April 25-26 Blackwater Conf. & Midwest CW Resistance Retreat
Saturday, April 25 "Close Down Blackwater In Illinois" Conference

Over 150 people showed up at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Stockton IL for the Sat April 24 "Close Down Blackwater In Illinois" Conference sponsored by the Midwest Catholic Workers and Clearwater www.noprivatearmies.org/index.html

Speakers included Jeremy Scahill author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army blackwaterbook.com/index.php and Kathy Kelly vcnv.org/speaker-bio/kathy-kelly, co-coordinator or Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

Workshops covering the history of Blackwater and the resistance to it. Christian Stalberg founder of Blackwater Watch reported on the civil disobedience that North Carolina Catholic Workers did at Blackwater Headquarters last Oct. Mary Moody of New Hope CW Farm and Rosalie Riegle author of "Voices from the CW" lead a workshop on who Catholic Workers are and why we do civil disobedience.

An added surprise during the conference was Diane Wilson, co-founder of CodePink and Texas Jail Project.org, along with Col. Ann Wright who was one of three US State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq announced that Eric Prince, owner of Blackwater was the 2009 "Black Planet award winner". This award is given out yearly by the German Foundation on Ethics & Economics group www.ethecon.org. And Diane Wilson personally promised to track down Eric Prince and deliver his well earned award.

The evening was topped off with music from internationally known singer and song writer, Anne Feeney and Rockford base singer David Stocker.


Sunday, April 26 - Midwest CW Resistance Retreat

The retreat started with a 10:30 joint service with the Unitarian Universalist Church and the Midwest CW with the theme "Getting to Know You". The afternoon was spent on community building, nonviolence training facilitated by Jeff Leys of the Voices for Creative Non-Violence and action planning sessions lead by Brian Terrell of the Maloy IA CW. Sixty CWers and friends attended this retreat from 15 different CW communities: Des Moines IA, Maloy IA, Dubuque IA, Winona MN, Duluth MN, Chicago IL, Champaign IL, Rock Island IL, Bloomington IN, Columbia MO, KS City MO, St Louis MO, Waukesha WI, Milwaukee WI and Norfolk NC.


For more info contact:
Frank Cordaro
Phil Berrigan CW House
713 Indiana Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 282-4781 www.DesMoinesCatholicWorker.org
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