Amherst Votes Against Drones

Amherst Says No to DronesThe Town Meeting of Amherst, Massachusetts, voted in favor of a two-part article to address the use of drones domestically and abroad. The first part, which affirmed the rights of residents over their property and pushed back at FAA control of municipal airspace, was passed after more than a half hour of debate. The second part, which called for an end to drones used in extrajudicial killings abroad, with an appeal to the town’s Congressional representatives.

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette (5/20/2014):

Frank Gatti of Precinct 8, the petitioner, said the article is a way to make sure town officials understand that residents want to protect constitutional rights. “It’s a statement from us about our concern,” Gatti said.

Isaac BenEzra of Precinct 8 said he worries about giving more control to government. “Do we need more vehicles to spy on Americans?” BenEzra said.

The second part of the article asks Amherst’s representatives at the federal level, including U.S. Rep. James McGovern and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, to introduce legislation to end the practice of using drones to kill people overseas.

Gatti said the point is to stop so-called extrajudicial killings that have occurred during the Obama administration.

This resolution addressing drones in Amherst follows the approval of a similar resolution in Leverett and Northampton, Massachusetts. Amherst’s resolution can be found here on the Amherst Town Meeting website.