Upcoming Actions and Events
February 23, 2010 -
February 1, 2010
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.
Thank You for taking a stand for democracy.
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 -
Citizens and Groups are invited to endorse the letter at
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.
STOP Blackwater Conference
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.
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.
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.
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
WNPJ Annual Fall Assembly-In Milwaukee-Saturday October 4th 2008
Tuesday April 8, 2008 • 7 pm
Saturday March 1, 2008 • 9am - 3 or 4 pm
9:30 am – Gary Cozette Program Director Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin. America (CRLN) and Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s “Peace Seeker for 2008”,
3pm – proceed to Don Manzullo’s office for an anti-Blackwater demo
Workshops for Regional Peace Conference
Blackwater and the Privatization of the Military
Monday, February 11, 2008 • 7pm
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
The screening is sponsored by Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice.
Drum Gathering At Gate to Blackwater North
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, August 11
A Gathering at the Gates (of Blackwater North)
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.
Please Check Back
We plan to have ride share contacts for: Elgin, Chicago, North Shore, DeKalb, OakPark... others? (let us know).
Saturday, June 16th
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)
See www.blackwaterbook.com for more information