LOCAL News :: Protest Activity
Blackwater Protest: Protestors Drive Blood-spattered Car onto Blackwater Property
Seven activists are arrested after driving onto Blackwater's property to protest the military contractor's presence in Iraq. 50 others vigil along road.
At almost noon on Saturday, October 20th, an old silver Subaru, pock-marked with mock bullet holes, spattered in psuedo-blood and spray-painted "handiwork of Blackwater", pulled up in front of a large sign displaying a big bear-paw--the logo of Blackwater Worldwide. The sign sits just inside the property line of the private military contractor's 7,000 acre facility in the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina.
Six "blood"-stained passengers emerged from the car, marked two signs with red hand-prints and "died" in and around the battered car, while a supporter read a description of the Nisour Square Massacre of Sept. 16th, in which Blackwater employees had killed 17 Iraqi civilians.
As an independent film-maker followed the gruesome re-enactment, Blackwater employees and eventually police officers arrived on the scene, demanding that demonstrators leave Blackwater property.
Within ten minutes, 50 additional protestors had arrived, lining the street leading up to the Blackwater property sign with banners and posters: "Blackwater: Shoot First, Ask No Questions", "Blackwater, USA, Out of Iraq".
It took police about an hour to arrest the six people from the car: Bill Streit from Louisa, VA, Steve Baggarly from Norfolk, VA, Beth Brockman and Laura Marks from North Carolina, Peter Demott from New York and Mark Coleville from Connecticutt. Before they were all in the sheriff's van, they'd been joined my Mary Grace of Madison, VA, who crossed onto Blackwater property to kneel in prayer.
All seven were taken to Currituk Count Jail. Mary Grace was charged with second-degree tresspassing and the others were charged with trespassing, injury to real property and resisting arrest. The North Carolina residents were released with a December 5th courtdate. The rest are being held on bail ($500 for Mary Grace, $1,000 for the rest), at least until their arraignment on Wednesday.
For more info. and updates, call Little Flower Catholic Worker at 540-967-5574.