It was a hot dry day in the rolling pastoral hills of Jo Daviess county. Beneath the bright sun about 80 citizens made history. It was the first time in the history of the United States that a group of unarmed citizens stood up for democracy at the gates of a private military firm. And not just any private military firm but the most powerful mercenary company in the United States, if not the world.
Among local citizens were representatives of at least 12 different peace and justice groups from northern Illinois, Chicago, southern Wisconsin, and eastern Iowa. We were also joioned in spirit by those who belong to Blackwater Watch in North Carolina,a group of citizens in Moyock Blackwater’s headquarters. Joined also by those working to stop Blackwater in California. And in spirit by those in New Orleans and across the gulf region who after hurricane Katrinia some learned what it feels like to be struggling to survive and have a semiautomatic assault rifle thrust in your face by a Blackwater USA contractor providing security for someone’s property.Finally we also had by our sides in spirit the citizens of Iraq who have been assaulted and murdered by private military employees.
Despite every difficulty imaginable put before us by local authorities–such as not allowing us to park on the road or anywhere near by…(we had to shuttle people from a parking area nearly 10 miles away.) But we wouldn’t let them stop us. Using the back of a pick-up truck parked at the gate for a stage we spoke truth to power at their front door. We stood out in the open air unafraid to tell the truth. Something Blackwater USA, its owner Eric prince, nor the Bush administration can say.
The event was video taped and parts of it will be available soon on You Tube News Service.
This is the beginning.
Eric Davis, the assistant deputy of Blackwater North told me in April about Blackwater’s plans for the property,
“We’re here to stay.”
Well Mr. Davis then so are we.
To learn more about Blackwater USA, Blackwater North, war profiteers, the Clearwater citizens’ group, or how to be involved in a growing struggle against the privatization of our military visit www.noprivatearmies.org.