Latinos who got his community activated and politically engaged.

READ: Lin-Manuel Wants To Keep Lots Of Ticket Prices Down To $10 When He Brings ‘Hamilton’ To Puerto Rico

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