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What Happens When You Talk to the Public About Drones

By Nick Mottern

The purpose of the 2012 Know Drones Tour is to do sidewalk public education, working with other groups to help generate a citizens movement to stop US drone attacks and to stop further development and sale of killer drones and spy drones.

The first phase of the tour was conducted between April 12 and May 27, when the tour team visited the home districts of five members of Congress who are on the Congressional Unmanned Systems (Drone) Caucus.

Here are observations based on street corner conversations with hundreds of people over the last month and a half in Brooklyn, southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore and northern Maryland as well as at a national convention of the Islamic Circle of North America held in Hartford last weekend.

1. In spite of the increasing press coverage of drone warfare, and drones coming to
US airspace, most people with whom we spoke did not know in any meaningful
way what drones are or how they are being used. Most were surprised to learn
that the police can now use small drones, up to 25 pounds in weight, and that
drones of any size will be permitted in US airspace by September, 2015.

2. Most people were very appreciative of being provided with information.

3. Most people absolutely object to the idea of police or the military using drones to
monitor them, either by visual surveillance or through monitoring cell phone and
text messaging. It was through conversation about this that people came to more
fully sense how people overseas are reacting to drones and drone attacks. People
do not want to be watched from the sky nor do they want flying robots carrying
weapons. Most people think that drones of any kind in US airspace threatens
them as air passengers.

4. All African-Americans with whom we spoke are opposed to US drone warfare
and police use of drones in the United States. There is opposition to the drones
not only because of the killing - and killing exclusively people of color - and
further expansion of police power but because of the increasing billions going
into drone development instead of dealing with devastated educational and human
services systems.

5. Most people are offended when they find out that their member of Congress is
getting money from drone makers and readily sign post cards urging their member
to redirect their drone contributions to victims of drone attacks. At the same time,
many people do not know who represents them in Congress.

6. Most people have no meaningful knowledge about the places and the wars in
which the US is currently involved with drones – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen
and Somalia – or why the US is involved. Only a few had an awareness of the
role of resources – oil, minerals, agricultural products, labor – in these conflicts.

7. Peace/anti-war organizations have few active members and even fewer who are
interested in drones internationally or domestically. Most people who assisted
with the tour are working on multiple tasks involving local survival, such as stop
and frisk, police violence, fracking, coal-fired/gas-fired electric power generation
and toxic pollution of water. These are all national problems from which the
federal government has fled.

In southern New Jersey we were told that several people in the peace community
did not want to be associated with opposition to drones for fear of not getting or
losing work.

8. We are getting requests to go to additional places with the tour in 2012, and we
are getting requests to supply more people with drone replicas.

In Phase Two, the tour will visit:

June 16 – 17 - The Clearwater Festival, Croton Point Park, Croton on Hudson, NY.

July 2 – 4 – Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA.

July 12 – 18 – The Columbus – Dayton area in Ohio.

We will also be looking at the possibility of supplying drone replicas for use at the
presidential conventions in August and September.

Phase three of the tour will take us to southern California in October, and there are
requests for the tour to visit Virginia Beach, Virginia in October and possible western
Massachusetts in November.

Drone replicas have been requested by people in Indiana, Albany, NY, Hawaii, Oregon
and Wisconsin. We will be building five additional Reaper replicas in June and July,
2012 to meet these requests.



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Our deformed Human Nature, self imposed psychosis, enslavement is the product of a failed class history that limits our social potential , optimal Human Nature through class deformed hierarchies.    Patriarchy and class hierarchies corrupted, inverted, co opted social Human Nature to accept their downfall of social control, of wealth, of universal rights to totalitarian class elites.   They usurped, turned up side down our social Nature to limiting, totalitarian property relations, class relations, that always was a ZERO SUM GAME, giving social power to the ruling classes, which deformed our Human Nature. These parasitical ruling classes have enslaved humanity since the social historical mechanism of the Matriarchy  was corrupted, turned up side down into the Patriarchal class mechanism and theirefore the need to hide this slavery, enslavement with religious class myths to justify the end of the egalitarian Social Matriarchy, for the male and class domination over most of humanity.

Later secular class myths  were continued, linked to the existence, continutation of the class hierarchies and its Patriarchal class mechanism, thereby   turning up side down the social Enlightenment, turning  up side down Adam Smith and his social theories of wealth, for false claims to Free markets, defined as social markets.  Instead they were class deformed markets and totalitarian, parasitical class/property relations as they were in the revolt against Feudal class tyranny. So many deluded, psychotic, deformed social classes, become enslaved by their own willful ignorance, willful arrogance, that they become the shock troops for fascist Capitalism.   It did not matter if one called themselves liberal or conservative, their ideological degeneration, constant class compromises, Empire compromises resulted in fascist foreign policies that produce GLOBAL BLOW BACK, 9/11 counter terrorism. The YAHOOS, REDNECKS, AND SELF DELUDED DEMOCRATS BECOME, LIKE ALL DEGENERATING CLASS PARTIES, TOTALITARIAN THUGS, EMBRACING OBAMA'S, HILLARY'S FASCISM.   Helen Thomas , a real journalist would ask both conservative , liberal class thugs, AND  WHY 9/11 happened to us.  THIS IS  A QUESTION MOST AMERIKANS DID NOT WANT TO KNOW, EXCEPT TO CONTINUE THEIR FASCIST POLICIES.  LIBERALISM HAS DEGENERATED INTO FASCISM, AND WE NOW HAVE BI PARTISAN FASCISM:

What might cause another 9/11?

It is supporters of Obama's aggression, not its opponents, who are likely to provoke another terrorist attack


 "....I realize that screaming “9/11″ has been the trite tactic of choice for those seeking to justify the U.S. Government’s militarism over the last decade, but invoking that event strongly militates against the policies it’s invoked to justify, precisely because those policies are the principal cause of such attacks, for obvious reasons.

In fact, one need not “imagine” anything. One can simply look at the explanations given by virtually every captured individual accused of attempting serious Terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The Times Square bomber, the Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, said this:

As soon as he was taken into custody May 3 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, onboard a flight to Dubai, the Pakistani-born Shahzad told agents that he was motivated by opposition to U.S. policy in the Muslim world, officials said.

“One of the first things he said was, ‘How would you feel if people attacked the United States? You are attacking a sovereign Pakistan’,” said one law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the interrogation reports are not public. “In the first two hours, he was talking about his desire to strike a blow against the United States for the cause.”

When the federal judge who sentenced Shahzad asked with disgust how he could try to detonate bombs knowing that innocent children would die, he replied: “Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody.” Those statements are consistent with a decade’s worth of emails and other private communications from Shahzad, as he railed with increasing fury against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, drone attacks in Pakistan, Israeli violence against Palestinians and Muslims generally, Guantanamo and torture, and asked: “Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows?”..."


Supreme Court Rejects Gitmo Appeals, Spelling Potential End to Prisoners’ Legal Fight for Release (video)


"AMY GOODMAN: The Supreme Court rejecting the appeal, what does it mean for him? He just serves out his full term?

SHAYANA KADIDAL: Right. Well, this was a case about damages. It was really an attempt to hold accountable the officials in the White House and below who were responsible for his treatment. As far as his, you know, charges after being in this kind of isolation that had left him, you know, sort of like a piece of furniture, I believe as one of the experts said, he was criminally tried, convicted and given a very long sentence of 17 years, I believe. In his criminal case, a court of appeals actually threw that sentence back down to the district court, saying it wasn’t harsh enough.

AMY GOODMAN: And Bush administration officials, this ongoing issue of whether President Obama would agree to hold previous officials accountable?

SHAYANA KADIDAL: Right. Apparently President Obama is interested in looking forward and not backwards. You know, the one sort of silver liner in this is that the absolute unwillingness of the U.S. courts to hold Bush administration torturers responsible is grounds for jurisdiction for foreign courts, with universal jurisdiction laws, to hold Bush administration officials responsible, criminally liable, if they should ever be so foolish to travel to those countries.

AMY GOODMAN: Which is why some say Bush, for example, didn’t go to Switzerland—


AMY GOODMAN: —that he could be—highly unlikely, but arrested there.

SHAYANA KADIDAL: Right, prosecuted under their sort of universal jurisdiction law, essentially, you know, something akin to kind of this Nuremberg principle that certain sorts of crimes are so serious that they can be tried wherever the perpetrator is found, regardless of where the actual criminal acts took place....."




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