Islanders jailed for blocking Navy war games.
The grassroots movement to oust the U.S. Navy from their Vieques, Puerto Rico, target range, sustained its campaign of civil disobedience through September and another three week round of bombardment from the USS Truman battle group. Small groups of resisters - from Vieques, from the main island and from Pennsylvania, from the Independence Party, from the church - entered the range every few days to interfere with the war practice. At least 28 people were arrested, including ten for activities outside the Navy fence dividing the island. Those ten had charges dismissed - Puerto Rican police made arrests at the behest of the Navy, but on federal land, where the Puerto Rican courts lack jurisdiction.
Several of those arrested on the range - Rafael Pérez Torruella, Imac Morales Carrasquillo, Fr. Mauro Simpson, Norma Ortiz Guzmán, and Nydia Gonzalez Reyes - refused to recognize the authority of the U.S. federal court and remained in prison from 30 to 42 days.
Most trials for those arrested in September took place in late October. Probation or time served was the usual sentence, but Imac Morales Carrasquillo remains in prison to complete her 60 day sentence on November 8. Susan Ravitz was sentenced September 24 to 20 days in a half-way house by a federal magistrate in Pennsylvania, where she lives. Her sentence will begin next January 30, so she can manage her toy business through the holidays.
Brothers Cacimar and Pedro Zenón, and Regalado Miró were released to house arrest in September. Their trial was postponed until later this month.
Robert Rabin Siegal completed a six month federal prison sentence October 7, and was warmly welcomed back on Vieques, where he is a spokesman for the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV), coordinating group for the civil disobedience campaign.
For more information on the broader struggle to free Vieques from the U.S. Navy, visit the news archive (Spanish and English) at www.viequeslibre.org, or contact the CRDV, Apartado 1424 Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765, (787)741-0716, email@example.com.
Letters of support should be sent to Pedro Colón Almenas #22192-069, MDC Guaynabo, POB 2147, San Juan, PR 00922-2147.