Tuesday, June 03, 2008
"Blackwater Mercenaries on our Border?"
Guest Speaker: Jeremy Scahill, author of the ground breaking book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army "
Book signing with new updated edition
Jeremy Scahill is an award winning American Investigative Journalist. He is an expert on a number of global issues, including the rise of Private Military Companies. He serves as a correspondent for the U.S. radio and TV program Democracy Now!. He is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill and colleague Any Goodman were co-recipients of the 1998 George Polk Award for their radio documentary, "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship".
Lecture and Book Signing: Initially released on March, 2007, a fully revised and updated paperback edition of Blackwater will be released June 1st. The new edition will feature an expose on “ Baghdad ’s Bloody Sunday,” a shooting spree carried out by Blackwater in Baghdad ’s Nisour Square on September 16, 2007 that launched the company, and questions of its lack of accountability, into mainstream discourse.
Based in the wilderness of North Carolina , Blackwater Worldwide is the fastest-growing private army on the planet, with forces capable of carrying out regime change throughout the world. Blackwater protects top US officials in Iraq and yet we know almost nothing about the firm's military operations in Iraq , Afghanistan and inside the US . Founded by the son of a wealthy conservative family known for funding far-right-wing causes—Christian mega-millionaire and ex- Navy Seal Erik Prince—the company is intimately connected to the Bush administration, and as a privatized army, accountable to no one.
Citizens in Potrero and San Diego were successful blocking Blackwater’s attempt to build a training facility in Potrero! Now Blackwater is trying to open an indoor training and shooting facility on Otay Mesa!
A training facility along the US-Mexico border, as proposed by Blackwater USA, would exacerbate the potential for increased human and civil rights violations to both migrants and members of border communities. The proposed training site is located with 500 yards of the international border, with a clear unobstructed view of the Tijuana International Airport .
Blackwater USA has been surreptitious in planning its “vocational school” in the Otay Mesa border area by not being transparent about its planned facility, by hiding behind shadow companies, and by lying about its future operational plans in San Diego County . It is precisely this sort of dealing that will pose a serious risk to the greater San Diego community, especially because the borderlands have already been militarized by government enforcement measures. There would be no way to account for potential interactions between Blackwater USA operatives and the general public.
“Mercenary groups along the US-Mexico border would seek to profit from the instability caused by current tensions in the borderlands. Instead of moving towards mutual support and collaboration between the US and Mexico in dealing with border issues, Blackwater USA would represent a regressive step that could endanger diplomatic relations, place people at risk of harm, and offer no accountability for deadly actions caused by its agents.” Pedro Rios, U.S.-Mexico Border Project, American Friends Service Committee.
LEARN ABOUT BLACKWATER AND CONTINUING EFFORTS TO KEEP THEM OUT OF SAN DIEGO !
Meeting Hall, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego
4190 Front St, Hillcrest, San Diego 92103
$ 5 - $10 Donation requested / no one will be turned away
opposite UCSD Medical Center
Sponsored by The Peace Resource Center (www.prcsd.org), Peace & Democracy Action Group of the First Unitarian Universalist Church , Activist San Diego (www.ActivistSanDiego) and Citizens’ Oversight Projects (www.StopBlackwater.net)
For info: Peace & Democracy Action Group - 858-459-4650