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Blackwater critics call for ban of bases Print
By Liz Neely - April 28, 2007

Opponents of the proposed Blackwater USA training facility have submitted a resolution to the state Democratic convention that would block private military companies from building in California.
The resolution, which is largely symbolic, calls for a ban of all private military bases in the state. If allowed, they should be on government-controlled land, said Raymond Lutz, president of the East County Democratic Club.
The resolution targets Blackwater, which wants to build a facility called Blackwater West on 824 acres in Potrero.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, is scheduled to speak at a news conference at 8:30 this morning about the resolution, as are Potrero residents and activists, Lutz said.

Opponents plan to gather near Harbor Drive and First Street outside the San Diego Convention Center, where the California Democratic Party is holding its convention.

The resolution is among many the state party is considering this weekend. Support from delegates could raise awareness of the issue and lead to legislation, Lutz said.

Blackwater's proposal has met mounting criticism from residents and others who say it would bring too much traffic and noise to the rural East County community. Critics have also expressed concerns about the company's role as a military contractor in Iraq.

The county Board of Supervisors will ultimately decide whether to approve the North Carolina company's proposal. Environmental review is expected to take two years.
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