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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2 thoughts on “Woodstock Votes to Ban Surveillance Drones

  1. Thanks for the post, Laurie! I agree that the resolution would be “worse than an empty gesture” if Rotron doesn’t stop manufacturing parts for drones. After all, the current legislation only bans the hypothetical future use of drones for surveillance purposes, whereas Rotron is supplying parts for the “death birds” that are murdering people on a regular basis right now. Drone Alert has been talking about mounting a campaign to put real pressure on Rotron, and we’d love to work with Woodstock Peace Economy toward that goal. As a first step, could we cross-post your article on this blog? Thanks, again!

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