Puerto Rican teachers march, Sunday, February
                      17, 2008
Articles From

Puerto Rico

After Occupying Ten Campuses for Two Months
First-Round Student Victory in University of Puerto Rico Strike
On June 21, several thousand students jubilantly ratified the agreements marking their initial victory in the strike of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). After holding firm for 62 days during which they occupied ten out of the eleven UPR campuses (the other was closed by a campus workers’ strike), the students successfully beat back a concerted attack by the right-wing colonial government and its servile university administration. Everyone understands that the fight is not over. The students won agreement to overturn the cancellation of tuition waivers and there will be no privatization of UPR campuses. There would also be no special fee imposed this August and no summary sanctions against strikers. The showdown over the fees was postponed until January and there will likely be a battle over disciplinary reprisals. However, this gives the students several valuable months to reinforce their organization, and they do so from a position of strength, having won the first round of the battle. The task now is to turn widespread working-class sympathy with the strike into concrete labor action. First-Round Victory for Students in University of Puerto Rico Strike  (22 June 2010)

“Shock Force” Riot Police Assault Students and Workers
Puerto Rico: Beatings at the Sheraton
On the evening of May 20, the notorious Shock Force of the Puerto Rican Police brutally attacked a demonstration of hundreds of students and workers protesting against Governor Luis Fortuño. Puerto Rico: Beatings at the Sheraton  (20 May 2010)

Puerto Rican Teachers: Unbought and Unbowed
The two-week strike by Puerto Rican teachers was a historic event, in open defiance of Law 45, a ruthless piece of anti-union legislation that outlaws strikes, work stoppages or even voting for such labor action. From the beginning of the walkout on February 20 to the decision to return to the classrooms, approved by a giant assembly on March 5 with some 10,000 union members participating, the action by the Federation of Puerto Rican Teachers (FMPR) threw the island into turmoil. The FMPR, representing some 42,000 educators, dared to break the prohibition decreed by the colonial capitalist rulers. In doing so, they blazed the way for all Puerto Rican workers. Puerto Rican Teachers: Unbought and Unbowed (April 2008)

Hard Class Battle Coming
Puerto Rico: All Out to Defend the Teachers’ Struggle!

We are on the threshold of a major class battle in Puerto Rico. Every day new preparations are announced for the coming strike of the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation (FMPR). With 42,000 members, a majority of them women, the FMPR represents almost all of Puerto Rico’s teachers and is by far the largest union on the island. The Shock Force of the Puerto Rican Police and National Guard are being readied to go after the strikers. The struggle of the Puerto Rican teachers affects everybody. The working class as a whole, students and parents, teachers and defenders of workers’ rights around the world must come out in defense of the FMPR! If there are mass arrests, the response must be massive blockades and spreading the struggle to the point of shutting the island down. In order to win this strike, it is necessary to prepare for a struggle not only of the teachers but within the whole workers movement against the ro-capitalist labor bureaucracy that sabotages the workers’ struggle. Above all, it is necessary to fight against illusions in and ties with bourgeois parties and politicians. It’s high time to begin building a revolutionary internationalist workers party.  Puerto Rico: All Out to Defend the Teachers’ Struggle!  (14 February 2008)

Report from San Juan
Tens of Thousands March in Puerto Rico on Eve of Teachers Strike

“La huelga va, la huelga va” (the strike is on the way), sang thousands of teachers as they marched through the streets of Puerto Rico’s capital today in preparation for the massive strike that is shaping up as a major class battle. Victory to the Puerto Rican teachers! Tens of Thousands March in Puerto Rico on Eve of Teachers Strike  (18 February 2008)

Defend the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation!
A Case of Labor Colonialism: AFL-CIO and Change to Win vs. the FMPR

As the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation prepares to strike against a virulently anti-labor governor, braving draconian no-strike legislation, unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the Change to Win (CTW) federation are outrageously lining up with the bosses. This will come as no surprise to those who know something of the sordid history of the American labor bureaucracy in the U.S.’ Caribbean island colony, and as accomplices of imperialist machinations throughout Latin America (and the rest of the world). But what the labor fakers are preparing is a major betrayal of Puerto Rican workers. The SEIU/CTW is backing a teachers association that includes management, and which is preparing to scab on the strike. In 2005 the AFT/AFL-CIO went to the colonial courts to try to take over the FMPR. A crucial test is shaping up in which it is urgent to defend the Puerto Rican teachers union. The issue is posed: which side are you on? A Case of Labor Colonialism: AFL-CIO & CTW vs. the FMPR (7 February 2008) 

Feds Invade Homes, Steal Documents, Brutally Assault Journalists
FBI Puerto Rico Raids: Colonial Repression A Threat to All
On February 10, a task force of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) launched an operation invading apartments and offices in six different places in Puerto Rico. This is a follow-up to the FBI assassination last September of Puerto Rican independence fighter Filiberto Ojeda Ríos last September. Targeted this time were several independentistas and trade-union activists. This colonial repression is a particular threat to the workers movement. Already in 2004, federal cops twice raided the headquarters of the Independent Authentic Union (UIA), first accusing it of planning protests at the San Juan Airport, which under the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act would be labeled a “terrorist” act, and later claiming they were investigating corruption. The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International demand that all U.S. military, intelligence and other agencies get out of Puerto Rico, including the FBI, CIA, DEA and the rest of the colonial repressors.  FBI Puerto Rico Raids: Colonial Repression A Threat to All  (13 February 2006) 

State Terrorism: Filiberto Ojeda Ríos Assassinated by FBI Death Squad
On September 23, the FBI brazenly murdered Puerto Rican independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Ríos in his home. Ojeda’s killing was a cold-blooded assassination by a government death squad, and a deliberate provocation, coming on the anniversary of the 1868 Grito de Lares, when Puerto Ricans first rose up fighting for independence from Spain. The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International denounce this act of naked state terrorism. We demand the immediate release of all Puerto Rican independence fighters and call for unconditional independence for Puerto Rico as part of a fight for socialist revolution throughout the Caribbean and in the imperialist citadel. State Terrorism: Filiberto Ojeda Ríos Assassinated  (26 September  2005)

Puerto Rican Labor: Shut Down All U.S. Bases!
Navy Get the Hell Out of Vieques Now!
Independence for Puerto Rico!

In a pre-dawn raid on May 4, federal agents arrested more than 200 resisters occupying the United States Navy’s bombing range on the island of Vieques, off Puerto Rico. This brought to the boiling point the massive discontent over the American military’s high-handed contempt for the population of this Caribbean island colony. Trotskyists call for working-class mobilization to demand all U.S. bases out, independence for Puerto Rico, defense of Cuba against imperialism and counterrevolution and a voluntary socialist federation of the Caribbean.  U.S. Navy Get the Hell Out of Vieques Now! (5 May 2000)

ICL Renounces Fight for Puerto Rican Independence
For more than a quarter century, the Spartacist League and International Communist League stood for independence for Puerto Rico. But no longer. In a recent issue of Workers Vanguard (No. 696, 11 September 1998) a small “correction” appeared that speaks volumes about the ICL’s recent evolution toward a left version of social-democratic accommodation with imperialism. ICL Renounces Fight for Puerto Rican Independence (October 1998)

Puerto Rico General Strike: Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party!
As the rulers of Puerto Rico celebrate 100 years of U.S. colonial domination, this Caribbean island nation is being swept by a powerful wave of workers struggle. After ramming privatization of the government-owned Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC) through a pliant legislature, Governor Pedro Rossellí is reaping a whirlwind of mass opposition. Puerto Rico General Strike: Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party! (Internationalist Group leaflet, 2 July 1998)

To contact the League for the Fourth International or its sections, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com