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Activists to protest start of drone controls at Niagara Falls

TOWN OF NIAGARA – No Drones Niagara, a group opposing drone flight controlling at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, announced Thursday it will hold a protest outside the base’s main gate on Lockport Road from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

That’s the day personnel at the Niagara Falls base will begin flying military drones via remote control. Leaders of the Niagara Military Affairs Council, which lobbies to expand the base’s mission and prevent its closure, have said they want actual drones based at Niagara.

The peace group says the U.S. military is using unmanned aircraft to carry out “extrajudicial executions, a mission synonymous with war crimes.”

The gathering will feature protesters Russell Brown and Bonny Mahoney, who were arrested last year outside Hancock Air Force Base in Syracuse, where drones are based. Also, Charley Bowman, chairman of the Renewable Energy Task Force of the Western New York Peace Center, will propose turning the Niagara Falls base into a gigantic solar energy farm.