Dec. 20, 2010, San Juan, Puerto Rico — Day 6 of student strikes at University of Puerto Rico turns violent after police occupied main Río Piedras campus last week, in this U.S. Territory of four million U.S. citizens. At least 15 students were reported arrested, including prominent student leaders, some reportedly suffered broken bones and other serious injuries.
The police and riot squad attacks seem to have been triggered by student protestors interrupting classes with smoke bombs in the College of Natural Sciences, and quickly escalated into a full-scale operation across this large campus serving 20,000 plus students. A main avenue was closed to traffic and student protestors were corralled into a building across the entrance of campus and subjected to tear gas and beatings.
The striking students seek to negotiate an imposed $800 student fee, seen as an instrument to privatize the university.