Small Group Protests NPS Drone Research
March 5, 2013
(Photo: Nina Beety of Monterey protests drones)
A national debate over the military’s use of drones has found a small voice in Monterey.
A group of four people staged a protest against drone warfare at the corner of Madison and Pacific Streets in Monterey this afternoon, with at least one protester planning to speak out at a public meeting tonight.
Nina Beety, an outspoken Monterey resident who organized the protest, said she became concerned when she saw a recent news article about the Naval Postgraduate School’s funding of drone research.
“This is not something I want to see in Monterey or anywhere in the U.S.,” said Beety, who planned to raise objections at this evening’s Monterey city council meeting.
U.S. drone strikes have been widely scrutinized, in part because of civilian deaths associated with the attacks.
Most nations have given Washington at least tacit agreement to use the technology in war, according to The Associated Press.
Beety acknowledged the potential benefits of drone technology, but said she didn't think that's where the country is headed.
The NPS website’s “Unmanned Aerial Systems” page says drones have been used to document hot spots in fires, as well as to observe and record wildlife and people undetected.
At the protest, Rich Meech, 51, held a sign that said: “Drones: All the Fun of Killing With None of the Guilt.”
Meech worried that drone technology—including surveillance—could eventually be used against Americans.
One congressman recently asked whether a drone strike could ever be ordered on U.S. soil, according to a CNN report. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t entirely ruling out the possibility, but said he could only see it being considered in an exceptional situation, CNN reported.
“Me standing out here with a sign probably won’t make any difference,” Meech said. “But I sort of feel like I have to.”