Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Coalition Launches Drone Free St. Louis Campaign to STOP Police Acquisition of Drones

Drone Free St. Louis is a coalition of groups and individuals who resist the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, by the St. Louis Police Department. The coalition formed after Police Chief Sam Dotson announced last June that the St. Louis Police Department was applying for FAA permission to purchase a drone. This sentiment was repeated again in October when Chief Dotson joined the Holden policy Forum at Webster University as the special guest fielding questions about the program.
Police chief Sam Dotson, who is advocating for drone surveillance by the St. Louis PD

Drone Free St. Louis is launching today to coincide with a national day of protest call "The Day We Fight Back." The national effort aims to end mass surveillance.

Drone Free St. Louis seeks to ensure that people are protected from the privacy abuses that may result from government or private use of drones.

DroneFreeStL wants to promote individual and collective freedom by:

-Stopping the advent of a new era of mass surveillance, which threatens to monitor behavior 24/7 and thereby limit free thought and expression
-Opposing the militarization of the police and the city's part in furthering the military-industrial complex.
-Ensuring that the St. Louis Police Department and the city of St. Louis allocate resources to improve lives, especially for underserved populations, rather than for technology that will most likely be used against those communities.
-Guarantee that there be adequate privacy and safety regulations in place, if such regulation are indeed possible, before consideration of any domestic use of drones for non-policing purposes.
The Draganflyer, a drone already in use for surveillance by PDs elsewhere in the country.
Drone Free St. Louis has created a website with relevant and up-to-date information regarding police usage of drones and a FAQ.

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