DRONES are unmanned aircraft remotely controlled by US soldiers sitting at a computer console in Nevada or New York, that are used to spy on and/or kill people remotely in Pakistan, Yemen and many other countries.

The website pakistanbodycount.org estimates 103 drone strikes in Pakistan, between June 2004 to January 30, 2010, which resulted in 1065 civilian casualty deaths. The killing of civilians overseas by U.S. drones is causing huge suffering and creating great resentment toward the U.S. The money going to build and manning drones is better used at home toward services like education and healthcare.

In October of this year, 40 Americans, including four Oregonians, went on a peace delegation to Pakistan to learn more about the effects of drone strikes. We’ve invited them to report back about their trip at a Eugene event sometime in January.The U.S. Congress has mandated that US airspace be opened to drones by September, 2015. This raises serious concerns of the threat that drones present to both our privacy and our safety. In 2013, CALC plans to push our city Council to pass a resolution calling for Eugene to be a drone-free zone. We also plan to be asking the Eugene Police Department a series of questions about their possible use of drones.

CALC has raised the drone issue with Senators Wyden and Merkley and Rep. DeFazio. They share some of our concerns, especially regarding domestic privacy issues, but they need to take stronger positions against the use of drones in foreign countries. Please contact them and urge them to take a firm position against the use of drones.

Michael Carrigan,
CALC Community Organizer