Back in 1989 the Evanston City Council overwhelming voted to make our fair city a nuclear free zone, expressly banning " research, development and production of nuclear weapons in the city". (See footnote 1, below) The resolution resulted from a petition signed by 5,000 residents who feared that Northwestern University might devote resources to researching and developing nuclear weapons.
Today, Evanston has a similar oportunity and responsibility to take a stand on domestic use of drones by domestic law enforcement agencies. The American Civil Liberties Union warns us that:
"U.S. law enforcement is greatly expanding its use of domestic drones for surveillance. Routine aerial surveillance would profoundly change the character of public life in America. Rules must be put in place to ensure that we can enjoy the benefits of this new technology without bringing us closer to a “surveillance society” in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the government. Drone manufacturers are also considering offering police the option of arming these remote-controlled aircraft with (nonlethal for now) weapons like rubber bullets, Tasers, and tear gas." (See footnote 2, below)
The domestic use of drones "means that the police state is now officially here" writes Naomi Wolf in an article entitled "The Coming Drone War Attack On America" published in The Guardian. (See footnote 3, I urge you to read the whole article.)
This isn't just idle chatter. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is actively pursuing law enforcement use of drones. (See footnote 4, below). It was alarming to hear Dart on the WLS Roe Conn show laughing and joking about using drones throughout Cook County. It is clearly no laughing matter.
At least nine states are considering banning domestic drones and Charlottesville just past an anti-drone law. (See footnote 5, below). While these local acts might be symbolic - that's exactly what dumping tea in the Boston Harbor was.
Most of you should know the story of what happens when you drop a frog in cold water and then turn up the heat until it is boiing hot! The frog gets cooked because he doesn't notice the rising heat. Introducing domestic use of drones under the guise that it will help law enforcement catch the bad guys threaten to boil us alive.
So, are you going to be a frog that gets boiled, or are you going to jump out before it is too late? Would you sign a petition asking the Evanston City Council to declare our fair city a DFZ?
Let me know with your comments.