15 March, 2002 A CALL
TO ACTION FOR PEACE ON VIEQUES
Warm greetings from the Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Today
the Navy officially notified the Puerto Rican government of their intention to resume
exercises on Vieques for twenty days starting April 1st. The Committee for the
Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV), together with other groups in Vieques and on the
big island, work out last details for the peacefull civil disobedience actions that will
take place if and when the bombing begins. It is our duty to try to stop Navy
bombing that is responsible for the environmental and health crises that have been killing
our people during more than sixty years.
A week before bombing begins, military personnel place at the Post
Office here a warning to fishermen and other operators of small boats, about dangerous and
restricted zones, also indicating days and hours of military exercises. With this
information we will have a clearer idea of the bombing calendar and, thereby, a clearer
idea of our shedule of operations.
During those days, we will be coordinating a series of protest
actions and denunciations in Puerto Rico, in the US and in countries where there are
friends of Vieques. We know the forces for peace in our world posess great
creativity and capacity to develop protest actions that will have impact and raise
consciousness. Again we appeal to that creativity and solidarity to carry
out actions for peace on Vieques on the days the US Navy continues to bomb our island.
Educational activities (handing out literature, showing documentaries, music-poetry in
solidarity, picketing, acts of civil disobedience) or protest through the mass media will
help put more pressure on the United States to immediately and permanently cease their war
practices on Vieques. Messages and declarations from leading religious, political, sports
or artistic figures to the CRDV can also be very powerful.
In Vieques we are prepared to directly confront the military
monster that rapes our sea and lands, that violates our most basic rights to live in peace
with dignity. We hope that a concerted effort of people at different points around
the globe, with the positive energies that eminate from those who live and work for peace,
will have important repercussions for us and for all who participate in this walk for
Civil disobedience includes a wide variety of actions, beyond the
entrance into restricted zones and arrest. During the process of protest during the
past two years, the Peace and Justice Camp (PJC) becomes the center of operations, a place
for shelter and meetings for participants in the civil disobedience actions and other
aspects of the protest. The CRDV and the PJC movilize our people to prepare food,
coffee, water, cleaing of the letrines, work with telephones and other equipment in the
CRDV office at the Camp, for prayer, music, the picketting, transportation of people
between Vieques and the main island and between different points of action in Vieques,
security at the camp, communications with lawyers and families of disobedients, among
other tasks. The costs of this type of operation are impressive: gasoline
for vehicles - both on land and water - food, water, communications equipment, first aid
materials, etc., etc., etc. Any contribution for this campaign for peace will be
greatly appreciated. Cheques can be sent to the CRDV at the address above.
We would appreciate communications vía email or fax, indicating the possibilities of
organizing actions in your geographic area to denounce the continuation of bombing on
Vieques. Persons interested in participating in civil disobedience
actions should contact us as soon as possible by email or telephone.
In struggle, in solidarity