Students Vote To End Two Month Strike

Puerto Rico: University of Puerto Rico will open from next week, June 12, after students voted to end their 69 days long strike against the cuts in education budget.

With ballots rolling with 2,209 votes in favor and 82 against, the students of Puerto Rico’s largest public university voted Monday to return to classes.

The students went trough a lot of stress and sacrifice during the protests. Courts fined the protesters with US$30,000 and according to an official report, 63 students will not receive the remainder of their student loans, while 20 have been refused the rest of their Pell Scholarships.

"We are going to continue with a very rigorous agenda, a schedule of activities, a day of struggle, resistance and protest because we understand that the country demands and deserves it," Maria de Lourdes Vaello, spokeswoman for the Student Movement, told the press. "So, as soon as we open the gates, we will try to continue with the same energy and with the same impetus in which we have carried out this process."

“We’re actually about right where we started, It’s quite sad, really,” said law student Gilberto Dominguez, member of the UPR Governing Board. Strike organizers say they plan to continue their fight, now deferring to different strategies and “evolving the struggle.”

Puerto Rican officials had proposed an austerity budget slashing government funding to universities by over 50 percent.


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