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[OPIRG-EVENTS] U.S. NAVY OUT OF VIEQUES! Picket at the U.S. Embassy, Sept. 23, 2002 5:00

Picket at the U.S. Embassy, Ottawa

Monday, September 23, 2002 – 5:00 pm
(in front of the McKenzie Street entrance)

For information or signature of the following letter :

The following letter will be presented to U.S. Embassy officials:

September 23, 2002


Since 1940, the U.S Navy has occupied Vieques and turned it into a
testing ground for conventional and radioactive weapons and staging
platform for military intervention around the globe, as the U.S.
government now plans to do against the people of Iraq.

Bombing and military devastation has contaminated the environment and
waters with mercury and uranium. As a result, the people of Vieques
suffer high rates of
cancer, respiratory diseases, unemployment and lack of economic
development. Health facilities and educational institutions are
critically inadequate.

The undersigned in solidarity with Vieques, Puerto Rico, herein request
from the United States Government to immediately stop the gross
violations of human rights inflicted on the people of Vieques for more
than 60 years by the U.S. Navy through its military
practices and war games.

This includes the immediate cessation of all kinds of military
activities and inhuman experiments with depleted uranium and other
non-conventional weapons;
decontamination of the lands; and the return of the lands to the
civilian population for their economic, social and cultural development.

Peace and Justice for Vieques and its children NOW!


        On September 23, actions are being held in cities around the
world to present the U.S. administration with the just demand of the
Puerto Rican people to get the U.S. Navy out of Vieques. In Canada,
actions will be held in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor and
Vancouver. By demonstrating and holding pickets in front of U.S.
embassies and consulates around the world, peoples everywhere are
joining the opposition to U.S. military practices and experiments on the
Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico which have been
jeopardizing the health and life of its inhabitants for more than 60
years. Furthermore, the U.S. Navy base in Vieques is one of its main
training grounds for U.S. wars of aggression against the peoples of the
world. Today, as the U.S. prepares to unleash a devastating war against
Iraq, joining the people of Puerto Rico in rejecting U.S. military
practices and
demanding peace is all the more important.
        On September 2, 2002 U.S. armed forces started the second phase
of current war games in Vieques in the midst of protests by
non-governmental organizations and political parties opposed to the
exercises. The manoeuvres are continuing for 23 days by air, sea and
land with the participation of warships led by the USS Harry Truman
aircraft carrier. During the past week, a dozen people have been
arrested for entering the target range trying to stop the U.S.
bombardment of Nena Island. Several members of the Puerto Rican
Independent Party and the Socialist Workers Party are under arrest. Last
week there were violent battles between the U.S. troops using tear gas
and hundreds of
demonstrators. The protesters are demanding an end to U.S. Navy
exercises because of the serious consequences to the health of the 9,400
inhabitants of Vieques. As part of the protest, a march is being held
today that will end in front of Camp Garcia, the centre of the military
exercises. The struggle against the Navy manoeuvres has intensified
since 1999, when a Puerto Rican civil guard died after being hit by a
bomb. The island, located 11 kilometres southwest of the main Puerto
Rican island, has been used as a training area for the Pentagon since
        Actions on September 23 will include pickets and sit-ins in
front of U.S. embassies and consulates. A letter will be delivered to
U.S. authorities demanding the immediate cessation of the military
practices and activities in Vieques.
        To sign the letter which will be presented to the U.S. Embassy
officials or for more information, please write to:
        To communicate with  Dr. Luis Nieves Falcón, Puerto Rican Human
Rights Committee, at the following e-mail: nazysant@caribe.net
        Tel: 1-787-725-1463, 1-787-727-4561, 1-787-758-0315
or 1-787-579-0315
        Fax: 1-787-723-9829 or 1-787-756-0315
For more information about Vieques' struggle for Peace, visit the
following websites:

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