12/21/2010 07:53 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Police Attack Striking Students in Puerto Rico

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 17 students were reported arrested, including prominent student leaders, some reportedly suffered broken bones and other serious injuries.

The police and riot squad attacks were allegedly 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.

Following are videos and photos from local news media and posted by students after the events unfolded early evening Monday.

The images speak for themselves (some links may only last until the next news cycle):

On YouTube:

From daily newspaper El Nuevo Día: here and here.

A dramatic photo gallery (video in middle is a montage of past student strike, however, starting April 2010, which shut down 10 of 11 UPR campuses for two months, over related cutbacks):

TeleMundo television.


University newspaper Diálogo Digital, two videos. (Police can be observed filming student protestors, part of a long-standing, widely-documented tradition of political persecution):

These images echo worldwide student protests over related issues, from Dublin to the Philippines and many points in between.