Upcoming Actions and Events

February 23, 2010 -

Sign on as a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the SOS Act today!!

February 1, 2010
Representative Jan Schakowsky to Reintroduce the Stop Outsourcing Security Act - Help us to get additional Co-Sponsors Now!

Next week Jan Schakowsky (Rep-IL09) will reintroduce the “Stop Outsourcing Security Act,” to responsibly phase out the use of private security contractors for functions that should be reserved for U.S. military forces and for government personnel. Bernie Sanders (Sen-VT) will be concurrently introducing a companion bill into the Senate.

We need your help. Please contact your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and urge them to sign on as original co-sponsors of this bill.

As Rep Schakowsky said in her letter to her fellow members of the house, “In 2009, the U.S. government employed well over 20,000 armed private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there is every indication that these figures will continue to rise in 2010. These men and women are not part of the U.S. military or government. They do not wear the uniform of the United States, though their behavior has, on numerous occasions, severely damaged the credibility and security of our military and harmed our relationship with other governments.”

Rep. Schakowsky’s bill recognizes that with our military already so very overtaxed that it will take time to eliminate the use of private contractors for functions that should be reserved for U.S. military personnel. Her bill is also in keeping with the recommendations made in July of 2009 by the U.N. Working group on the Use of Mercenaries.

This bill puts our government back on the path of restoring military functions to the U.S. military. “The legislation would prohibit the use of private military contractors for military, security, law enforcement, intelligence, and armed rescue functions unless the President tells Congress why the military is unable to perform those functions. It would also increase the transparency over any remaining security contractors by increasing reporting requirements and giving Congress access to details about large contracts.”

Contact your representatives as soon as you can by phone or in person. Urge them to do what is right for our democracy and return what is inherent responsibilities of our government to our government. Encourage them to be part of ending our dangerous dependency on these for profit shadow armies.

Members of the Progressive Caucus are especially likely to be sympathetic. Click here for a list of the Caucus members though we encourage you to contact all representatives. Those who have already signed on are indicated. If your Rep. has already signed on, call to thank them.

Read the text of the bill from the 110th Congress
Tell us how how your call went.

Thank You for taking a stand for democracy.

Dan Kenney and Mary Shesgren, NoPrivateArmies
Ray Lutz, Citizen Oversight
Christian Stalberg, Blackwater/Xe Watch

The Center for Constitutional Rights is also helping us in this effort. With their help, you can send a message to your representatives here

January 12, 2010 -
Dismissal of Case Against Blackwater Contractors Condemned
Congress Must Investigate the Mishandling of Blackwater Case, Coalition Groups Agree in an Open Letter to Congress

SAN DIEGO, CHICAGO, RALEIGH, NC (Jan 12, 2010) - A coalition of citizen groups opposing outsourced security services published an "Open Letter to Congress" calling for an investigation into the mishandling of the case involving Blackwater and the killing of 17 unarmed civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad on September 16, 2007. Blackwater (now Xe Services LLC) was asked to leave the country by Iraqi officials after the event, and later six Blackwater contractors were charged with manslaughter. On New Year's Eve, 2009, Judge Ricardo Urbina ruled the case a mistrial due to mishandling by the Justice Department. more...

Citizens and Groups are invited to endorse the letter at

to speak on

Thursday, October 22, 7 PM
First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Drive
Madison, WI 53705

In a preview of his talk this coming November at the School of the Americas Vigil in Columbus, Georgia, Dan Kenney will share his thoughts on the growing use of private armies throughout the Global South.

While it is critical that we keep up the pressure on closing the SOA in Ft. Benning, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Dan will share his perspective on the impact privatization of the military has not only on all of the Americas, but also on the democratic system.

Dan Kenney is an educator, activist, and investigative journalist. He is coordinator of the DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace & Justice; co-founder and coordinator of noprivatearmies.org and of the Clearwater Project to stop Blackwater; a founding member of the Illinois Coalition for Peace & Justice; the Illinois state coordinator of Bring the Guard Home; and the chair of the social justice committee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of De Kalb.

Co-sponsored by Pax Christi—Madison,
First Unitarian Society,
and Colombia Support Network.

STOP Blackwater Conference
Apr 24, 2009 through Apr 27, 2009

"Close Down Blackwater In Illinois"
A Catholic Worker and Clearwater Conference
With Keynote by Jeremy Scahill
Author of the NY Times Bestseller "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." He is also a journalist with "The Nation" and with Democracy NOW!

We will also be joined by Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator or Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Diane Wilson, co-founder of CodePink and Texas Jail Project.org, along with Col. Ann Wright will be joining us for the conference on Saturday April 25th.

Download Confernce Flyer
Invitation-Schedule (updated 3/24/09)
Registration Materials
Nonviolence Guidelines for the Retreat
Directions to the Church
Housing/Motel Accommodation Information

Des Moines Catholic Workers Website for the Retreat

The church is small so please contact us if you plan to join us!
For more information or to register contact Dan Kenney

Plan to attend this important conference to be held just 20 miles from Blackwater Worldwide Midwest training site in northwest Illinois. The conference will feature workshops on Blackwater and other private military contractors. Learn about all the ways our government has been privatizing and outsourcing our security. Be a part of ending the use of Blackwater to train Illinois police officers. Be a part of dismantling this dangerous part of our military industrial and intelligence complexes.

This will be the first conference where members of citizen activist groups from all over the U.S. come together to share information, discuss alternatives, strategize, and act together to address the issue of private military and security companies.

Speakers will include Catholic Workers who were arrested at a demonstration at the gates of Blackwater's North Carolina headquarters in 2007. Also members of groups in California, Idaho, and Illinois will share their experiences with working to stop the spread of private armies. Speakers will also share information about legislative actions that are developing nationally as well as in Illinois. There will also be workshops on community building and civil disobedience.

The conference will conclude with a demonstration at Blackwater's midwest site on Monday the 27th. The demonstration will include civil disobedience for those who want to participate.

The conference will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton, located at 219 North Pearl Street, Stockton Illinois 61085.

Tentative Schedule includes: Friday Evening April 24th: Friday evening is set aside for arrivals and gathering. A social time, a chance for locals, Clearwater Activists, peace activists of other groups, and Catholic Workers to meet through a circle of introductions, music, and partying.

Saturday April 25th: This will be a day long conference on Blackwater with break-out sessions and keynote at mid-day by Jeremy Scahill.
Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence will also be addressing the confernce on Saturday Morning.
Diane Wilson, co-founder of CodePink and Texas Jail Project.org, along with Col. Ann Wright will be joining us for the conference on Saturday April 25th. They will be announcing that the German Foundation Ethics & Economics group has chosen Eric Prince and Blackwater as the recipient of their 2009 Black Planet Award. Diane has been chosen, as a previous winner of the group's Blue Planet Award, to present the award to Blackwater at their headquarters in North Carolina. She has chosen to make the announcement at our conference first and then travel to North Carolina to present the award. They will be speaking and announcing the award Saturday morning or at our afternoon plenary.

Saturday evening their will be music by internationally known singer songwriter - Anne Feeney, David Stocker a peace activist from Rockford as well as other local musicians.

Sunday April 26th: Morning service with the Unitarian Universalist Church. Afternoon community building, sharing, nonviolence training and action planning. Social gathering at night.

Monday April 27th: Direct Action at Blackwater Midwest site on Skunk Hallow Road just 20 mile south of Stockton and 7 miles north of Mt. Carroll, in Jo Daviess County.

This conference is sponsored by: Midwest Regional Conference of Catholic Workers and the Clearwater Citizens' Group to Stop Blackwater.

For more information or to register contact Dan Kenney

Recent Actions and Events

IRAQ Moratorium Event
Milwaukee: Blackwater Worldwide, in Illinois and Beyond: The Dangers of Outsourcing Our Security. Dan Kenney of the Clearwater Project, organized in Illinois to oppose the privatization of war and law enforcement, will speak at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, in Room 001, Cudahy Hall, 1313 W Wisconsin Ave., on the Marquette University campus. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace, Iraq Moratorium, Peace Action-Wisconsin, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Progressive Students of Milwaukee and the Marquette Center for Peacemaking. The event is free and open to the public. More information, contact Peace Action, 964-5158 or Email Iraq Moratorium-Wisconsin.

WNPJ Annual Fall Assembly-In Milwaukee-Saturday October 4th 2008
On the campus of Marquette University

Featured Speaker-Dan Kenney, "Looking Beyond Blackwater: Organizing for Peace and Stability"
9am Saturday October 4th

Urbana, Illinois

"Privatization Threatens Our Democracy"
Friday October 10th
Urbana City Hall Council Chambers, 7:00 pm.
It will be televised on UPTV

The talk, given by Dan Kenney, will address how privatization of our military, police services, prisons, and schools threatens our democracy. Outsourcing of political decisions, security, and other significant functions that were once inherently the government's responsibility has stripped the power from the people and given it to companies and corporations such as Blackwater and Halliburton. Feasible changes need to be made to reverse this dangerous trend.

Tuesday April 8, 2008 • 7 pm
Film showing of "Blackwater Invades Illinois,"
DePaul University Art Museum
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
(1 short block from the Fullerton ‘L’ Station)
Film showing of "Blackwater Invades Illinois," featuring Jeremy Scahill, author of
“Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army”
Followed by a discussion led by Bill Barclay of Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice

Saturday March 1, 2008 • 9am - 3 or 4 pm
Peace Talks
Regional Peace Conference
Keynote addresses, workshops, and get to know your friends in the peace movement.
Hosted at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church,
4700 Augustana Dr.
Rockford, IL

9:30 am – Gary Cozette Program Director Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin. America (CRLN) and Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s “Peace Seeker for 2008”,

10:30am – First session of workshops (see list below)

11:30am – second session of workshops

12:30 noon – Lunch

1pm – Keynote: Dan Kenney “Beyond Blackwater”

2pm – Third session of workshops

3pm – proceed to Don Manzullo’s office for an anti-Blackwater demo

Workshops for Regional Peace Conference
Sessions 1 starts at 10:30am
• Latin America update – Gary Cozette
• The Threat of Private Military and Security Companies (ie. Blackwater), and up-date of the Clearwater Project and legislation, Dan Kenney & Mary Shesgren
• philosophy of nonviolence and direct action, David Martin & Fred Turk
• Winter Soldiers – Bob Gronko

Session 2 at 11:30am,
• everyday peacemaking (group activities and role plays) – Fred Turk
• “Make a Joyful Noise” peace songs & drumming workshop, David Martin & Martin Hippie
• Running for election as a peace candidate – Bill Barclay and panel
• Colombia - Christian Peacemaker Team member and native Colombian writer/educator Julian Gutierrez
• A primer on organizing for peace: media, fundraising, and organizing basics. Stanley Campbell

Session 3, starts at 2pm
• The Threat of Private Military and Security Companies (ie. Blackwater), and up-date of the Clearwater Project and legislation, Dan Kenney & Mary Shesgren
• Thomas Merton & the Peace Movement - John Eades.
• A Peace Mission to Iran – Stanley Campbell
• Running for election as a peace candidate – Bill Barclay and panel
• Philosophy of nonviolence and direct action, David Martin & Fred Turk
• Draft Boards, Recruiters & War Resisters, Cele Meyer & Kim Abel

We will have a movie room set up with films for your viewing pleasure.

Blackwater and the Privatization of the Military
With Dan Kenney

Monday, February 11, 2008 • 7pm
Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner Dr., Rockford

Program is free & open to the public. For more info: Stanley Campbell at 815-964-7111.

Dan Kenney is an educator, activist, and investigative journalist. He is the coordinator of the DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice. He is one of the co-founders and Co-coordinators of noprivatearmies. org and of the Clearwater Project to stop Blackwater World Wide's expansion in Northern Illinois. He also was one of the founding members of the Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice.

His article “Lurking Beneath The Surface of Blackwater North” has been widely published on the web. He also has been published in newspapers and journals. He has often spoken to citizen groups on the issue of private armies and Blackwater in particular. He presented this past November at the School Of Americas Vigil in Columbus Georgia and on the campus of Northwestern University. This February 2nd he will present at an international conference at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The conference is entitled: “The Privatization of Security and Human Rights in The Americas: Perspectives from the Global South.”

He serves on the Board of Directors of the DeKalb Teachers’ Union Local of the American Federation of Teachers. He also is a member of the City of DeKalb Environmental Commission. His poetry has appeared in journals. In addition to the above he is a fourth grade teacher in the DeKalb School District of DeKalb Illinois.

Blackwater Invades Illinois Documentary Showing
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 7 p.m.
Batavia Public Library, 10 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia.

The screening is sponsored by Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice.
Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served and a discussion will follow the film. Copies of the DVD will be available. Stop Blackwater T-shirts will be available for sale.

Drum Gathering At Gate to Blackwater North
October 7th •
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

A Drum Circle Gathering will be held Sunday October 7th from at the gates of Blackwater North on Skunk Hollow Rd. in southeast Jo Daviess county. Anyone interested in helping to create rhythms of peace is invited to join us. Extra drums and rhythm instruments will be available.

Blackwater North is an eighty acre shooting range and weapons training facility that offers classes to law enforcement and military personnel, as well as the general public. It is owned by Blackwater USA, a controversial military contractor and private army with the largest private military base and armory in the country, as well as several thousand mercenary soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's employees have recently been involved in massacres of Iraqi citizens, and some are being investigated for weapons smuggling.

If you come to the Drum Circle Gathering, please plan to car-pool as parking is limited. To get there, take IL Rt. 78 to E. Loran Rd., about ten miles south of Stockton or ten miles north of Mt. Carroll. Follow the pavement on E. Loran about four miles and turn right on Skunk Hollow Rd. The parking area is about a mile from E. Loran Rd., on the west side of Skunk Hollow Rd. The gates of Blackwater North are about a quarter mile further. Passengers and gear may be unloaded at the gates, but please park only in the designated parking area. Please drive slowly, and respect private property.

Simultaneous demonstrations are being held at Blackwater's home base in Moyoc, North Carolina, and in San Diego, California at the site of a planned eight-hundred-acre training camp called Blackwater West. We gather at the gates to resist this dangerous new form of corporate power and greed. We gather to call forth the rhythms of life and give them voice through our drums and songs. We gather to call for an end to the madness and evil of war for profit. We gather to pray for peace.

For more info contact Martin Hippie at 815-845-2608 or popeace@aeroinc.net

Saturday, August 11
2:00 - 4:00 pm
11311 Skunk Hollow Rd., Mt. Carroll, IL

A Gathering at the Gates (of Blackwater North)
for a peace festival: music, speakers, drumming and dancing..... more details to follow

Join us at the gates, the first time ever that a group of unarmed citizens have gathered for peace to draw attention to the world’s most powerful private military firm, Blackwater USA’s, presence in Illinois.

We’ll have information available about Blackwater’s history and their role in the Iraq war. This event will also highlight the privatization of our military.

No Parking Will Be Allowed On Skunk Hollow Rd.
Parking is available at the Pleasant Valley Twnsp lot at Willow Rd and Rt 78.

click here for map and directions

Please Check Back
We are working on details for a possible bus and will have info shortly.

We plan to have ride share contacts for: Elgin, Chicago, North Shore, DeKalb, OakPark... others? (let us know).

click here to download event flyer

Saturday, June 16th
10:00 am till Noon
Unity House at Unity Temple, Upper East Classroom.
Oak Park, IL

CNIPG (Confederation of Northern Illinois Peace Groups) meeting,
The Clearwater project to challenge Blackwater will be a major topic on the agenda of this meeting.

Sunday, July 1st
2:00 - 4:00pm
Wesley United Methodist Church
2200 16th Avenue
Sterling IL 61081

Meeting of the Clearwater Group

May 15-18 - Jeremy Scahill Illinois book tour (see below)
May 20 – Clearwater meeting Contact us for more information.

Jeremy Scahill, best-selling author of Blackwater, tour information

Click on links to download flyers for Jeremy Schahill's book tour.

May 15 – 3 p.m. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb
May 15 – 7 p.m. Highland Community College, Elizabeth Campus
May 16 – 7 p.m. Northwestern University, Harris Hall, Room #108, Evanston
May 17 – 7:30 p.m. Barbara’s Bookstore, 1100 Lake Street, Oak Park
May 18 – 7 p.m. Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn Avenue, Chicago

See www.blackwaterbook.com for more information

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