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Congressman Bob Filner to address Southwestern College Governing Board to Oppose Blackwater Agreement

Citizens Oversight (2009-04-15) Raymond Lutz

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April 15, 2009

Congressman Bob Filner to address Southwestern College Governing Board to Oppose Blackwater Agreement

Memorandum of Understanding gives Blackwater unlimited access to campus conference rooms and gags Governing Board.

Protesters to gather prior to the meeting in Coronado tonight.

WHEN: 4/15, 6:30pm Protest and Rally; 7pm Board of Governor's meeting begins

WHERE: Coronado Unified School District meeting room, 201 Sixth Street, Coronado, CA 92118 (619-522-8900).

SAN DIEGO, CA (April 15, 2009) – Congressman Bob Filner will be joining the public tonight to request that the agreement between the Southwestern Community College District and Blackwater Lodge and Training Center (recently renamed “Xe, Inc.”) be revoked.

Southwestern Community College District entered into an agreement with Blackwater which provides that the district can use Blackwater's shooting range in Otay Mesa in trade for fees for personnel to operate the range and Blackwater's use of on-campus conference rooms. On March 11, the Governing Board placed an item on the agenda to reconsider the agreement, but then only voted to renegotiate it, leaving the agreement in place. The Board refused to place the item on the agenda at this month's meeting, apparently wanting to delay the issue so they can continue under the old agreement.

The public will be addressing the Board of Governors on this issue during the Public Comment period at the start of the meeting at 7pm. Opponents to the agreement were planning a protest outside the meeting at 6:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Coronado Unified School District meeting room, at 201 Sixth Street, Coronado, CA 92118 (619-522-8900).

The agreement with Southwestern College District was formulated to avoid public scrutiny, and even includes a gag-order to keep Trustees quiet,” COPS coordinator Raymond Lutz said. “This is an obvious attempt by Blackwater in their continuing campaign to clean-up their reputation, first by changing their name to 'Xe' and now trying to look like just another community college.”

Lutz explained that COPs had submitted a Public Records Request to the college and they inappropriately delayed their response, refused to provide it in electronic form, and returned the information on the last day before Spring Break while withholding information in their office for viewing only. “We will probably be complaining to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) regarding their obfuscation and illegal delaying tactics,” Lutz said. “These Boards must understand that they report to the public, not to Blackwater.”

Blackwater contractors were found responsible for illegal killings in Iraq in September of 2007 by an FBI investigation,” said David Wiley, president of San Diego Veterans For Peace. “Their armory in Moyock NC was raided by the ATF in June of 2008. The Bureau seized AK-47s and Bushmaster automatic weapons on suspicion of illegal use. This kind of company has no business participating in the training of potential law enforcement officers, especially in our local community.”

A number of grass-roots organizations are supporting the effort to terminate the agreement with Blackwater, including Activist San Diego, American Friends Service Committee of San Diego, Citizens Against Private Armies (CAPA), Peace Resource Center of San Diego, San Diego Veterans For Peace, and the Stop Blackwater Working Group of the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice.

Raymond Lutz was a candidate for the 77th State Assembly District in 2008.

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Title Congressman Bob Filner to address Southwestern College Governing Board to Oppose Blackwater Agreement
Publisher Citizens Oversight
Author Raymond Lutz
Pub Date 2009-04-15
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Note Blackwater In Southwestern College
Keywords Blackwater, Blackwater Otay
Media Type Article
Media Group News Release
Curator Rating Plain
Author Name Sortable
Publish Status Published
Topic revision: r1 - 16 Apr 2009, RaymondLutz
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