A report of the 2012 Know Drones Tour to Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia and suggestions for further action.
By Nick Mottern
October 20, 2012 www.knowdrones.com
This is a report about an educational expedition on US drone warfare and drone
surveillance that George Guerci and I undertook into parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and
Virginia in September and October 2012.
This was the final leg of the 2012 Know Drones Tour1, the purpose of which was to not
only to educate the public about drones but to learn what people are thinking politically
across the country and to explore ways of increasing peace activism.
We carried with us two, eight-foot-long replicas of the MQ-9 Reaper drone; the Reaper
is the workhorse of US global campaign of drone assassination and terror2. The replicas
were extremely valuable in emotionally engaging a public immersed in an America-First
culture, desperately trying to avoid the sadness of war and trying to survive economically
and emotionally amidst the wreckage of a manufacturing economy.
Our method was to talk to people for as long as they wanted, to be respectful and not
argumentative, and to explain what drones are, what they are doing and what they will be
able to do. We said that the drone is an extremely dangerous weapon in part because it
energizes fantasies of killing without consequences. We constantly had to respond to the
argument that drones are saving lives.
In our presentations and conversations, we provided the following information and
analysis, much of which may be familiar to you:
Drones, unmanned aircraft, have been used in various forms on a very limited
basis since the early 1900s. For instance, Joseph Kennedy, a brother of President
John Kennedy, died in World War II while flying a drone bomber that exploded
just as he was about to bail out and have control of his plane shifted to radio
control. At the beginning of the 21st Century advances in micro-technology and
satellite communication have enabled a dramatic expansion in the use of drones.
The US Air Force is now training more drone pilots than pilots for manned
aircraft; indeed there is a shortage of drone pilots. New drone control bases are
being opened in Nashville, Tennessee and at Fort Benning, Georgia, adding to
existing bases in the West and East.
1 For itinerary and other details on the Know Drones Tour see http://www.knowdrones.com
2 To date, 15 replicas have been built and distributed to local organizers in the U.S. and
four more are under construction to meet other requests.
Further information is at www.knowdrones.com as well as a video, Less Distance from War, that lays out in a simple direct way, fundamental concerns about drone war and surveillance.
Editor’s Note: This report is 62 pages long, with photos, and well-worth looking at.
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