A #BoricuasRemember poster for protesting the botched U.S. response in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Graphic: Boricuas Remember / Power 4 Puerto Rico

By Emily Birnbaum
17 September 2018

(The Hill) – Thousands of protesters are expected to mobilize for a week of action to "demand justice" for Puerto Rico one year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island's infrastructure and resources, displacing thousands and resulting in almost 3,000 deaths.

Power 4 Puerto Rico, a coalition of Puerto Rican and progressive groups, has organized a trio of protests to take place across the country later this week. The major demonstrations will be held at the White House in Washington, D.C., Trump Tower in New York City and President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Fla. The coalition is also urging local organizers to stage smaller protests across the country.

“From the day Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, President Trump has shown a level of indifference and callousness towards the people of Puerto Rico that is nothing short of reprehensible," said José Calderón, president of the Hispanic Federation, which is participating in the protests, in a statement.

"It is why today we continue our work with the Power 4 Puerto Coalition to unite diverse organizations across our country to demand justice for this egregious atrocity," Calderón added.

Protestors have been told to bring candles and photos of loved ones who died as a result of the hurricane.

A #BoricuasRemember graphic showing an illustration of Trump throwing paper towels to Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria. Graphic: Boricuas Remember / Power 4 Puerto Rico“From Jacksonville to Tallahassee and down to Miami, Puerto Ricans and our supporters in Florida are mobilizing for caravans, rallies and vigils to send a clear message: Puerto Rico will not be forgotten,” Marcos Vilar, president of Alianza for Progress, said in a statement. “Our island is still struggling to rebuild."

"This is a moment to make our voices heard, so that all Puerto Ricans, whether here or there, can live their lives with justice, power and opportunity," Vilar said.

Trump last week inflamed Puerto Rican lawmakers and officials with two tweets casting doubt on the official death toll of 2,975, which was determined by researchers at George Washington University earlier this year.

The coalition organizing the protests says Puerto Ricans have been the victim of "government inefficiency, discrimination and neglect" since the hurricane hit in 2017. [more]

Protesters mobilize for week of action to 'demand justice' for Puerto Rico

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