An uneasy calm has settled in the aftermath of Tuesday’s violent clashes between students and security forces at the University of Puerto Rico, Fox Latino News reports. The student protests, which turn violent on Tuesday, are a response to increases in tuition that students feel will make access to the institution difficult in most cases and impossible in others.
A mix of heavy rain, the overnight and perhaps fatigue on both sides resulted in tranquility Wednesday morning. It was a far different scene from Tuesday, when students and young, contracted security guards for the university clashed, ending in injuries and at least one arrest.
The students, who staged a 48-hour strike this week, are fighting against a proposed $800 special fee by the university.
But that anger subsided Wednesday, for the time being at least.
Some campuses kept its doors open to students, and some protestors even engaged the guards with whom they had battled just hours before.
“This struggle is not against you,” one student told a group of guards, according to El Nuevo Día report. “It is against the government, which oppresses [both of us].”
Still, the tension remained ever present. Police and guards were still manning entrances to some of the campuses, according to several reports.
José Ramón de la Torre, the university’s president, said the situation was still dangerous, and “that anything can happen,” Primer Hora reported.
Even though the campuses still have a heavy police presence, officials stressed that students can enter freely.
José Figueroa Sancha, a police superintendent, said six campuses would be guarded, but assured that “people who wanted to enter, can enter,” Vocero reported on its Web site. He stressed, however, that vandalism would not be tolerated.
Early Wednesday, police dropped thousands of fliers with messages to the students, among them its obligation to keep order.
Student leader Xiomara Caro read the act as a threat from the police, and a message that Governor Luís Fortuño will use force if he has to.
“I hope this isn’t the governor rejecting dialogue,” she said.
For the original report go to http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2010/12/08/peace-settles-pr-university-conflict/