And in Puerto Rico, hundreds of people shut down the island’s biggest Wal-Mart Monday in protest against the ongoing economic crisis on the island and the companies that protesters say are responsible. Protesters argue Wal-Mart damages the local economy while only providing precarious jobs for Puerto Ricans. Last month, a U.S. appeals court ruled against Puerto Rico in its efforts to raise Wal-Mart’s tax rate from 2 percent up to 6.5 percent. Monday’s protest, which shut down the Wal-Mart for the entire afternoon, was organized by the Socialist Workers Movement. This comes after a massive protest last week in Puerto Rico outside a conference hosted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce on the new PROMESA law, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in June, establishing a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy. This is one of the protesters from Monday’s Wal-Mart action.
Melissa Vargas Echevarría: “My name is Melissa Vargas Echevarría. I am an active member and spokesperson of the Camp Against the Control Board. I’m also a member of the Workers Youth. We closed Wal-Mart’s operations for the day, and, in part, this is proof that when the people unite, we win. We need people to keep coming out to these protests, so that every multinational begins stepping backward, and we’re going to directly affect the ones who affect us directly. While the control board remains, we’re going to continue.”