Today, 10 March 2011, students at the southern campus of the College of Sciences and Humanities (CCH-Sur, a school belonging to the baccalaureate system of UNAM, the National University of Mexico) devoted a day of struggle to the courageous students of the University of Puerto Rico who, since last year, have been carrying out a hard struggle against the privatization onslaught unleashed by the colonial government.

In the framework of days of struggle to celebrate International Working Women’s Day, the Comité Internacionalista of CCH-Sur organized a forum about the struggle in Mexico and internationally for women’s basic right to free abortion on demand as part of high-quality medical care for all.

More than 60 students participated in the event, and up to a hundred listened to the performance of son jarocho (a Mexican music genre merging black and indigenous musical influences) and hip-hop songs performed by communist musicians belonging to the Revolutionary Hip-hop Association (ARH, an artistic organization fraternally linked to the Grupo Internacionalista).

Various speakers gave greetings to the Puerto Rican students in struggle against the imposition of tuition charges of $800, and the crowd applauded their courageous struggle. A teacher who is a member of the Grupo Internacionalista underlined that the privatization onslaught that the UPR students are facing today is part of a package of economic policies dictated by international financial bodies like the IMF and World Bank to even further restrict access to higher education by the sons and daughters of the working class.

As is occurring today in Puerto Rico, a decade ago the Mexican government tried to impose tuition fees at UNAM, as a clear measure of class exclusion, which would force tens of thousands of students to leave school. In 1999-2000, the UNAM students responded with a tenacious strike that continued for ten months. Despite ending with the arrest of a thousand students and the massive police occupation of the university, the strike made the bourgeois government retreat from its plans. Thus today, UNAM students still pay no tuition.

Key during the 1999-2000 UNAM strike in Mexico, and key today in the case of the University of Puerto Rico, was support to the student strike by important unions, such as the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME) and the unions of the university workers at UNAM and the Autonomous Metropolitan University. For the last year and a half, the SME has been the target of a ferocious union-busting attack by the government of Mexican president Felipe Calderón.

A young woman activist emphasized that the fight to establish the basic democratic right to education, whether in Mexico City, New York or San Juan, Puerto, as well as the fight for women's emancipation and to put an end once and for all to every kind of oppression, is, in the final analysis, the struggle for international socialist revolution. A comrade who performed a hip-hop song ended with this call to struggle: “From the students of CCH Sur / to the students of the UPR / a fighting salute of proletarian solidarity / of internationalist solidarity / of struggle for permanent revolution.”

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(Photos of the event attached.)