Actions that You Can Take Right Now
This petition is at the heart of our campaign as we move forward. It is designed to educate, to inform, and to make demands consistent with the realities of weaponized drone use.
Yes, it is a little long. It is written to United Nations Officials and and government officials around the world. We are seeking a resolution banning the use and proliferation of weaponized drones and the language of the petition reflects the formalities of U.N. resolutions and government Documents.
Please take the time to read and sign this important document so that we can begin a movement that will lead to a Ban on the use and proliferation of weaponized drones with clearly defined terms and conditions. You can also Sign this Roots Action petition calling for an international treaty banning weaponized drones.
(2) Support Drone Whistleblowers!
Daniel Hale is currently serving time in a CMU (Communications Management Unit) of a Federal Prison.
And one or both of these petitions in support of drone war whistleblower Daniel Hale.
(3) Letter Writing
Lettering-writing to achieve political goals might seem a relatively weak action, but mass letter-writing was key to achieving the Mine Treaty, signed in 1997. Here is a letter-writing guide produced by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. http://www.icbl.org/en-gb/resources/campaigning-tools/lobbying-letters.aspx
Personal hand-written letters are particularly notable in our historic moment because they are so rare, as discussed in this encouraging Folding Ideas video:
Here are samples of letters that you may want to write to your local and national representatives.
1. Writing to express concern about: Local Police Use of Drones – Your municipality, county, state officials
Dear: Mayor/City Council Person/County Executive/ State Legislator/Governor
I am writing to inquire whether the (municipality/county/state) police use drones and, if so, I would appreciate it if you might send me a copy of the legislation that authorizes this use and any written policies that may further govern police drone use and the handling of any information gathered by drones.
Also, if the police under your control use drones, would you let me know how many they have, and the make and specific capabilities of each.
As you may know, there has been a dramatic increase across the world in police use of drones for surveillance, as distinct from other uses, such as looking for lost people, and I am extremely concerned about issues of privacy, wrongful identification, fear, and suppression of thought and expression that are associated with police use of drone surveillance. Indeed, I feel that police should not be using drones for surveillance of any kind.
Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Email address (optional)
Once you have been sent the legislation and policy governing police use of drones, we can help you analyze what you have received and assist you in writing a response.
Please let us know when you send these letters, the response that you receive and what action you want to pursue, if any.
2. Writing to: National Legislators, other elected Officials
Here is a sample of a letter that you might write to a representative of your national legislative body whom you think is likely to be most sympathetic to a request to endorse a global ban on weaponized drones and military and police drone surveillance and to your representative, regardless of how sympathetic you think that they might be.
The following sample letter is to U.S. Congressional Representative Ihan Omar, of Minnesota, who has spoken against U.S. drone attacks in Somalia, the nation of her birth.
Dear Congresswoman Omar:
Although I am not a constituent of yours, I am extremely concerned about the continuing determination of our federal government to pursue its drone war policy and to sell weaponized and surveillance drones to other nations. Because of my concern I have been very grateful to you for speaking against U.S. drone attacks in Somalia and for asking for an accounting of drone war casualties by the Pentagon.
At the same time, I have come to believe that weaponized drones must be banned altogether because, among other things, of the unacceptable harm they do to civilians through direct attack and through causing widespread trauma in communities already upset by drone use and uncertain about when a drone may attack again. In addition, military and police drone surveillance is a weapon, in and of itself, that is highly repressive, and must be banned as well.
For documentation supporting a global ban on weaponized drones and military and police drone surveillance, please read Ban Killer Drones, which was launched on April 9, 2021.
Would you agree to endorse the BanKillerDrones campaign and at some point offer a House resolution calling for the U.S. to support this campaign?
Thank you very much for considering this,
Email address (optional)
(5) Stay in the Loop
Send your email address to us so that you can be informed about up-coming events and actions, such as webinars and letter-writing, in which you can participate. Also check #BanKillerDrones on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Our email address is
(6) Join Us, Share your Ideas
Please send us your ideas of things we can all do to achieve our goal of an international treaty to ban weaponized drones and military and police drone surveillance. For example:
- Webinars in communities around the world in which there are drone control bases.
- Letter-writing campaigns and lobbying heads of state, members of parliaments and civic organizations urging their endorsement of the ban.
- Protests at drone control bases, ministries of defense and corporate gatherings or offices of drone producers.
- Outreach to entertainers and artists to support the ban.
- Assist families and others affected by drone attack zones to get their message out and achieve reparations.
- And, please help us keep up with reports of your activities, future drone protests, locations, times and contact information.
Also, please check out: The Nuclear Resister (http://www.nukeresister.org/) networking the anti-nuclear and anti-war resistance movement while acting as a clearinghouse information about contemporary nonviolent resistance to war and the nuclear threat.
“These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every person of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits their convictions, but we must all protest.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. “Beyond Vietnam” April 4, 1967
(7) Last but not least, You can hit the streets!
Here is a brief History of Drone Protest in the U.S.
In the spring of 2009, in the first months of the Obama administration, on the invitation of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and the Nevada Desert Experience, a small group of activists gathered in the desert outside the gates of Creech Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, Nevada, to reflect on how U.S. military and CIA drones, long in use for surveillance, were then being armed and employed as weapons of assassination.
At the time, Creech was one of only a few bases from which the U.S. Air Force operated the Predator drone and, as was later discovered, was also headquarters for the CIA’s covert drone operations.
After ten days of discussion, study, prayer, daily vigils and informal dialog with airmen they met, 14 of the activists entered the main gate of the base on April 9, carrying white roses (in honor of the White Rose movement of Germany, the small band of students who were executed for leafleting and speaking out against the Nazis), along with bread and water to offer both drone operators and other military people.
Although the protest vigil had been going on for days, and no secret was made of the protestors’ intentions, military police and private security guards were caught by surprise.
The protesters were allowed to walk freely onto the base, but when it became apparent who they were, they were prevented from going to drone control trailers to talk to drone operators, as they had hoped to do. Instead, they sat in the driveway inside the gate. There, while they were held at gunpoint sitting in the roadway, traffic was diverted to another gate; members of the local, state and military law enforcement groups decided what to do with them.
Since then, there have been more than 120 nonviolent direct-action anti-killer drone protests at corporate and government offices, and drone bases. These non-violent civil disobedience actions, and others at related venues in both the U.S. and abroad, have resulted in about 750 arrests.
Nonviolent direct actions are an integral part of any movement for social change, but they are never the only action needed. To affect the “radical revolution of values” that Dr. King believed is necessary to conquer “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism,” there must be protests that are sensitive to the local conditions in which they occur.
Since 2009, activists around the world have been working with imagination and energy to end killing and surveillance by both police and military drones. Many protests have resulted in arrests, but there have been many others with no arrests. Some of the protests at drone bases have been in the midst of sustained witnesses outside the gates for many days running. Other protests had many people walk miles in their local communities to bring attention to the killer drone crimes committed in their midst.
Some activists have traveled to places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza, Lebanon, to connect with people who are suffering under drone surveillance and attacks. Some have fasted, privately and publicly. There have been many meetings with lawmakers, protests at the factories and offices of the drone war profiteers, divestment campaigns, letters and articles written, hours spent talking to friends, coworkers and family.
This website, offers statistics and stories of many of these actions, and those planned for the future, to encourage people to join them, emulate them, or develop their own ideas.
Direct Actions and Arrests
Since 2009, there have been more than 700 arrests of anti-drone activists at more than 200 protest actions in the U.S. and abroad, as shown in this spreadsheet that lists, year-by-year, anti-drone actions in which there have been arrests Anti-Drone-Protests Download, compiled from online and print editions of The Nuclear Resister, which networks the anti-nuclear and anti-war resistance movement while acting as a clearinghouse for information about contemporary nonviolent resistance to war and the nuclear threat.
In addition, there have been hundreds of other protests and vigils in which there have been no arrests, such as the weekly “Street Heat” vigils held at the gate of the Hancock Field Air National Guard drone control center outside Syracuse, NY, by Upstate Drone Action, and the protests that have been held monthly, except in winter, by the Brandywine Peace Community in Philadelphia, PA and the Mennonite community from the Lancaster, PA area, at the gate of the Horsham, PA Air National Guard drone control center.
We are the “Enforcement Mechanism”
On November 5, 2011, former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark was permitted to testify on international law on behalf of 31 activists who had been arrested for trespass at Hancock Airfield in Syracuse, New York the prior spring.
Judge Gideon, after listening to Mr. Clark speak of the Nuremberg Principles and other laws as they apply to drone warfare at length, leaned over the bench and asked him,
“This is all interesting, but what is the enforcement mechanism? Who is responsible for enforcing international law?”
“They are,” responded Mr. Clark, pointing to the 31 defendants, “and so“, he said to Judge Gideon, “are you!”
People still picket the front gate of the base twice a week and also organize special actions there. Hancock Base and Judge Gideon continue to be faced with civilians ready to pay a price to enforce international law.
For there to be an international law banning the use of weaponized drones, and banning both military and police drone surveillance, the work of lawmakers, diplomats, attorneys, judges and executives in the various nations and the U.N. will need to be stimulated by the work of grassroots activists. When there is such an international ban, unless there is sustained public pressure, it will have little effect.