Local residents pledge to stand in solidarity, demand justice for Puerto Rico

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Chaos continues in Puerto Rico as protesters demand their governor to step down.

The cities of Holyoke and Springfield have pledged to stand in solidarity — demanding justice for people on the island.

“Every day in Puerto Rico there are protests,” said Maria Colon of Springfield. “Every day, in front of the governor’s mansion, known as La Fortaleza, there are protests.”

Thousands of protesters have been seen crowding the streets of Old San Juan for more than a week.

Protestors are demanding Governor Ricardo Rosselló step down. This comes after an obscenity-laced online chat of more than 900 pages leaked.

“What outrages me most, as a person and Puerto Rican, is to hear how he made fun of the people from my country,” Colon expressed. “When there’s a lot of necessity following Hurricane Maria, and how he made fun of the people that died and of people that struggled.”

Rosselló announced Sunday that he will not resign, but will not seek re-election or continue as head of his pro-statehood political party.

“We need a better governor,” said Springfield resident Louis Gonzalez. “He has to go because he’s hurt our country too much and he hurt our country’s image.”

One West Springfield resident told 22News, her sister had moved to the states after Hurricane Maria, saying she was “pushed” because there was no water and no food.

Dilayla Rodriguez said, “Real Puerto Ricans that feel attached to their home, they help, they grow, it’s like, ‘You taking water from us is not going to take away from our peace,’ but we need to give for our family.”

And for those who remain in Puerto Rico, and who are protesting, they’ve pledged to continue demonstrations until this “corrupt governor” steps down.

Maria Colon’s response to the controversy surrounding Rossell√≥, “The people are demanding from the government to get him out of office. He says, ‘Who put me here were the people,’ so the people are the ones now telling you to leave.”

A major demonstration in Puerto Rico, Marcha Del Pueblo is expected Monday starting at 9 a.m.

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