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Related Categories: San Diego | Anti-War
Stop Blackwater West March/Rallyreport
by SD Coalition for Peace & Justice
Tuesday Oct 23rd, 2007 7:55 PM
SD Coalition for Peace & Justice
Stop Blackwater West March/Rallyreport

What a great weekend of Stop Blackwater activities in Potrero! The
power of people working together to stop one of the world's largest
and best financed mercenary training operations made for an exciting
and significant event! 50 plus campers braved cold and wind and
made for a lively encampment. Activities including a wilderness
hike, workshops, an amazing evening program of music and spoken word
and the culminating rally and march brought together 400 plus people
from Potrero, San Diego and other communities. Quite a showing in a
small town of 600!

A great lineup of speakers at the rally included Representative Bob
Filner; Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of the Courage Campaign and
executive producer of Iraq for Sale; Jan Hedlun, Potrero resident and
community planning board member; Jeanette Hartman, chair of the
Sierra Club Land Use Committee; Dave Patterson and Gloria Daviston
from San Diego Veterans for Peace; Raymond Lutz, Citizens' Oversight;
William Crawley, Potrero resident and candidate for the Potrero
planning board; and Carol Jahnkow, Peace Resource Center.

The march down a rural road taking us through the beautiful, peaceful
environment of Potrero to the gates of the proposed site was awesome!
Blackwater, not unexpectedly, showed its lack of respect for
democracy and free expression by barring us from reaching the
gate. Before this weekend anyone could drive or walk down to the
gate. We arrived to find that a chain had been stretched across the
road, maybe a 100 feet or so before the gate, stating that everything
beyond was private property and blocking us from proceeding. Brian
Bonfiglio, Blackwater's representative in Potrero was at the chain
and people had an opportunity to express their feelings about
Blackwater to him personally. He ended up getting in his car and
driving away before we left. Marchers were still able to get a good
view of the valley from a nearby overlook.

We still have much to do to Stop Blackwater, but this weekend showed
how strong we are! The weekend demonstrated the power of community
building for a united purpose. We've sent a powerful message to
Blackwater and have put our struggle here on the national news. The
media coverage about Blackwater's attempt to expand here has brought
us many allies!


Here are some links to pictures, video and media coverage; we'll send
out more as they come in.

Thank you to all of you who helped make this event a success! Our
struggle will continue!

Carol Jahnkow
Director, Peace Resource Center of San Diego

1. photos on flickr:

2. more flickr photos:

3. here's a youtube:

4. here's a short clip of the guy in the white Jeep 'shooting' us
with his finger:

5. Blackwater in your back yard? 1:55; CNN's Chris Lawrence reports
on Blackwater USA's plans to open a facility in a small, rural

6. AP story: Protesters Gather at site of proposed Blackwater
training camp:

7. LA ABC's local news:

8. KUSI's coverage:

9. Blackwater foes begin fight with their feet; Marchers oppose plan
for Potrero: Union Tribue
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