Westport, CT — America is currently in utter turmoil. After panic buying emptied shelves across the country, millions of unemployed people began spending their last dollar on food, hundreds of cities have been placed on lockdown, and cops are using Chinese-made patrol drones to monitor citizens 24-hours a day. In a matter of weeks, America has shifted from the land of the free to the land of the economic collapse and newly ushered in police state. The level of fear among the populace is at an all time high and the authoritarians are exploiting it. They are using America’s fear to give massive sums of money to special interests while fleecing the value of the dollar and ensuring lifetimes of debt for future generations. And, they are ushering in a police state, the likes of which we have never seen.
In a time when good news is sparse, any shred of it can be inspiring. Such is the case out of Wesport, Connecticut in which resistance to the police state has paid off. When the citizens of Westport expressed their anger to the city’s plan to use drone technology to spy on its citizens by making sure they are adhering to social distancing guidelines, two days later, the program was shut down.
In an announcement last week, the Westport police department announced the end of the program and even cited the concerned citizens as a factor in the decision.
Police Chief Foti Koskinas announced today that, after careful consideration and in collaboration with First Selectman Jim Marpe, the Westport Police Department has chosen not to participate in the Draganfly drone “Flatten the Curve Pilot Program.”
The Department’s recent announcement of its plan to partner and participate in a test of new drone technology has resulted in varied expressions of public concern and reservations. To those who have reached out directly to the police department, to the Selectman’s office or otherwise made public these questions or concerns, we sincerely thank you for your continued community engagement and seek to assure you that your voices have been heard.
Though the police department only claimed they would use them for monitoring crowds, as Reason.com points out, “these drones were much more intrusive than simply looking for crowds. Draganfly’s drone-mounted biometric monitoring tools are even more sinister, dystopian, and potentially abusive. The drone is able to quickly measure whether people are six feet apart from each other, and Draganfly claims it can also measure heart rate, body temperature, and other vital signs, which suggests that a drone might be able to spot potential infections from above.”
That’s right, these new drones have the capability to read biometric data of citizens without their consent.
In March, TFTP reported on the Orwellian police state that unfolded in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak. When Chinese citizens were allowed in the streets, drones equipped with facial recognition hover overhead to make sure they are wearing masks and took their temperature, just like the aforementioned drones. Citizens were forced to download software on their phones so the state can track them and all of it was being carried out for their own “safety.”
We accurately predicted that this madness was headed to the Land of the Free, and later that month, it was here.
Naturally, the citizens of Westport were a little concerned over having their city turned into a place like China. Connecticut resident and political activist — whose been the subject of multiple articles at TFTP — helped to foster this resistance.
“Using drones to surveil people will only breed mistrust, and it will only lead to people being unnecessarily harassed,” Picard told TFTP. “Pushing back against the police state not only works, it is necessary.”
We couldn’t agree more. Tyrants will always push for more control and the only limit to their increasing tyranny is the level at which we resist it.
“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
~ Frederick Douglass
Sadly, the resistance in other parts of the country is not enough.
As TFTP reported last month, the NYPD took to bragging about their drone program by posting videos of drones spying on citizens. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea posted a video to Twitter of some of the aerial footage over multiple locations throughout the city of New York, including Carl Schurz Park, Inwood Hill Park and Juniper Valley Park.
We’ve visited hundreds of restaurants, parks, & other spaces this week — by foot, by car, & by air. What we’ve seen so far…is nearly 💯% compliance.
NYers working together (from 6 feet apart) to help stem the spread of #COVID19.
Thanks, NYC — we’ll get through this together. pic.twitter.com/Xsu35HAn8W
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) March 26, 2020
Unfortunately, instead of calling them out, some folks took to the tweet thread to beg the commissioner to bring the drones to their neighborhood. “Come to Borough Park, my neighborhood. Not the case here!” one Twitter user wrote.
“Go to Grand concourse not the case there. Good job officers, keep on doing great things. Praying for all of you,” wrote another.
There were a few comments, however, who haven’t yet succumbed to being controlled by tyrants, who called it what it is “Dystopian af.”
“Is this a scene from Terminator?” and “1984 wasn’t an instruction manual.”
This drone dystopia came to a head earlier this month when video was published of a drone hovering above citizens, instructing them to obey social distancing.
“This is the Anti-COVID-19 volunteer drone task force,” the drone blares over loudspeakers as people walk and bike by. “Please maintain a social distance of at least six feet. Again, please maintain social distancing.”
Whether or not it was a government drone remains a mystery as the NYPD claimed they were not behind the drone. But the video was ominous enough to make a lasting impression.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 5, 2020
In California, cops are also spying on their citizens with similar technology. The drones came from China, on which the Free Thought Project reported in March. Just like the Chinese authorities, police in California equipped the drones with speakers to tell people what to do.
Cops across the country have been acquiring these drones — which were donated from China and were grounded by the Interior Department over spying concerns in January. Yet despite these legitimate concerns, departments from coast to coast are continuing to implement them to spy on citizens.
Some officials are even clearly aware that China could be using the information from these drones to spy on America, but continue their use anyway.
“If these drones save one life, it is clearly worth the activity and the information that the drones are sending,” Elizabeth, New Jersey mayor Chris Bollwage told MSNBC.
Hopefully, the resistance that was shown in Westport continues to spread across the country as more people learn that the only tool the state has to attempt to provide a facade of safety, is taking away your freedom through the threat of force. As we’ve seen countless times over, this never works out for the people.