Protests demanding the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló are in their fifth consecutive day and have garnered support from Puerto Rico’s most prominent celebrities. Artists like Bad Bunny, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ricky Martin, Calle 13’s Residente, and others joined Wednesday’s protests in Puerto Rico as thousands descended upon Old San Juan.
Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito A. Martínez Ocasio, left his European tour to join the ongoing protests. The 25-year-old artist took to Instagram to shout out the “bravery” of his fellow Puerto Ricans.
“I want to pay my respects to all the people who have always had the bravery, courage, and initiative to go out into the streets and fight for the sake of our country,” he shared.
Rick Martin, whose sexuality was attacked by Puerto Rico’s former chief fiscal officer Christian Sobrino Vega, also shared his thoughts on Instagram.
“We’re tired of the cynicism. They put down women, they put down the LGBT community, people with disabilities,” he said in a video posted to Instagram Stories. “Corruption, it is insane. We are tired, we can’t take it anymore. Puerto Rico has suffered enough and it’s pretty much barbaric what he’s doing. We’re tired and we’re angry.”
Those same sentiments were felt at protests taking place across the island and in cities stateside, including New York City. Miranda was in attendance at the rally in Union Square Wednesday afternoon.
“This is bigger than a political party, the governor’s lost the confidence and every step he takes now should be about the peaceful transition of power and getting out of office,” Miranda said at the event.
Artists have taken to the streets and even to the studio to drive the message home for Rosselló’s resignation. Bad Bunny, Residente and singer iLe debuted a protest anthem, “Afilando Los Cuchillos,” which translates to “Sharpening the Knives” in English. It’s already received more than 1.7 million views on YouTube. When asked about its meaning, Residente, whose real name is René Pérez Joglar, told NPR the “knife in the title is a metaphor to be used to cut through systemic corruption on the island.”
“I think I have been waiting for this for a long time… I feel that Puerto Ricans are waking up and I think that is something that we needed a long time ago,” he adds.
The nearly 900-page private chat revealing Rosselló and his team’s homophobic, misogynistic and overall problematic remarks have led to days of protests and call for the governor’s resignation. He remains steadfast in his decision to not step down.
“My primary responsibility with the people in Puerto Rico is making sure that services continue, that we have continuity in government and that we can assure that all commitments that are being done and the services that must be delivered, will be delivered,” Rosselló said Tuesday. “I have not committed any illegal acts, I only committed improper acts.“
Protests have escalated on Wednesday night. Protestors reportedly threw fireworks toward police officers. The officers responded with tear gas and dispersed the crowd with pellet guns.