Changed Political Climate Affects Struggle to Stop Navy Bombing Exercises on Vieques
Interview by Between The Lines' Denise Manzari
In the wake of the terror attacks in Washington and New York, which resulted in more than 6,000 civilian deaths, the opponents of military exercies on Vieques announced a moratorium on civil disobedience actions directed at ending the U.S. Navy's presence on the Puerto Rican island. Instead, they planned peaceful vigils in solidarity with the victims, avoiding confrontations, due to stepped up military security at the training facility.
The people of Vieques also requested the Navy to put a hold on scheduled maneuvers in the immediate aftermath of the tragic events on Sept. 11. However, on Monday, Sept. 24, the Navy resumed what may be three weeks of military exercises with non-explosive 5-inch shells and inert bobms aimed at the firing range on the island's eastern tip. Despite the moratorium, some hardline protesters cut through about 60 feet of fence around the Navy's training ground.
Robert Rabin is with the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the changing political climate in the wake of the terror assaults, that could allow the Navy base to remain on Vieques indefinitely(A RealAudio Version of this interview may be found At http://www.btlonline.org).
Contact the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques at (787) 741-0716 or visit their Web site at www.viequeslibre.org