We have entered an era in which the United State is trying to expand its global political and economic control through the use of drones and massive electronic surveillance of email, text-messaging and the internet.
We are dealing here with profound issues of control of populations and resources, including labor. The focal points of the US government attack are some of the most fundamental human rights, rights outlined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and rights, such as the right to privacy, essential to the formation of healthy, creative, trustworthy individuals, communities and nations.
We have to do three things: 1. Stop drone killing and ban killer drones around the world. 2. Halt the use of drones and electronic surveillance technology to violate privacy globally. 3. Remove the threat of persecution and imprisonment for whistle-blowers, journalists, political organizers and others whom the government may view as politically threatening.
If you are just coming to these issues, I suggest you read the articles below on this website, and see other information on the website, as well as checking the links we provide in the right-hand column of the website.
We are in a moment when we may just be able to stop the drone killing and spying and the electronic spying. We have to realize it is down to us because of the tremendous influence that multi-national corporations have on all branches of our government and all aspects of our culture.
This is a struggle worthy of our time, energies and commitment.
Here are steps you can take individually and with others to get involved.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Mottern, Coordinator, KnowDrones.com
When you sign this petition, please add in the comments section the need to ban drone surveillance because 24/7 watching of individuals and communities not only violates their rights of privacy, it is intimidation and a threat to their right of free speech and freedom of assembly. This video shows how drone surveillance technology can create a virtual “imprisonment” of being under constant government observation.
You can learn about drone and surveillance issues by going onto the Know Drones USA Facebook page, where people often post references to valuable news and commentary. You will also have a chance to “meet” people and debate. (Click image below.)
It is important to spread the Facebook and Twitter links to friends.
The US Congress, as a body, is supportive of US drone attacks and drone surveillance overseas as well as: (1) FBI use of drones in the US; (2) the expanding NSA apparatus of electronic surveillance of Americans and peoples around the world; (3) persecution and prosecution of whistleblowers; (4) intimidation and prosecution of reporters; (5) indefinite detention of US citizens.
Nevertheless, the 2014 elections are approaching, and while there is the fundamental question of whether legitimate elections can be held in the US under the above circumstances, it is important, in principal, to register your views with your elected, tax-supported, representatives in the US Senate and House of Representatives.
Here is a detailed letter, End Drone Warfare And Repression: A Letter To Congress, that you can send to representatives in Congress, addressing the issues enumerated above. You can use this to write your own letter or copy the pdf file and mail it in.
It is very important that you send this in regular, snail mail because these letters have more political weight than emails.
A Code Pink protester comments on the testimony of Michael Toscano, head of the trade organization of drone makers, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, at a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March, 2013. Photo courtesy of Code Pink
Here are steps that can help you to begin to join others and undertake action. It is absolutely essential that you express your views with others in the street. Historically, this is the way non-violent social change has been most effectively accomplished. This is a point often omitted in our schools.
STEPS TO JOINT ACTION
a. Talk in person. To get started on this issue, or others, it is really important to talk with other people, face to face. After reading articles on the home page of this website, for example, talk to friends and see what they think and see what they know.
b. Form a discussion group. You may want to start a discussion group as a first step to formulating local action, possibly to discuss books such as: Medea Benjamin’s “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control” or Jeremy Scahill’s “Dirty Wars”. The latter is 421 pages, but it is not a burden to read, and the book reveals deadly, dangerous patterns of behavior and policies within the US government. Another important book is Daniel J. Solove's "Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security".
c. Find groups in your area working on drone and privacy issues. You should be aware that there are hundreds of people across the United States working on drone and electronic surveillance issues.
Many individuals and groups in this campaign are part of the Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare (NSDSW) http://nodronesnetwork.blogspot.com. That blogpage provides a link through which you can become a member of the network and shows some of the counter-drone actions that have been organized in the last year.
The blog page also provides a state-by-state listing of organizers and actions that may also help in finding a group. http://nodronesnetwork.blogspot.com/2012/08/no-drones-groups-nationwide-state-by.html
It is important to note that there are an increasing number of people who are undertaking civil resistance to address the growing US drone program, primarily through obstruction of roadways at drone bases or attempting to enter drone bases. The Nuclear Resister newsletter provides inspiring coverage and documentations of arrests related to drones as well as nuclear weapons. http://www.nukeresister.org/
To all who are working to end drone war, drone assassination and drone surveillance, please list here your protests, educational events, art displays, performance AND other witnesses.
The bulletin board is originated by the Network for Stopping Drone Spying and Warfare and is provided through the courtesy of World Can't Wait and KnowDrones.
Federal law encourages the wholesale introduction of drones of all sizes into US airspace by September 2015, with no restriction on surveillance or weapons that these aircraft can carry.
The video does not mention this, but police drones can be armed with 12-guage shotguns. In addition, military drones, capable of carrying larger weapons, will also be flying in US airspace unless current government plans are reversed.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has acknowledged that it uses drones for surveillance in the US, and the Department of Homeland Security is encouraging local police forces to buy drones. Drones are being used on the border between Mexico and the United States.
All this is happening in spite of the fact that there is no central federal authority to oversee drone privacy issues and the knowledge held within the government of the massive intrusiveness of drone surveillance technology, as noted in a Library of Congress report released in 2012: “The sophistication of drones…has the ability to break down any practical privacy safeguard.”
In response, communities and states are passing laws to ban or limit drone surveillance and weapons-carrying. The first city to do so was Charlottesville, Virginia. ("City in Virginia Becomes First To Pass Anti-Drone Legislation") Some states have also moved to drone use.
However, it is important to note that a concern with much of this legislation is that it permits drone surveillance if a judge issues a warrant without addressing the technological reality to constant drone watching of an individual will almost certainly violate the rights of the people that person comes in contact with throughout a day, or week or longer of surveillance.
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) has drafted two sets of model ordinances that local organizers can use to address drone issues and the group will provide advise. This BORDC newsletter entry provides more background and links to the model legislation. http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2013/04/
The Rutherford Institute also provides model drone legislation and participated in winning passage of the Charlottesville law.
Introducing this kind of legislation in your community is critical right now to protect privacy and to prevent the expansion of police action based on racial and ethnic profiling that can come to communities of color through used of drones.