This week members of UTIER, the electric authorities union; blocked the gates to one of the public corporations buildings during a protest. They did not do this to keep people out, which I was still strongly disapprove of, but they did this to keep people IN. Administrative and executive personnel were still inside the office building when they were blocked in and unable to leave.
This went on for hours until around midnight, ‘peace’ was negotiated and the protesters moved and the employees allowed to go home. I wonder how many single moms were prevented from picking up their children from day care that evening?
It is a criminal act to lock someone in a building and refuse to let them out. It is akin to kidnapping. The protesters involved should be arrested and charged accordingly. Part of why Puerto Rico never seems to advance is because the island’s government and sleazy politicians are too cowardly to deal with these kinds of issues with any principle. The current governor got elected by cow towing to the unions and even made sure he was photographed with them during protests over the previous administrations reasonable attempts to cut the size of government and avoid what has happened in this administration, the loss of all credibility by the government in the financial world and junk ratings for Puerto Rico debt.
Yet in this case, the issue may not just one of benign tolerance, but active collusion by government with this action. While the governor publicly condemned the action, his police force failed to act in a timely manner. The only person who could have kept them from arresting the protestors after the first hour, second hour, third hour, forth or fifth hour was the governor himself.
From Vieques, to hotel construction, to absolutely needed cuts in government; Puerto Rico spends too much time respecting the abuse of unions and not enough time respecting its own laws.