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Navy Backs Off Bombing Vieques * Rescue and Development for Vieques

This is great news and shows some of the power and resolve from nonviolent civil disobedient protestors to stop an injustice and harm to a people's right for sovereignty and basic rights.

1) Navy will give up bombing Vieques!
2) Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques 6/11


1) Navy will give up bombing Vieques!

Navy will give up Vieques bombing range
June 14, 2001 Posted: 10:19 AM EDT (1419 GMT)

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Navy will end controversial bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques in May 2003, according to a Bush administration official traveling with the president in Europe.

That is the date an agreement with the Puerto Rican government allowing use of the Vieques bombing range expires.

One senior administration official told CNN that senior Navy officials met Wednesday with Karl Rove, a top Bush adviser, "to receive the Navy's guidance" on its needs and plans for Vieques.

Rove is Bush's top political adviser, policing how major policy decisions could impact target political constituencies.

Pentagon sources had told CNN's Jamie McIntyre Wednesday night that the White House was ready to announce that use of the bombing range would end, but that the plans were put on hold in the face of angry reaction from Capitol Hill and the Navy.

Congressional conservatives see such plans as betrayal of the U.S. Navy by an administration that professed support for the military.

Georgia Republican Bob Barr expressed concern Wednesday night about halting the exercises. "There is no other place that we have where we can use live fire as we do in Vieques. That would put a serious hole in our ability to conduct training to protect our troops," Barr said on "CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports."

The U.S. military has conducted exercises on Vieques since 1941. Controversy over use of the island for bombing practice has grown since October 1999, when an errant bomb killed a civilian security guard. In late April, about 180 protesters were arrested at the main gates of the Navy facility on the island during the Navy's resumption of exercises.

Demonstrators claim that the island's 9,000 residents are at higher risk of cancer and are exposed to dangerous levels of noise. They want the bombing stopped permanently.

Under an agreement negotiated during the Clinton administration, Vieques residents will vote in November on whether to accept a package of economic incentives in return for allowing the Navy to continue using the range after May 2003. Until then, the Navy is using only non-explosive "inert ordnance" in its exercises.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its escort ships are scheduled to begin training exercises at Vieques this weekend, and demonstrations are expected.

2. Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
11 June, 2001 [Excerpt from Statement]

Our people are getting ready to face the bombings announced by the US Navy to start on June 13. Just like in April, when our forces held up the naval exercises at several moments, during the upcoming maneuvers we will also resist this military force that enslaves us in the name of "freedom", violates our human rights while "defending" democracy.

There is no turning back for us. The mayor, the parish priest, our women, youth and fishermen. In short, our people have decided that the US Navy will not fire any more bombs without the community resisting through pacifist civil disobedience. Neither threats from two hundred Puerto Rican police members, nor tear gas, nor rubber-bullet shotguns can tame these people who have taken control of their future to ensure a free and healthy Vieques for the next generations.

For the past three weeks there have been workshops and orientations about civil disobedience on the main island [Puerto Rico] and in Vieques. The PR Bar Association, Todo Puerto Rico con Vieques, el Congreso Nacional Hostosiano, the Caribbean Project for Justice and Peace, and Law Students with Vieques, along with the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, have all prepared a handbook for Practical Workshops for Civil Disobedience in Vieques.

Several comrades from the main island, including our Luz Nereida Pérez, gathered at the Justice and Peace Camp last Friday to discuss the handbook and the workshop's procedures. Six members of the Juventud Viequense Unida (Vieques Youth United) shared information about their own acts of civil disobedience last August, about the arrest, and about a pamphlet that they put together in order to train the next civil disobedient actions.

Juan Vera, Bishop of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, was a special guest at this Saturday night's vigil, and so were a great number of officials of the Church who participated this week in the celebration of the centenary of the Methodist Church in Vieques. Bishop Vera read a resolution, that was unanimously accepted by the Methodist Assembly, which supports civil disobedience and the struggle for peace in Vieques.

The full list of names of the prisoners for the peace of Vieques is available at , or via our email:

The CRDV covers costs and coordinates transportation for family members of Vieques prisoners so they can get to the federal prison for weekly visits and return to Vieques the same day. Also, we deposit funds for Vieques prisoners needing aid in their prison account for purchases in the prison store and for phone calls.

Our Committee also maintains a support camp outside the federal prison next to camps set up by the PIP and the University Students / Friends of Vieques and the Carolina Giants. Maintain the CRDV camp in support of our prisoners, transport people from Vieques to participate in activities at the camp represents another cost for the struggle. Therefore, we ask for your donation in funds or materials for the Peace and Justice Camps.

R. Rabin, CRDV


10 June, 2001


The US Navy must case immediately and permanently the bombing our land and waters. The people of Vieques demand the removal of all military personnel and war artefacts installed in Vieques, including the ROTHR radar. Our people have hope that future generations of Viequenses may have the chance to live on an island of peace and not war. That is why our principal slogan is: Navy out! Navy out!


The contamination from more than half a century of bombing and other military practices must be cleaned from our lands and waters and the Navy must leave our house as clean as they found it sixty years ago.

The EPA and Puerto Rican government agencies responsible for the protection of our natural resources and for enforcing environmental laws, have permitted the destruction of Vieques & acute; flora and fauna both on land and sea and the contamination of water, air and land by the US Navy. Get out and clean up your mess!

Return of Lands

Every inch of Vieques lands must be returned to the Viequenses. We need the land for our homes, schools, hospitals, agriculture, tourism development, fishing and for the future generations. During the 1940's the US Navy expropriated 26 thousand of Vieques 33,000 acres. The rescue of our lands is indispensable for the development of Vieques for future generations. For Vieques to progress, we must get the Navy out!


The people of Vieques have a vision for the development of a Vieques freed from the US Navy. With ample community participation - together with the Municipal Government and our Technical and Professional Team in Support of Vieques Sustainable Development - we will promote a new economy based on peace. Eco-tourism, agriculture, fishing, marine biology investigations and projects related to Vieques archaeology, among other projects generated by the creativity of our people, will provide work for our population. Vieques has the natural resources and the human capacity to create a healthy economy and end half a century of social and economic crisis caused by the military presence.

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