Join us for War at Home, War Abroad: Militarization and Surveillance

Teargas, tanks, rifles, rubber bullets. Weapons of war were out in force in Ferguson, Missouri used by police against peaceful protestors. The scene in Ferguson was created by an increasing trend towards militarization by local police forces. In our panel, … Continue reading

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Vote Yes on Amendment 9

Yes on 9Drone Free St. Louis endorses a Yes vote on Constitutional Amendment 9. The amendment would add language to Section 15 Article I of the Missouri Constitution. The Constitution currently prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures of “persons, papers, homes and effects”; Amendment 9 would expand this protection to also include “electronic communications and data.” This amendment is important in preserving the privacy rights of all Missourians and ensures that a police warrant must be obtained before a person’s electronic communications are seized.

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Vote No on 7

No on 7Drone Free St. Louis endorses a No vote on Constitutional Amendment 7. The amendment imposes a regressive ¾ of one percent sales tax to fund transportation in the State of Missouri. Included in the list of projects that it would fund is $4 million for the “Real Time Transportation Center” to be installed in the new St. Louis Police Department headquarters. This is just another name for the Real Time Intelligence Center (RTIC), which would be a hub for surveillance camera monitoring the city. Drone Free St. Louis opposes mass surveillance of citizens going about their everyday lives. The RTIC will only serve to invade privacy, limiting our free speech and rights of association. We feel strongly that a public discussion needs to be held on the merits of a RTIC with input from the citizens of St. Louis before any such drastic change in policing policy is made.

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victoryIN THE FIRST STAGE, WE’VE PRESERVED THE SEPARATION OF RTIC AS AS ITS OWN BALLOT QUESTION!

Here’s an update on Wednesday’s Ways and Means Committee Hearing. It started with the announcement of a compromise–the mayor and comptroller were willing to allow the real time Intelligence center to be its own question. In exchange, Lewis Reed made some concessions. The list of projects would be less detailed and more flexible, and the $10 million for home repair was eliminated.

Lyda Krewson offered an amendment to fold the RTIC back into the overall proposal. It was defeated with a 5-4 vote. Here’s how it broke down: NO–Kennedy, French, Moore, Carter, Reed YES: Krewson, Florida, Baringer, Williamson

In the process, three committee members stated they could not support the bond issue at all if the RTIC did not remain a separate question. Hats off to Alders Kennedy and French and President Reed!

We need to maintain this victory when the bill comes to the floor of the full Board Friday. That meeting begins at 10 am, and a show of support would be great. Come down, if you can!

Our victory hangs in the balance. The compromise with the mayor and comptroller was breached when $ were restored to the home repair program. The mayor has promised to fight the bill in its current form.