Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FUND APPEAL: Help Support No Drones Illinois

No Drones Illinois recently acquired a drone replica from Know Drones in New York State. The replica is 8' long, has an 11' wingspan, and is displayed on a heavy-duty lifter that makes it widely visible.

We will be using the drone replica as part of our education and outreach campaign to raise public awareness of the menace of drones killings and drones surveillance. One major event was our effort at the Air & Water Show in Chicago, August 18 (see image above).

In support of these ongoing efforts, we are seeking 10 "founding coalition partners" to each contribute $50 toward defraying the first $500 of cost we incurred in procuring the model and transporting it to Chicago. (In fact, that only covers about half of the actual costs; Know Drones itself helps cover a portion of the cost through its own funding sources.) If your organization wants to support resistance to drones in Illinois, please email us at nodronesillinois [at] gmail.com.

THANKS! to Chicago World Can't Wait for becoming the first "founding coalition partner" with a $50 contribution toward the cost of the No Drones Illinois drone replica!

We're grateful to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) for becoming our second "founding coalition partner" with a $50 contribution!

THANK YOU "founding coalition partner" Pakistan Federation of America Chicago (USA) for your $50 contribution.

About a dozen drone replicas have been obtained by drones resistance groups throughout the country, including No Drones Wisconsin and antiwar groups in Indiana. Among the many reasons that the replicas are so important to our work are:
* The model attracts attention. It can be clearly seen -- especially when it is up on a lifter. It attracts curious people. Even at a crowded public event, people will be aware we are there and will come to talk to us.

* The model helps get a real conversation going. People of all different persuasions can get involved in the discussion. That makes for better interactions with members of the public.

* The drone arouses people's feelings. People begin to think about the significance of drones when they feel the model hovering over them. They can begin to get a sense of the size of the drones. They start to ponder the facelessness of the drone when they are looking at it and realize that there are no windows, that there is no on-board pilot. Most important, they get it into their heads that this problem is REAL, and they become unable to shake that thought.
We're grateful to Know Drones, and to everyone who has been contributing to make the resistance to drones a success.

Support the efforts of the many people who are working to end the drones! (What are you prepared to do?)

Read more about our efforts at the 2012 Chicago Air & Water Show (shown above).

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Modest Proposal: Make Your Town or City a "No Drones Zone"

Earlier this spring, a drone was videotaped flying in Elgin. People in Peoria have sighted drones in the skies in the past few days. Will Chicago be "treated" to a drone flyover during the Air & Water Show?

Meanwhile, neighboring states brace themselves for the coming of drones. (Read more about the protests against drones testing in Wisconsin and Ohio activists' response to drone tests there.)

The time has come for Illinois towns and cities to draw a line in the sand and say no drones here! Below is a sample resolution supplied from Drones Watch.

City ordinances against drones, similar to the one below, are now under consideration in Berkeley, CA, Eugene, OR, and Binghamton, NY, and likely others. Isn't it time for Illinois towns and cities to stand up against the drone menace?

ORDINANCE of the City (Town, Village, County) of________________________________________

1. United States airspace is the busiest in the world, with up to 87,000 flights per day, including commercial airliners and freight haulers, air taxis and private and military aircraft.

2. Unmanned aerial vehicles (referred to in the remainder of this ordinance as drones) are not now allowed in United States general airspace because of the threat they present to other aircraft. Under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 the FAA is directed to create regulations that will enable drones to fly throughout US airspace by September 2015.

3. Small drones, 25 pounds or under, are now permitted to fly in general airspace below 400 feet for the use of police and first responders, with FAA permission.

4. Drones have limitations in “vision” compared to the vision of human pilots, do not have the same capability to avoid other aircraft as aircraft piloted by humans, and there has been at least one instance outside the United States of a drone collision with an aircraft with a human pilot on aboard and as well as a near miss. These instances occurred in airspace much less crowded than that of the United States.

5. Drones have at times gotten out of human control, in at least one instance having to be shot down, and drones are susceptible to having control seized electronically by unauthorized operators.

6. Drones have the capability of carrying a variety of weapons, including 12-gauge shotguns, tear gas, rubber bullet guns, bombs and missiles, but drones have significant limitations in identifying specific individuals and groups.

7. Unmanned aerial vehicles have the capability to watch individuals, groups and populations on a 24-hour basis, following and recording their movements for days and weeks in an unprecedented way.

8. Unmanned aerial vehicles have the capability to continuously monitor cellphone and text messaging of individuals, groups and populations.

9. Drones are being developed that will use computerized facial images to target individuals and, once launched, to operate, autonomously, without further human involvement, to locate and kill those individuals.

We find therefore that:

Drones present an unreasonable and unacceptable threat to public safety in the air and to persons and property on the ground in the City of________________________ due to limitations in drone “vision”, capability to avoid other aircraft and adequate control,


Armed drones and surveillance drones present an unreasonable and unacceptable threat to the rights of individual privacy, freedom of association and assembly, equal protection and judicial due process in the City of _______________________.


1. Drones are hereby banned from airspace over the City of__________, including drones in transit. Flying of a drone within the airspace of the City of_____________shall be considered a gross misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $5,000. More than one offense of flying a drone within said airspace will beconsidered felonies, with jail time and fines based on the number of violations. (Specificson misdemeanor and felony classifications and penalties will vary by locality.)

2. Drones will not be purchased, leased, borrowed, tested or otherwise used by any agency of the City of_____________________.