McHenry County Peace Group to Put Blackwater on the Hot Seat

The McHenry County Peace Group is sponsoring another public form at McHenry County College on November 6th.

Here is the group’s press release:

MCC Forum Examines War Profiteering, Blackwater and The Rise of Private Militaries

Crystal Lake–G. Simon Harak, S.J. will lead a discussion of “War Profiteering and Blackwater: the Rise of Private Militaries” at the Conference Center at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake on Tuesday, November 6 at 7 p.m.

The private security firm Blackwater has been the focus of international controversy recently after being accused by the Iraqi government of the murder of civilians and has been the focus of Congressional hearings.

Fr. Harak is a former Director of the War Resisters League in New York where he organized a National Speakers Bureau on war profiteering and has traveled extensively speaking on this issue. In 2006, he was awarded Pax Christi‘s New York City Peacemaker of the Year.

The longtime peace activist helped found Voices in the Wilderness which has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is currently director of the newly formed Marquette University Center for Peacemaking.

“Fr. Harak will address the issue of corporations that sell war, then profit from the bloodshed,” according to Peace Group member Libby Pappalardo. “Extensive research reveals who these companies are, how much they make, and how they literally ‘call the shots, when it comes to selling war.”

He will also talk about Blackwater, which has opened a training facility recently in northern Illinois’s Joe Davies County, and the rapid rise of corporate armies. Since 9-11, the Bush administration has paid Blackwater more than one billion dollars for its trained civilian soldiers, while granting full immunity from prosecution in Iraq and allowing them to operate without oversight.

The program is sponsored by the McHenry County Peace Group and McHenry County Pax Christi as part of the Current American Issues series. It is free and open to the public. For more information call 815-455-3683 or e-mail

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