The following press release was shared with Latino Rebels on Wednesday morning:
On Friday, August 2, Ricardo Rosselló will officially resign as the governor of Puerto Rico, after days of protests, as well as the beginning of impeachment proceedings. Leaders from Faith in Action, the largest grassroots organizing network in the United States, have delivered the following statements in the aftermath of his removal:
“The resignation of Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló was the effect rendered by people of Puerto Rico speaking loud and clear. The people of Puerto Rico are demanding transparency and accountability after arrests and leaked private chats that taint the current administration at every level,” said Maria Revelles, Deputy Director of Faith in Florida.
“At the same time, under no circumstance should corruption by a circle of public officials and private individuals be used as an excuse to block or slow the flow of Congressionally-approved resources for Puerto Rican citizens still struggling after Hurricane María and the long-term needs of vulnerable communities on the island. We welcome accountability and investigations into possible acts of corruption. All accused are entitled to the presumption of innocence and due process, and found guilty of corruption should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Faith and democracy are intertwined,” said Rev. Alvin Herring, Executive Director of Faith in Action. Democracy is the recognition of the inherent dignity of every person that is endowed to them by the divine. Every day since hurricanes Irma and María hit Puerto Rico, our dear brothers and sisters have endured countless indignities. They have endured the longest blackout in U.S. history. And they suffered while an unaccountable oversight board chose to make exorbitant debt payments to Wall Street by cutting Grandma’s pension. The breaking point came when they lost faith in their own democratically elected leaders. They amassed their shared creativity and hope in the streets, the sky, the ocean, even on horseback. In this moment, faith and democracy have come together as people are saying yes to a new day in Puerto Rico.”
“Since Hurricane María, the people’s resolve and resiliency has been tested on a daily basis. The multilayered citizen national rallies and strikes that have emerged have schooled the world in the power of everyday people to make change,” said Denise Padín Collazo, Senior Advisor of Faith in Action. I saw a protest sign held by a young person which read, ‘Cojiste de p—- a la generación equivocada.’ Mildly translated this means, ‘You tried to fool the wrong generation.’ There are thousands of everyday people of faith in states across the country who stand ready to support the young people and leaders in Puerto Rico who are changing the path of history for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Gracias! Keep it up because we have your back.”
“We celebrate the great victory of the people’s movement in Puerto Rico. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s comments, which were racist, homophobic, and derogatory of Puerto Ricans, are representative of the ongoing corruption in that government,” said Rev. Gregory Holston, executive director of POWER Philadelphia. “The great number of Puerto Ricans that have risen up in protest illustrates that he does not have the support of a majority, and it is right that he resigns. It is now time for grassroots leaders to take charge and create a true participatory democracy. The Commonwealth needs a government that represents the rights and needs of all Puerto Ricans.”
“Lo sucedido en Puerto Rico habla del poder de la unidad social,” dijo Pastor Peter Rivera de Jr. Holy Movement Church en Orlando. “Cuando la iglesia se une a los movimientos sociales es revelada la voz profética de justicia, orden y paz. La iglesia no puede callar en los momentos tan críticos que estamos viviendo, tiene que elevar su voz y sera escuchada.”
“What happened in Puerto Rico speaks of the power of social unity,” said Pastor Peter Rivera of Jr. Holy Movement Church in Orlando. “When the church joins the social movements, the prophetic voice of justice, order and peace is revealed. The church cannot shut up in the critical moments we are living, it has to raise its voice and it will be heard.”
Faith in Action is a national community organizing network that gives people of faith the tools that they need to fight for justice and work towards a more equitable society.