Puerto Rican Beach Parties Protest Public Beach Buy-Up


Two flyers protesting against the rich cutting off beach access in Puerto Rico.  (Image: El Urbanista, Carlos BP and Cogito Ergo Imago.) https://www.flickr.com/photos/37244380@N00/289876731

Between the “Great Reorganization” (movement related to time travel and remote work) and a wave of a “big guy” (moving for overtly political reasons), gentrification problems have rapidly worsened. This is most extreme in areas of the US where citizens do not have full representation (including gerrymandering) and access to public funds, places like Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has faced many devastating natural disasters, constant motion of potential workforce, and bankruptcy in the last two decades. In 2012, to alleviate these financial problems, Puerto Rico legislators passed Law 22, which allows new residents to qualify for a significant tax reduction. However, this only applies to people who move from the mainland US within two years of that move, preventing three million Puerto Ricans (42% of whom live in poverty) from accessing to these tax exemptions.

After the bankruptcy filing and Hurricane Maria (both 2017), the first massive wave of wealthy investors arrived to buy properties from those with few options to recover. Now, with COVID-19, the same thing is happening, except this time, island residents are reporting rents doubling, housing discrimination, and entire neighborhoods (and apartment buildings) turning into Airbnb towns. (barely regulated). According to the New York Timesof incoming residents, plus 1,300 people had applied for these tax exemptions in October 2021 only. 35% of all applications approved since 2012 were approved in the last three years.

There are countless signs, billboards, and graffiti calling out the most high-profile people (mostly crypto “investors” and celebrity influencers) arriving as “settlers.” These statements are not due to ethnicity alone, but to the relationship of wealth extraction and Puerto Rico’s functioning as a US colony in all but name. Troll Logan Paul and the bitcoin child star brock pierce have received the most attention.

Protest parties on the beach

Adding insult to injury, people on the move are exacerbating barriers to accessing public land. All of Puerto Rico’s beaches (including those in front of hotels) are public land, accessible to all. As mainland dwellers buy waterfront property, they fight with the locals, telling them to essentially “get off your property.”

Investors began to create rock and/or cement barriers and longer back porches/terraces towards the shoreline. Thus, to access the beach, the public must get into the water to get around the barrier.

A few weeks ago, organizers held a small beach tennis tournament at Playa Ocean Park, only for the nearest owner to sit in the middle of their area and demand they leave.

This first viral breaking point culminated in a beach party on January 29 called Ocean Wepallooza. The “headliners” include a woman (related to that viral incident) called “La Karen de Puerto Rico” and Juan Ponce de León.

On February 12, residents held a follow-up beachfront party in Dorado, Puerto Rico, near Paul’s property on Playa Sardinera (also known as Ghetto Beach). The initial flyer (when the date was yet to be determined) introduced Paul as “the golden rooster”, with a “permissions clerk” and contractor Federico Stubbe. gonzo journalist Charles Polanco created a thread highlighting these issues by giving a walking tour of the protest party on Twitter.

Independent journalist Bianca Graulau stated that the nickname comes from a comment by Stubbe says Puerto Rico would essentially become a “ghetto” if it weren’t for wealthy people moving there.

In addition to beachfront barriers and increased police presence, contractors are blocking highway entrances to the shoreline. As this man explains this, he moves as what appears to be a white family drives down the road in their golf cart.

Puerto Ricans on Strike

The people of Puerto Rico have exhausted most measures to do something about it. Leader after leader has failed them. In 2019 there was three governors of the “territory” (colony) in a week.

All of this is tied to the same issues we face across the country, like stagnant wages, food insecurity, and a shortage of affordable housing. Just last Friday and over the weekend, there was a general strike on the island. At this point, many Puerto Ricans depend on international attention. many on the island wants statehood, complete independenceor a new relationship with the US Unfortunately, they are all unlikely because that would require something bipartisan that happens in Congress.

(via tik tok, rebel rocketand latinorebeldesimages: The Urbanist and Cogito Ergo Imago)

The Mary Sue has a strict feedback policy. which prohibits, but is not limited to, personal insults towards someonehate speech and trolling.—

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]