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Vieques activist released { October 7 2002 }

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Anti-Navy activist jailed for Vieques protests released after six months

Monday, October 7, 2002
2002 Associated Press


(10-07) 13:14 PDT SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) --

An activist jailed for six months for trespassing on a Navy bombing range in Vieques was released Monday, and said he would keep protesting the U.S. military presence on the Puerto Rican island.

Leaving the federal prison in San Juan, Robert Rabin said would enter the bombing range again to stop the Navy from dropping ordnance. The Navy has only dropped dummy bombs since 1999.

Jail "was a rich experience for my learning," Rabin said before returning to Vieques, where he has lived since 1980. "I was jailed for my fight in Vieques, and I leave even more committed to the fight in Vieques."

President Bush has said the Navy will leave the bombing range by May 2003. Gov. Sila Calderon and several U.S. lawmakers want the president to put the promise in writing.

Rabin, born in Boston, runs an art gallery in Vieques and helped lead a group opposed to the U.S. presence on the island. The group was created in the 1970s and gained widespread support in Puerto Rico after two errant bombs killed a civilian guard on the range in 1999.

The movement won world attention when protesters invaded the range and camped there for a year.

Bombing opponents claim the exercises pose a health threat, which the Navy denies.

The Navy, which owns about a third of the island, has used the bombing range for about 60 years to train its Atlantic fleet.

2002 Associated Press

Du vieques { February 4 2001 }
Navy leaves after bombing six decades { May 1 2003 }
Navy leaves vieques { May 1 2003 }
Sharpton hails navy leaving
Vieques activist released { October 7 2002 }
Vieques cheers navy exit { May 1 2003 }

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