Vieques Protests Growing, Succeeding
|January 9, 2007||Posted by Staff under Archive, Progress Report, The Progress Report|
U.S. Bombs Its Own
Hundreds of protesters take down Navy fence in Vieques
Vieques is part of Puerto Rico, which is part of the United States. The U.S. military often drops live bombs on Vieques. The problem is, this is not just a military exercise — people live on Vieques. The question is this — since the U.S. citizens on Vieques say they don’t want to be bombed, shouldn’t the U.S. military stop bombing them? This does not seem difficult or ambiguous to us.
At any rate, here is a recent news update from the island, where people who oppose being bombed are actively protesting.
Hundreds of Viequenses tore down enormous sections fo the military fence in the area of gate to Camp García, entrance to the bombing zone in Vieques, during a protest against the U.S. Navy presence on the Baby Island. According to leaders of the community struggle, the Second Human Chain was organized to continue the process of taking down the fences that separate the people from their lands.
During the month of October, the Navy carried out the largest maneuvers since the death of David Sanes on April 19th, 1999. Tens of thousands of troops, a large number of warships from the U.S. and NATO countries, bombed intensely the Eastern part of the island last week. In the middle of the bombing practice, nine Viequenses entered the impact area and remained in the bombing zone for twenty four hours until being arrested.
The process of taking down the military fences has been continuous, with small brigades working in different areas of the base perimiter. Today´s protest, however, was the first organized action in which hundreds participated in the project of taking down the Navy´s fence, symbol of military control of the lands the people of Vieques want back.
Church leaders, merchants, fishermen, elderly people, children and representatives of the diverse groups that struggle for an end to the military presence on the island municipality all participated in the Human Chain.
This report was distributed by the Grassroots Media Network.
How would you feel about being bombed by your own government? If the government told you “we need to do this for practice” would that make it all right with you? Who has the right to decide how land is used? What if your life is endangered and your property values fall? Tell your views to The Progress Report!