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Protesters Halt Bombing on Vieques

Aired April 27, 2001 - 09:49   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: Just a few moments ago, our John Zarrella, on the island of Vieques, near Puerto Rico, warned us that demonstrators protesting the use of that island as a shelling and bombing range by the U.S. Navy were going to try to attempt to stop today's exercises, the resumption of exercises after a long suspension. That, in fact, has happened.

Let us turn now to John Zarrella for an explanation of what's going on right now -- John.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stephen, that's exactly correct. The latest word we have from our producer Allison Flexner, who is on the other side of the island, behind the barbed wire, with the U.S. military, is that what's happened, apparently, is about seven protesters have managed to make their way, by boat, to a tiny island just off the coast.

There is a security force headed out there now to remove them from the island. But at this point, the bombardment by A-4 airplanes off the USS Enterprise has been halted for the time being.

We are also told that there may be 25 to 27 other protesters outside on the grounds out here who are going to attempt to disrupt further the activities today.

We also have a human chain being formed right here in front of us.

And the people here, about 150 protesters, say that they intend, at some point, perhaps in the next 15 to 30 minutes, to get past the security forces -- about 20 to 25 police officers -- and into the fence area here at the entrance to Camp Garcia.

We will, of course, keep everyone posted throughout the day as developments continue in this confrontation between the people of Puerto Rico's Vieques Island and the United States military -- Stephen, Daryn.

FRAZIER: John Zarrella, on the island of Vieques. John, thank you.

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