Blackwater — NIMBY!

That’s how most of the residents of Potrero, a small town in California near the Mexican border, felt about Blackwater’s plans to buy 824 acres of land for a massive mercenary training facility. Their proposed paramilitary base would consist of 15 firing ranges, a helipad, a heavy vehicle operator’s course covering the equivalent of 10 football fields (33,000-square-foot), an armory for storing guns and ammunition, and dorms and classrooms. The people who live in this hamlet near San Diego fear not only for their personal peace and quiet, but are worried for the abundant wildlife that currently calls that area home, including the golden eagle and the California condor.

The town scheduled a recall election on 11 December 2007 to kick out the five Potrero Community Planning Group members who had approved Blackwater’s base, although it had been almost destroyed by the heavy fires that ravaged San Diego County last fall (eye witness report, and The Mercury News). The vote went ahead as planned, and the five incumbents were tossed out — resulting in a 100% pro-Potrero and anti-Blackwater Planning Group. The Huffington Post has more details.

However, Potrero’s fight to keep Blackwater away isn’t over yet… at least three of the five Republican supervisors in San Diego County are likely to vote with their pocket books. Since Blackwater’s top brass are major donors to right wing causes, it’s easy to imagine which side the supervisors will favor. Still, Potrero’s residents are mildly optimistic and won’t give up: they figure that county supervisors can be recalled, too. You can support them at Block Blackwater’s Base.


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