Police Attack Grassroots Disaster Relief Team in Puerto Rico

October 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


In the early morning of October 16, a SWAT Team and other police stormed a Mutual Aid Disaster Relief compound in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, outside the capital city, San Juan. The U.S.-based group describes itself as “a grassroots disaster relief network based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action.” The group sent volunteers to deliver aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief reports they’ve “delivered food, cases of water, water purification tablets, and provided health care to elderly residents and their families” who are without access to aid or medical care. They are also raising money for small-scale modular water treatment systems and solar arrays for areas without access to clean water and electricity.

In a post on the website itsgoingdown.org, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief reported that on October 16:

Several police vehicles, an armored tactical vehicle, and law enforcement personnel including swat team pointed their guns at relief workers while surrounding and then entering our base of operations...Law enforcement communicated that they were acting from a call that Mutual Aid Disaster Relief volunteers were engaged in “kidnapping.” After checking everybody’s belongings without consent, they forced volunteers out of what was the Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Puerto Rico hub at gunpoint and the threat of arrest. Law enforcement intimidation also included aggressive questioning of our purpose there and whether or not we were protestors or Antifa, had we ever used the raised fist, if we were distributing propaganda, and if we were planning to overthrow the government.

This outrageous police assault must be condemned. As we’ve reported at revcom, most recently here, the Trump/Pence regime’s response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico has been truly criminal on a monstrous, even genocidal scale! The government’s attack on Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is further exposure that their concern is maintaining U.S. imperialist domination over Puerto Rico, not meeting people’s urgent, crying needs.


Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.