VICTORY: No Military Drone Testing in Portland!

City of Portland & Port of Portland

Pdxdrone-tw

UPDATE: The Port of Portland listened to community members and cancelled their plans to construct this facility in North Portland! Read more about it here: https://fightfortheftr.medium.com/north-portland-drone-testing-facility-cancelled-neighbors-river-advocates-focus-on-next-steps-240ec5d3a8bc

Verizon wants to bring a drone testing facility to North Portland, near Cathedral Park. They don't think there is any problem with testing drones up and down the Willamette because, as they told neighbors, "no one uses the river anyway."

After a summer when racial justice protesters were surveilled by military drones, a coalition of community groups has come together to resist this plan—which would include testing of technology that could be used by the Department of Defense in their surveillance drone program. We are here to tell Verizon, the Port of Portland, and Verizon's lobbyists at Strategies360 (including the husband of Port of Portland Community Engagement Manager Elizabeth Kennedy-Wong) that this misuse of land, threat to wildlife, and impact on North Portland neighborhoods is absolutely unacceptable. The potential for this drone technology to negatively impact human rights both at home and internationally is another major reason to oppose this facility.

We need your help:

1. Sign the petition here.

2. Spread the word with our graphic—get friends and family to sign on, too.

3. Join us on Sunday, November 1 at 12 pm for a rally and flotilla at the Cathedral Park Boat Launch to show that WE use the river, and Verizon's creepy drones aren't welcome in Portland! If you have a boat, raft, canoe, or kayak you are welcome to join the Halloween flotilla. Masks and distancing required. RSVP + invite friends.

4. Stay tuned for emails from us for more information on how to resist this horrible plan. You can also check back here. This page will be updated.

PETITION TEXT

I will not put up with another burden for North Portland after decades of exposure to disproportionate environmental and health burdens in the land, air, and water. I refuse to accept the Port's T-4 proposal to lease their property to Verizon for the development of a regional drone facility.  

I demand:

(1) The Port of Portland must make a public statement confirming they will not sign any lease for this facility

(2) The City of Portland must publicly confirm they will deny permits for the construction of such a facility.

(3) Verizon should divest from surveillance technology and its development.

The Port is not being transparent about Verizon's plans for drone flight patterns, noise level, frequency of drone activity, and environmental or health risks. What are the long-term plans for drone use? How can we be sure there will not be heightened surveillance of residents using new drone technology?

The Port historically has refused accountability of corporations bad practices leasing Port properties. They will likely do the same if a drone disaster were to happen on this site if Verizon, a fortune 500 company, crashed a large drone into people or birds of prey in Cathedral Park or along the Willamette River. This site is right along the river.

No adequate controls currently exist for curbing abuses of the use of drones. ACLU's report states, "Routine aerial surveillance in American life would profoundly change the character of public life in the United States. Rules must be put in place to ensure that we can enjoy the benefits of this new technology without bringing us closer to a “surveillance society” in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities."

As Portland's own Dr. Markisha Smith, Director of the Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights recently said: “Being Antiracist means that understanding through the use of root cause analysis that the history of surveillance in this country is rooted in slavery.”

The City should be approving only river dependent uses along the river. The Port, as a public agency, should be working with the community and Tribes to set high environmental and social standards when leasing and determining future uses of this land; After all, these are the occupied lands of the Clackamas Chinook, Willamette Tumwater, Wasco-Wishram, Watlata, Multnomah, and other Chinookan Peoples, as well as the Tualatin Kalapuya, Cayuse, Mollala, and other tribes and bands of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. It is a very historically significant site - a village site of the Chinook known as Gahlawkshin.  It is also the first known place that a person of African descent landed on these shores.  

Sponsored by

To: City of Portland & Port of Portland
From: [Your Name]

I will not put up with another burden for North Portland after decades of exposure to disproportionate environmental and health burdens in the land, air, and water. I refuse to accept the Port's T-4 proposal to lease their property to Verizon for the development of a regional drone facility.

I demand:

(1) The Port of Portland must make a public statement confirming they will not sign any lease for this facility

(2) The City of Portland must publicly confirm they will deny permits for the construction of such a facility.

(3) Verizon should divest from surveillance technology and its development.

The Port is not being transparent about Verizon's plans for drone flight patterns, noise level, frequency of drone activity, and environmental or health risks. What are the long-term plans for drone use? How can we be sure there will not be heightened surveillance of residents using new drone technology?

The Port historically has refused accountability of corporations bad practices leasing Port properties. They will likely do the same if a drone disaster were to happen on this site if Verizon, a fortune 500 company, crashed a large drone into people or birds of prey in Cathedral Park or along the Willamette River. This site is right along the river.

No adequate controls currently exist for curbing abuses of the use of drones. ACLU's report states, "Routine aerial surveillance in American life would profoundly change the character of public life in the United States. Rules must be put in place to ensure that we can enjoy the benefits of this new technology without bringing us closer to a “surveillance society” in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities."

As Portland's own Dr. Markisha Smith, Director of the Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights recently said: “Being Anti-Racist means that understanding through the use of root cause analysis that the history of surveillance in this country is rooted in slavery.”

The City should be approving only river dependent uses along the river. The Port, as a public agency, should be working with the community and Tribes to set high environmental and social standards when leasing and determining future uses of this land; After all, these are the occupied lands of the Clackamas Chinook, Willamette Tumwater, Wasco-Wishram, Watlata, Multnomah, and other Chinookan Peoples, as well as the Tualatin Kalapuya, Cayuse, Mollala, and other tribes and bands of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. It is a very historically significant site - a village site of the Chinook known as Gahlawkshin. It is also the first known place that a person of African descent landed on these shores.