A coalition of fringe groups opposed to fighting terrorists and a congressman awaiting trial for assault and battery of a woman are protesting this weekend against Blackwater's planned facility in San Diego County, California.
One of the protest organizers, the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice (SDCPJ) was founded in September, 2001, to oppose the military hunt for al Qaeda terrorists and the liberation of Afghanistan from the Taliban. The group urged non-violent ways to capture those responsible for 9/11.
Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA), who made headlines in August for assault and battery against an airport employee, is joining the "peace" coalition. SDCPJ says Filner is scheduled to speak at the protest. Filner is awaiting trial in Virginia where he allegedly assaulted a female airline worker because he was upset that she was helping another customer instead of him.
Filner is under a cloud among his colleagues, with the House Ethics Committee investigating him pending a court ruling. He bullied a Hispanic immigration official in 2003, telling the officer, "I am a Congressman and I can do whatever I want." Filner was scheduled in court on October 2, the day Blackwater CEO Erik Prince testified before Congress, but the trial was postponed. (Click here for the text of the criminal complaint against Congressman Filner.)
The SDCPJ website keeps a list of "recent events." The group's 2007 events listed on the page include:
January 27 - Protest demanding "the immediate and complete withdrawal" of US troops from Iraq (regardless of the consequences). SDCPJ co-sponsored the event with the International Socialist Organization, Code Pink, and the International Action Center. The International Action Center is staffed by members of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party. Its founder, Ramsey Clark, offered to be on the legal defense team of Saddam Hussein).
February 5 - Rally in support of Lt. Ehren Watada prior to his court-martial for failing to go with his unit to Iraq and for conduct unbecoming an officer.
March 12 - Protest to pressure lawmakers to stop supporting the troops in Iraq, by cutting off a $93 billion supplemental appropriations request.
March 17 - Anti-war protest in cooperation with MoveOn.org.
March 27 - Anti-war protest in cooperation with Guerrero Azteca (Aztec Warrior) Peace Project, a group set up to discourage young people from choosing a life of military service. Aztec Warrior does charity work in cooperation with Code Pink.
April 2 - Event with S. Brian Willson, a pro-Marxist activist who lost both legs in 1987 by trying to stop a freight train reported to be carrying weapons destined to be used against Communist forces in Central America.
April 5 - Anti-Blackwater protest; participation in the Public Scoping Meeting of the County Department of Planning and Land Use, to voice opposition to approving an 824-acre training facility in Potrero.
July 9 - Protest against the blockade of the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba. Included a showing of a Michael Moore film.
July 21 - March in the San Diego GBLT Gay Pride parade.
August 6 - Protest against the atomic bombings that ended World War II.
August 24 - Book signing for the president of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a radical legal pressure group that has provided legal advice to convicted members of terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic Jihad's Sami Al-Arian. The NLG president, Marjorie Cohn, was a collaborator with Soviet international front organizations during the Cold War. The SDCPJ website refers to her activity with one of those groups, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL). Now a tiny fringe group without its KGB subsidies, the IADL remained committed to its old causes. IADL held a conference in Havana, Cuba, in 2000 where delegates denounced the United Nations sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime.
September 21 - Protest against the war in Iraq, in cooperation with IraqMoratorium.org.
October 6-7 - "Stop Blackwater West" protest. The main coordinator of the event is the Peace Resource Center of San Diego. The group's page for the anti-Blackwater protest is here.