Monday, October 8, 2007

Fighting Mercenaries in Our Own Backyard

Local activists jumped into carpools and showed up en masse in the rural town of Potrero this weekend. Beautiful and secluded, this wide open space is a picture of peace and tranquility. The township of Potrero, CA, has a population of 600. This sleepy little town seems an unlikely place for a peace rally, and an even more unlikely place for the residents to have to confront Bush's private army. Potrero is the site chosen by Blackwater to open up it's west coast training facility on an 824 acre ranch. [Link]

The residents of Potrero, along with several peace and social justice groups, organized a two day event to educate and illuminate. During the two day encampment event, close to 300 people participated in workshops, a night-time concert with local musicians, and an environmental walk. By Sunday, when many more of us arrived, this quiet little town was packed with media, from CNN, to all the local network affiliates.

Rep. Bob Filner was one of many speakers at the rally. He will introduce a bill in Congress, calling for all military training to be conducted on military bases only. At the conclusion of the rally, the culminating event was a march to the gate of the proposed Blackwater West facility. Blackwater mercenaries were out and about. They were trying their best to look menacing, filming us, and in general being the bad neighbor that they said they weren't going to be.

Residents of Potrero were very grateful to see the show of support from so many San Diegans. To learn more about Blackwater, see Blackwater: Shadow Army by Jeremy Scahill.

To take action, check out Courage Campaign. [Link]

No comments: