Puerto Rico’s Governor Is Ignoring More Than A Million Puerto Ricans As He Refuses To Give Up Power
Puerto Rico is in full on crisis mode as more than a million Puerto Ricans take to the city streets demanding the governor’s resignation after a series of shocking scandals. Basically every single segment of society has been wronged by the governor and they want him out.
From leaked text messages that were openly misogynistic and homophobic to major allegations of fraud and corruption, Puerto Ricans have had enough and they’re making sure their voices are heard.
Puerto Ricans fed up with their governor took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to protest against their government.
Puerto Rico saw more massive protests on Monday as hundreds of thousands lined the streets following Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s attempt to cling on to power despite resigning as president of the ruling New Progressive party and announcing he will not run for re-election next year.
A general strike took place across the US territory on Monday morning, protesters chanting the now familiar cry of “Ricky renuncia!”, waving flags and banging drums.
For the governor’s part, in a Facebook Live post, he admitted that a “huge portion of the population is unhappy.”
So he announced he won’t run for re-election next year and was resigning as the president of the New Progressive Party. But that did nothing to calm angry protesters, who say they won’t rest until Rosselló resigns.
I mean the crowds are huge!
Monday marked the tenth straight day of massive protests across the island, but most agreed that Monday’s turn out was the biggest yet.
Many were calling it a general strike as more than a million Puerto Ricans (out of a population of 3.4 million) poured into the streets, parks, plazas, and even shopping centers.
Even Bad Bunny, Residente, and Ricky Martin are there showing their support for protesters.
As occurred last week, a number of Puerto Rico’s biggest recording artists appeared prominently at Monday’s demonstrations. Singers such as Ricky Martin, himself a subject of homophobic ridicule in the leaked messages, and rappers Resident, Bad Bunny and the singer iLe, have become unofficial figureheads in the leaderless movement to oust Rosselló.
“They mocked our dead, they mocked women, they mocked the LGBT community, they made fun of people with physical and mental disabilities, they made fun of obesity. It’s enough,” Martin said in a video posted on Twitter before the march.
“We’re we’re going to keep fighting, we’re going to keep being on the streets until he resigns,” iLe told the Guardian. “He knows he has to go in his heart. I know he knows it.”
Protesters aren’t messing around. They’re taking to the streets and blocking access to major highways.
Puerto Rico’s largest mall, Plaza de las Américas, closed before Monday’s demonstration along with many other businesses. Last week police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters at a huge rally outside the governor’s residence in the island’s capital, San Juan.
But most people on Twitter were so proud to see the people fighting for their future.
Puerto Ricans from the island to New York, even to Minnesota, were overwhelmed with pride. Many on social media commented that it was amazing to see so many people speaking up for their dignity and their representation. And speaking out against a government that has violated the trust of so many.
Many were commenting that Puerto Rico was showing the rest of the world how to keep on fighting.
And there were definitely a few people who were hoping this style of democracy, of massive protests, would make its way to the mainland to fight back against the inhuman policies of President Trump.
The protests are coming after a series of scandals that left Puerto Ricans completely unhappy with their government.
Demonstrations have gripped the island since hundreds of pages of leaked text messages between the governor and 11 members of his inner circle were published on 13 July.
The messages contain homophobic and sexist slurs against political rivals and cultural figures. They also contain a joke about dead bodies during Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September 2017.