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BTL:Civil Disobedience Actions Greet Navy Exercises on Vieques.

Robert Rabin is with the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the protesters' determination to end Navy maneuvers prior to the 2003 end date offered by the Bush administration.
New Wave of Civil Disobedience Actions Greet Renewed Navy Exercises on Puerto Rican Island of Vieques

Interview by Between The Lines' Denise Manzari

On April 1, U.S. Navy planes began dropping inert bombs on the firing range near Camp Garcia on Vieques, the tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico.

These exercises, the first carried out by the U.S. military since October, resulted in the arrest of five women from the Puerto Rican Independence Party, who entered Navy land in an expected new wave of civil disobedience.
The women, led by PRIP Vice President Maria de Lourdes Santiago, allegedly broke through the base fence line before the Navy began exercises with planes and ships from the USS George Washington battle group.

The Navy maintains Vieques is the "crown jewel" of the Caribbean to carry out its military exercises, and denies claims by the island's inhabitants citing scientific reports that it is contaminating the environment, resulting in increased cancers, asthma and other illnesses.

In January, The Navy relocated maneuvers scheduled for Vieques to North Carolina's Camp LeJeune and Florida's Pinecastle range. The exercises used live bombs, which the Navy said were essential, prior to deployment in Afghanistan.

Robert Rabin is with the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the protesters' determination to end Navy maneuvers prior to the 2003 end date offered by the Bush administration(A RealAudio Version of this interview may be found at www.btlonline.org).

For more information, visit Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques' Web site at www.viequeslibre.org

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