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04/5/2019 | Organizing for a Just Recovery in Puerto Rico and Beyond

CPD Network Holds National Day of Action for Puerto Rico

On March 13, in conjunction with a federal hearing held by Judge Laura Taylor Swain, CPD affiliates, activists and ally organizations held actions across the country to demand the $6 billion in illegal debt to corporate entities be canceled. Before Hurricane Maria made landfall in 2017, Puerto Rico was already facing a fiscal crisis created by austerity measures that benefited private corporate interests. This illegal crippling debt negatively impacts communities both on the Island and within the Puerto Rican Diaspora in the U.S.

The #CanceltheDebt actions were covered most notably by Latino Rebels, Democracy Now, Telemundo, and El Nuevo Día, and also made headlines in smaller local outlets. Further, these actions served as the official release of a new campaign working to hold accountable those who are profiting from the Puerto Rico’s financial crisis, and to build new debt agreements led by and for the people of Puerto Rico. The actions started in Puerto Rico, where Construyamos Otro Acuerdo, a coalition that includes CPD, Colectivo Feminista en Construcción, Frente Por La Auditoría de La Deuda, Unions and other organizations occupied a building to protest UBS Bank and their involvement in creating, financing and profiting from the $6 billion of illegal debt.

In New York, hundreds rallied in front of the federal courthouse to demand that Judge Swain cancel the illegal debt. This action was led by CPD affiliates and allies New York Communities for Change, Churches United for Fair Housing, and Vamos4PR among others. In Nevada and Orlando, activists from Vamos4PR, Organize Florida and Make the Road NV rallied in front of Bank of America and Morgan Stanley for their role in creating and profiting from the illegal debt, and demanded that the Fiscal Oversight Board take immediate action to prosecute these cases.

There is a long fight ahead of us. Hurricane Maria lifted the veil on the impact of colonialism, austerity, structural racism, and climate change that has left Puerto Rico systemically stripped of fundamental rights and the basic elements of a just economy. The CPD Network is committed to supporting the vision and leadership of Puerto Rican people and will continue to hold those in power accountable. Join us by making a meaningful donation today.