Teachers in Puerto Rico are encouraging parents to keep their children away from school today, as they strike and protest against 'reform' measures which are having a devastating effect on education in the country. 

Puerto Rico has been coerced into mass school closures by international creditors, betting on its sovereign debt as we reported earlier this year. As well as closing almost 600 schools, the government also plans to bring in US style charter schools, something which the teachers union, FMPR, had campaigned successfully against. Other 'reform' measures include the introduction of performance related tenure, meaning teacher evaluations would be linked to standardised tests and teachers would be liable to the sack if such dubious measures are not 'good enough.'

Today's action comes as the latest in a long campaign by both parents and teachers to fight the measures. FMPR is planning a series of actions including a march from school buildings first thing in the morning. Campaigners have already protested inside the parliament building and sent a caravan of cars across the island, handing out flyers and explaining to parents and communities the importance of the action.

Dyett School hunger striker, Jitu Brown travelled to the island to lend his support to the campaign. He said: This beautiful, breathtaking place is marred by ugly U.S colonialism and privatization of public services on steroids!I was blessed to spend time with powerful people fighting for a better world. Big ups to your warrior spirit, discipline and hospitality! Where we struggle, we can win! If we don’t struggle, we are guaranteed to lose.”