Protesters oppose suggested drone mission at Falls air base

Aug 2, 2013

A protest against the military use of drones was held Friday at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Local residents formed 'No Drones Niagara' after elected leaders started pushing the Pentagon to give the base a drone mission to protect jobs.

Credit File photo

Victoria Ross says protesters are trying to build public awareness of the "menace" of the drones. Ross says operators of unmanned aerial vehicles suffer more Post-Traumatic Stress than boots on the ground.

"People get PTSD at a higher rate when they're going home to their families after they've been involved in drone surveillance and extrajudicial assassination," Ross says.

Ross says a better use of the Niagara Falls Air Base would be converting it into a solar energy farm, as proposed by the Western New York Peace Center.

She says maintaining the solar panels and electronics required to run the system would create "peaceful jobs."

"It's a very serious proposal. It's a very excellent proposal. It is a proposal for life-sustaining work, not for wreaking death and destruction or the surveillance state, the 'Big Brother' state, that is the direction we seem to be going," Ross says.

The protest is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. outside the base entrance on Lockport Road.