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George Floyd protests in Puerto Rico

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George Floyd protests in Puerto Rico
Part of George Floyd protests
DateJune 1, 2020 – present (1 month, 2 weeks and 1 day)
Location
Caused by
StatusOngoing

Puerto Rico has seen a series of George Floyd protests with hundreds of participants marching in demonstrations island-wide.

Background

Political

On June 3, 2020, San Juan Mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, announced that flags would be at half-mast in San Juan for 46 days in honor of George Floyd. Floyd was 46 years old at the time of his killing. Yulín Cruz tweeted "we must stand up against police brutality and racism if we all want to live in peace."[1]

On June 2, 2020, former Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá criticized Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González's silence and her ties to Trump. Acevedo Vilá also criticized Trump's reactions to the protests, noting the use of military force in his visit to St. John's Church.[2]

Military and law enforcement

In response to U.S. President Donald Trump's call for military intervention in the George Floyd protests, Puerto Rico National Guard (PRNG) General, José J. Reyes, stated that the priority of the PRNG is not to control protests in the United States but that they would activate if called to do so. He elaborated that the PRNG is active in efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in Puerto Rico and preparing for potential hurricanes.[3]

The San Juan Police Department Chief, José Juan García, stated he did not wish to arrest protesters and said that he wishes to maintain order.[4]

Demonstrations

June 1

Hundreds participated in a vigil at El Ancón and Río Grande in Loíza before the 7:00 pm curfew to express solidarity with African Americans.[5][6][7]

June 2

Protesters assembled in front of La Fortaleza around 5:00 pm. Over 200 protesters violated the 7:00 pm curfew leading police to use pepper spray.[8] Protesters threw motor oil at the police shortly after 7:00 pm. Onlookers observed that the police used plastic shields and assembled in a battle formation known as Fuerzas de choque [es]. The protest in front of La Fortaleza was organized by Colectiva Feminista (CF). CF posted an anti-racist manifesto.[4] Participants called for the end of racism and police brutality in the Commonwealth while blaming local officials for the deaths of black residents.[8] In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, protesters had masks, hand sanitizer and attempted to practice social distancing.[9] The San Juan Police Chief reported that there were no arrests, although 10 officers were injured.[4] The event ended around 8:30 pm.[10]

References

  1. ^ "Puerto Rico tendrá banderas a media asta en memoria de George Floyd". La Estrella de Panamá (in Spanish). June 3, 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  2. ^ Marrero, Juan (June 2, 2020). "Cuestionan silencio de Jenniffer González ante acciones de Trump sobre protestas". Metro (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  3. ^ García, Lyanne Meléndez (June 2, 2020). "Guardia Nacional de P. R. dice no es su prioridad controlar protestas en Estados Unidos". Metro (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  4. ^ a b c "Se caldean los ánimos entre policías y manifestantes en La Fortaleza". NotiCel. June 2, 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  5. ^ "Celebrarán vigilia "Black Lives Matter" en Loíza". Telemundo Puerto Rico (in Spanish). May 31, 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  6. ^ "Tear Gas Clears Path for Trump to Visit Church". The New York Times. 2020-06-01. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  7. ^ "Puerto Rico Residents Join Call Against Racial Discrimination". The Weekly Journal. June 2, 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  8. ^ a b "Live Updates on George Floyd Protests: Impassioned Rallies Continue Across U.S." The New York Times. 2020-06-03. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  9. ^ "Las vidas negras importan: se manifiestan en repudio a muerte de George Floyd". Telemundo Puerto Rico (in Spanish). June 2, 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  10. ^ Caro González, Leysa (2020-06-02). "Protesta en apoyo al movimiento Black Lives Matter culminó sin enfrentamientos con la Policía". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-06-03.
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