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Activists Protest Outside Blackwater Building

San Diego NBC7 (2008-06-11) Kristine Frazao

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Activists Protest Outside Blackwater Building

NBC 7/39's Kristine Frazao Reports

Dozens of protesters gathered in Otay Mesa outside a training facility opened by controversial defense contractor Blackwater.

Protesters outside the building in Otay Mesa said they objected to the facility's location as well as the defense contractor Blackwater."Because the corporations you invite in ultimately are a reflection of your community," protester Jeremy Scahill. "I think a lot of people don't want a company with a notorious, scandalous reputation opening shop in their back yard."Company officials gave NBC 7/39 a tour inside the facility on Wednesday. The building is an old textile warehouse. Inside, there is more than 61,000 square feet of space that has been converted to a training facility. The first class of 24 men and woman began training last week for a three-week course.On site, there is a shooting range, a shop simulator and classrooms. Officials said the people being trained at the facility are cooks, public relations officers and engineers. Blackwater officials said that these types of employees require training, which was realized after the 2001 attack on the USS Cole."The sailors who were afloat in foreign ports … didn't have the proper follow-on or advance security that they would need," Blackwater Worldwide Vice President Brian Bonfiglio said.City leaders and the protestors tried to stall the Otay Mesa project, hoping at the least to have public hearings prior to its opening, but Blackwater filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court. The company was able to get a temporary restraining order, allowing it to run the training programs.

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Title Activists Protest Outside Blackwater Building
Publisher San Diego NBC7
Author Kristine Frazao
Pub Date 2008-06-11
Media Link http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/16578410/detail.html
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Keywords Blackwater Otay
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Topic revision: r3 - 2017-03-23, RaymondLutz
 

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