Town Hall On Drones: Informing Policy in Berkeley will be held Wednesday, May 1, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (in the Multi-Purpose Room of the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Avenue at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Berkeley)
On December 18, 2012, the Berkeley City Council reviewed a recommendation by the Berkeley Peace & Justice Commission entitled, “Resolution to Proclaim Berkeley A No Drone Zone and Enact an Ordinance to that Effect.” The Council referred the issue of a drone policy back to the Peace and Justice Commission and also to the Berkeley Police Review Commission and the Berkeley Disaster and Fire Safety Commission. The Council indicated that it will hold a Council workshop on drone policy after receiving further recommendations from these Commissions.
Image from a recent anti-drone demonstration in Sacramento
In the wake of the April Days of Action Against Drones, which saw anti-drone activism sprout up across the nation, The Town Hall on Drones will provide opportunities for individuals and organizations to address the Commissions and the public on various aspects of drone usage and the Commissions will have the opportunity to consider this information before making their final recommendations to the Council. The Town Hall will focus on (1) Technical Aspects and Limitations of Drones; (2) Public Safety (what might drones be good for?); (3) Civil Liberties Concerns; and (4) Moral and Political Consequences of Drones.
Berkeley could also be affected by any drones obtained and used as a result of Sheriff Gregory Ahern’s desire to acquire them for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. Activists have pointed out that there are safety, civil liberties, and privacy concerns and that drone technology is currently ahead of safeguards for the civil liberties of people they would affect. It is hoped that all perspectives on drones will be aired and shared at the Town Hall on Drones in order to better inform any local policy making on the issue.
Contact: Bob Meola, Chairperson, Peace and Justice Commission Subcommittee on Drones: