People in Solidarity With Vieques - March on the Belly of the Beast
The Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV), the leading Vieques- based civic organization, called the March for Peace in Vieques in Washington, DC "an admirable showing of the broad-based support that this peaceful and just movement has gained." Robert Rabin, spokesman for the CRDV in Vieques, said: "We in Vieques wish to express our gratitude to those brothers and sisters who marched today in Washington, DC to tell President Bush and the public at large that the Navy must stop bombing and must leave Vieques, not a year from now, not two years from now, but immediately. 60 years of suffering is too much." Rabin added: "We thank the various labor, civic, community and religious leaders, as well as the Members of Congress and many others, who walked the streets of DC today in order to raise awareness of the injustice suffered by the people of Vieques at the hands of the Navy, and of the inhumane treatment and excessive punishment suffered by those who have peacefully defended our land and our people against further destruction. This showing of love, peace and unity transcends race, color or nationality and is our strongest weapon in the struggle for peace against the military might that has been imposed on the people of Vieques." Flavio Cumpiano, attorney and Washington Representative for the CRDV, stated: "The Navy's damage and destruction to human health, to the environment, to the flora and fauna, and to the economy of Vieques and its people, must cease immediately and permanently. Since the demand has always been that one more day of bombing is unacceptable, allowing for one or two more years of bombing with other organizations- for the people of Vieques to vote for option #2 (the immediate and permanent cease and desist of all military activities in Vieques; the immediate withdrawal of the Navy, and the decontamination and return of the land to Vieques) in the July 29 referendum called for by the Government of Puerto Rico. At the same time, Rabin said that the CRDV and others are preparing themselves to participate in civil disobedience in order to stop further bombing in Vieques should the Navy decide to try to bomb Vieques again. "We will defeat the Navy in the referendum and we will continue to defend our land if the Navy fails to respect our democratic will", Rabin added.
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Page last updated: January 28, 2003