United for Justice with Peace (Boston) is a founding member of the Eastern Massachusetts Anti-Drones Network, which is an affiliate of the national network. The US government’s use of drones is a key tactic in the new strategy of covert, hi-tech war abroad and accompanying repression of protest and resistance at home. The anti-drones campaign will oppose killer drones, spy drones and support strict regulation of legal drones. On April 13 the network sponsored a protest rally and march in downtown Boston and is actively organizing to send a contingent to the Syracuse conference later in the month.
The campaign will employ a variety of methods. Education is key as many activists are just getting up to speed on this rapidly expanding war and surveillance technology which the public knows little about. UJP over the last year has helped organize or support three educationals on drones which have been well attended. The latest one featuring a presentation by Medea Benjamin sparked much interest in the new anti-drones network.
A task force will research the involvement by Massachusetts companies and universities in development of this technology including autonomous drones or robot killers.
The network is gearing up to support ACLU backed legislation in the Massachusetts State House to regulate legal drones. Activists are asking candidates for election their position on drones issues. Many different people have questions about drones ranging from the basic horror of killing by remote control without any due process, to civil liberties and privacy issues. Since use of drones is a rapidly expanding as a favorite tactic of the warmakers abroad and at home, the Eastern Massachusetts Anti-Drones Network foresees a long campaign to contain and check this technology, a key part the strategy of war in the twenty-first century.
by Duncan McFarland