Drones are being used as weapons of terror and oppression throughout the world. Not only do they make it possible for the United States to colonize and occupy other countries, but police departments in the US have access to surveillance and weaponized drones to target civilians. As the technology evolves, drones have the potential to lead to greater wars, including a war between major powers. To prevent this dystopian future, anti-drone activists are organizing an international campaign to ban drones. Clearing the FOG speaks with Nick Mottern, one of the founders of the Ban Killer Drones campaign, about the impact of drones on communities and the work to end them.
Nick Mottern became aware of drone warfare in 2010 and has been actively working to end drone attacks and drone surveillance since then through: creation of Knowdrones.com; speaking tours in 2012 and 2013; creation of 1/5 scale models of the MQ-9 Reaper drone for use in protests around the U.S.; and publication of the Drone Organizers Bulletin, a newsletter for anti-drone war organizers. He has had experience in countries colonized by Western powers, first as a member of the U.S. Navy assigned in 1962 to what was then called Saigon, South Viet Nam, and then while working for Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in visits to Sudan, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. While with Maryknoll, he organized, with Jerry Herman of the American Friends Service Committee, speaking tours in the U.S. opposing apartheid and U.S. military involvement in Africa that included Africans who came to the U.S. expressly for these tours. He is a graduate of Wabash College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has also worked for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs and the anti-hunger lobbying organization Bread for the World.