[floridaleft] [Vieques] Activists stop Navy construction project (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Sun Dec 31 07:32:34 MST 2000

forwarded by Michael Hoover

> Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
> P.O. Box 1424 Vieques, Puerto Rico
> (787) 741-0716 Email: bieke at coqui.net
> 22 December, 2000
> Press Release
> Viequenses stop Navy construction project
> Thursday, December 21st around 9:00 AM, several
> members of the Peace and Justice Camp in Vieques
> stopped a US Navy construction project on civilian
> land adjacent to the Camp García military fence.
> Carlos Cruz, Nilda Medina and Robert Rabin placed
> themselves in front of the enormous Navy tractors and
> other heavy equipment to block what they described as
> an "illegal movement of land in property of the Puerto
> Rican people."
> Over the past several weeks military personnel have
> been building a camp, with permanent structures and
> several large trailer homes, about half a mile South
> of the PJC and the main entrance to the Navy base of
> Camp García. The Viequenses believe the Navy plans to
> make a new entrance to the base to avoid the constant
> protests and vigilance by the community that takes
> place from the PJC.
> Riot Police sent to the area early in the morning,
> attempted to intimidate the Viequenses to get them out
> of the area and allow the Navy to continue with its
> project. However, the protesters insisted the Navy
> produce necessary governmental agency permits to
> assure them the Navy was not acting illegaly. Lt.
> Wally Matos of the Puerto Rico police, indicated that
> representatives of the Navy said they only had a
> permit from the regional office of Public Works. The
> protesters pointed out to police officials that they
> would not allow the Navy construction to continue
> since there were no permits from Natural Resources,
> the Planning Board or the Archaeological Council.
> With the arrival of more people from the community and
> confronted with the lack of permits, the military were
> force to take their equipment and personnel back onto
> the Navy`s side of the fence. In addition to the dozen
> Riot Police and several local policemen, the Navy sent
> to the scene a military security team with dogs,
> pepper spray, sheilds and plastic handcuffs.
> While Navy personnel looked for their permits, members
> of the PJC and the CRDV set up a new camp named, Camp
> Luisa Guadalupe, in honor of the 83 year old Viequense
> woman and well know activist against the Navy, who
> died last week. A 24 hour vigil was organized to keep
> an eye out and inform the community if the Navy
> attempted resume work in the area.
> Contact: Robert Rabin CRDV 787 741-0716

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