Adrian Florido | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Adrian Florido

Anti-Black racism had always bothered John Collins, but he'd never personally done anything about it.

That changed after police killed George Floyd in May.

Stuck at home and furloughed from work because of the pandemic, Collins had time to watch coverage of the protests Floyd's death had set off and to reflect on the nation's history of racial injustice.

When, on June 7, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council went onstage at a rally organized by Black activists and took turns reading a pledge to dismantle their city's police department, many in the crowd at Powderhorn Park let out not just cheers, but full-throated screams.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It hadn't been easy, but before the pandemic Elia Gonzalez had always managed to keep her family fed by stretching her food stamps and her partner's modest income as a D.J. at bars around Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan. That changed in mid-March, when those bars closed and her daughter's school, where she'd gotten free breakfast and lunch, did too.

Updated: 10:40 p.m. EST

A well-known advocate for the poor in Puerto Rico was released from jail Thursday evening after a San Juan judge dismissed charges stemming from his arrest earlier in the day during a protest against the island government's response to the coronavirus crisis.

Local lawmakers in San Francisco have given the mayor 12 days to secure 7,000 hotel rooms to house the city's homeless population during the coronavirus emergency, plus another 1,250 rooms for frontline workers.

The emergency ordinance passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors requires Mayor London Breed to secure the rooms by April 26 and asks her to use emergency powers to commandeer the rooms if she is unable to reach deals with hotel owners.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Puerto Rico has instituted some of the strictest measures to contain COVID-19. Governor Wanda Vazquez has more than 3 million people under a stay-at-home order. Here's NPR's Adrian Florido to explain why.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Angry residents took to the streets of Puerto Rico on Monday.

Fury over the government's mishandling of disaster aid following a spate of devastating earthquakes earlier this month, coupled with the recent discovery of unused supplies — some dating back to Hurricane Maria — is driving frustrated demonstrators to the gates of the governor's mansion.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Weeks after a powerful earthquake and dozens of aftershocks in Puerto Rico, President Trump has signed a major disaster declaration, which means federal money can now be used to help damaged towns along the island's southern coast.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

People in Puerto Rico are edgy after two big earthquakes on the island. The last one was on Saturday. It was a 5.9. A bigger quake four days before that killed one person. Much of the south lost power, and there are millions of dollars in damage.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Go to Puerto Rico, stroll the blue cobblestone streets of old San Juan, and it won't be long before you hear it - drifting out of the doorway of a restaurant or bar or played by a street musician tucked under a stone archway on a rainy day.

Nobody knows exactly how many fighting roosters there are in Puerto Rico. The breeders who raise them for cockfights say at least half a million. Two hundred and fifty of those live in neatly lined cages in José Torres' backyard in the mountain town of Utuado, and should the police show up to take them when cockfighting is banned at the end of this year, he has no plans to give them up.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been three weeks since Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, resigned following protests against his administration.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Some of Puerto Rico's biggest stars rallied a crowd of many thousands in San Juan on Wednesday, calling on the island's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to resign. It was the fifth day in a row of protests in the U.S. territory, following a leak of hundreds of pages of misogynistic and homophobic texts between the governor and his main advisers.

During the day, trap artist Bad Bunny and singer Ricky Martin were among the huge crowd that marched to the governor's mansion.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mariano Torres Ramirez woke up early on Sunday. He got out of bed just after 5 a.m. and stepped into his garden to cut a little bunch of yellow marigolds — a gift for his mother.

"I'm going to tell her I'm sorry it's been so long since I've seen her," Torres said.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

César Díaz felt lucky that only a couple of leaks had sprung in his ceiling, even though Hurricane Maria tore the zinc panels off much of his roof. His real troubles began about a year after the storm, when a crew hired by Puerto Rico's housing department showed up to make the repairs.

"They weren't very professional," Díaz said. "They didn't wear gloves, and they asked if I had an extra piece of wood."

Within days, there were new leaks. Not only in the living room but in the bedroom, over his daughter's crib.

The musical Hamilton is opening tonight in Puerto Rico. Its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose family is from Puerto Rico, is on the island to reprise the title role during the show's three-week run.

Thursday was a somber day at the Cockfighting Club of San Juan.

The rows and rows of cubbies that usually house up to 80 roosters waiting to fight were mostly empty. On this day, only 26 birds were on display.

Miguel Ortiz, a regular at the club since it opened in 1954, said a lot of people had stayed home, depressed.

"It's because of the law that passed in the Congress," he said.

In the lush green mountain town of Lares, Puerto Rico, even the dead and buried were scarred by Hurricane Maria.

The September 2017 storm dumped so much rain onto the town's only cemetery that it triggered a landslide. The flow of mud and water was so powerful that it damaged nearly 1,800 tombs — expelling caskets from their graves and sending some of them tumbling down a hillside.

Pages