This past Spring, the US Congress passed a bill, PROMESA, to deal with what was being described as the Puerto Rican debt crisis. The bill includes the establishment of a non-elected “oversight board” that will have ultimate financial decision-making power over the island. President Obama stated that the bill will provide “more stability, better services and greater prosperity over the long term for the people of Puerto Rico.”
Others, like Puerto Rican journalist Juan Gonzalez, believe there will be (and already are) grave consequences for the Puerto Rican people from a restructuring that’s “requiring the government of Puerto Rico to submit to a virtual total takeover of its economy.”
In response, Puerto Ricans on the island and the mainland have protested what they’ve described as measures that are unacceptable. Cousins Olivia Levins Holden and Alicia Raquel took to facebook, each posting a photo of herself:
Along with an open letter that read:
Dear Boricuas and Friends,
As you know, United States imperialism on our beloved island just don’t quit.
“PROMESA”, is a bill passed by Obama which allows further looting of the Puerto Rican economy, and which is being bold-facedly mis labeled as a “debt relief” bill.
The bill places a panel of 8 people, 7 of whom are selected by the United States government in economic control of the island, and has already begun looting public services, schools and natural resources, leading to a record number of young people leaving the island, as well as some truly innovative organizing on the ground.
We are launching a “No es mi PROMESA” social media campaign to draw attention and make a racket about this, particularly in the U.S. and support our brothers, sisters and non-binary compañer@s on the ground.
This is a part of the larger fight for the lives and self determination of people of color in this country and around the world, and in particular solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and our ancestors who were killed in Orlando.
Take a picture of yourself holding a sign. At the top, please write “Yo Prometo” and then fill in a real promise in any language(s) you speak that you want to make in your life as a visionary, artist, activist, organizer, Tag with #noesmiPROMESA and #yoprometo” and post to all your social media networks.
Do this as many times, with as many promises as you like.
In any languages you speak.
This event page is a place to share relevant ART, MUSIC, THOUGHTS, INFORMATION and CALLS to ACTION.
With love and a fighting heart,
Alicia y Olivia
People quickly responded
Now, the folks who started the trend are saying:
“We want to draw attention to what is happening and what is at stake, the organizing work being done, and make commitments to each other in the struggle to decolonize. After such a long history of colonization disguised by pretty little myths and lies, we don’t believe their promises. On the island, they’re calling this a “Junta de Control” and responding with massive demonstrations and a month-long, youth-led campout. This is a scary and overwhelming moment, and one that requires creative responses, truth-telling, and connection.”
People are sharing and making their own promesas using the hashtag #NoEsMiPromesa and #YoPrometo