Woodstock Votes to Ban Surveillance Drones

We’re super psyched to hear that Woodstock, NY has become the first town in the Hudson Valley to ban surveillance drones! This work was done completely independent of Drone Alert and represents the growing resistance to drones both internationally and in our very communities. Below is a copy of the act passed by the Woodstock Town Board: 

Desire Town of Woodstock to be a “No Drone Zone”

Offered by Councilman Wenk, seconded by Councilman McKenna:

Whereas, the use of drones by the United States military provides a dangerous precedent for their domestic use; and

Whereas, the rapid development of drone technology throughout the United States poses a threat to the privacy and Constitutional rights of the American people, including the residents of Woodstock; and

Whereas, the Federal Government and the State of New York have failed to provide reasonable legal restrictions on the use of drones within the United States; and

Whereas, drones can be used to film individuals or groups around the clock, in public spaces or through the windows of private homes, and to continuously monitor cell-phone and text messaging; and

Whereas, Police departments throughout the country have begun implementing Drone technology absent any guidance from law-makers; and

Whereas, Vanguard Defense Industries has confirmed that its Shadow Hawk Drone, which is already being sold to law enforcement agencies throughout the country, will be outfitted with weapons, including a Grenade launcher, or Tear gas and rubber buckshot, thus sending a clear and chilling message to those attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights by taking to the streets to protest government policies; now thereforebe it Resolved, that the Town Board of the Town of Woodstock New York,

·      Desires Woodstock to be a “No Drone Zone;”

·      Strongly warn that the unrestricted, unregulated use of drones is a serious threat to the Constitutional rights of all Americans;

·      Call upon the United States Congress and the New York State legislature to recognize the extreme danger and urgency of the issue, and to adopt legislation that would prohibit the use of drones for domestic surveillance and law enforcement purposes;

·      Call upon the United States Congress and the New York State legislature to adopt legislation that would strictly prohibit the domestic use of drones equipped with anti-personnel devices, meaning any projectile, chemical, electrical, directed-energy (visible or invisible), or other device designed to intimidate, harm, incapacitate, or otherwise negatively impact human beings;

·      Call upon the United States Congress and the New York State legislature to adopt legislation to prohibit information obtained by drones to be used as evidence in Federal or State judicial proceedings; and

be it further Resolved, this resolution does not apply to hobbyists that fly remote controlled model aircraft, away from areas where they could harm people, as long as those devices are not equipped to monitor any person or residence; and

be it further Resolved, that the Town Board authorize the Town Clerk to forward a certified copy of this resolution to Ulster County Executive, State and Federal representatives, to the Governor of New York State, and to the President of the United States.

All voted 4-1-0:

Supervisor Wilber – aye
Councilwoman Magarelli – aye
Councilman Wenk – aye
Councilman McKenna – aye
Councilman Panza – abstained

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Framing the Drone Issue

by Barbara Kidney, a founder of Drone Alert Hudson Valley

Jeffrey Smith, anti-GMO activist and author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette, has framed anti-GMO activism as an unique and extremely important opportunity to save nature and biological life. Never before, he posits, have humans had the opportunity to do this, because never before has the technology to destroy genetic integrity existed.

The issue of predator and surveillance drones can be framed in a similar perspective. Never before has there been such a threat to privacy and safety— to the basic unalienable rights of humankind. By taking a position against the use of predator and surveillance (spying) drones, we take a stand for respecting unalienable human rights and against the use of violence for settling (or causing) disputes and for grabbing resources of other political entities (theft).

The specific issues of GMO’s, predator & surveillance drones, and others (fracking, nuclear energy, massive swindling by financiers, etc) can be seen as specific symptoms of the more fundamental problem of sociopathic plutocracy. Sociopolitical systems have been & continue to reward sociopathy, narcissism, and money hoarding, resulting in a situation in which most decision-making power is given to uncaring, extremely greedy, narcissistic people devoid of ethics.

If this trend continues (in which extremely foolish, self-centered, personality-disordered people) are given the most decision making power, obviously, our planet is doomed. On the other hand, if a quorum of sane and ethical people act against the dysfunctional, immoral sociopolitical system and act toward a functional, moral sociopolitical system, we can repair our planet and live in peace and justice. We who are sane, ethical, and assertive thus have an unparalleled opportunity to save humanity and, more importantly, the entire planet, from complete devastation.