The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 67/No. 45           December 22, 2003  
Justice for the Vieques 12
The sentencing of the Vieques 12 by a U.S. court in Puerto Rico is an outrage that should be protested loudly. Framed up on charges ranging from trespassing to destruction of federal property, their only crime was being part of a celebration on Vieques on May 1. That day the U.S. Navy finally left that Puerto Rican island, where for six decades they had conducted bombing and other military exercises—a victory won through a tenacious struggle by fishermen and other working people in Puerto Rico and their supporters worldwide.

The reason the U.S. authorities targeted these 12 is that the expulsion of the U.S. military from Vieques is a “bad” example to others around the world because it shows it’s possible to stand up to U.S. imperialism and win.

The fight to demand justice for the Vieques defendants is tied to the ongoing campaign for the release of all Puerto Rican political prisoners. Five independence fighters—Haydée Beltrán, Antonio Camacho, Oscar López, Juan Segarra Palmer, and Carlos Alberto Torres—are among the longest-held political prisoners in the world.

The successful struggle against the U.S. Navy in Vieques and the effort to free the Puerto Rican political prisoners are part of a broader fight—to end U.S. colonial rule over Puerto Rico. These struggles are completely in the interests of working people of the United States, who share with the Puerto Rican people a common oppressor: the U.S. billionaire minority and its government in Washington. Every move to victimize Puerto Rican anticolonial fighters—from FBI spying to the use of grand juries—will reinforce efforts by the U.S. employers to trample on the rights of workers and farmers in the United States.

Reverse the convictions of the Vieques 12!

Grant Oscar López medical treatment!

Free all the Puerto Rican political prisoners now!
Related articles:
N.Y. protesters: ‘Justice for Vieques 12, free all Puerto Rican political prisoners!’  
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