Activists protest Battle Creek ANG base's new mission
Updated: Wednesday, April 24 2013, 08:43 PM EDT
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Battle Creek Air National Guard Base hasn't even started its new mission and already protestors are lining up to oppose it.
Wednesday around 20 activists stood at the base’s front gate to protest plans to fly unmanned drones there.
"I think since it is here, it is people's responsibility in Michigan to object to it," says protestor Benjamin Betula.
Protestors were from Battle Creek and Kalamazoo but were also joined by others from neighboring states.
"That's one of the most important things, educating people on what drones are, what they do and educating people about their rights and how wrong this drone program is," says protestor Autumn Smith.
Last month the base announced it would be flying the MQ-9 Reaper drone. The drones won’t take off and land in Battle Creek but would be piloted remotely from there.
Base spokesperson Captain Craig Warn gave us this statement,
"I want you to know that here at the 110th; we appreciate them exercising their freedom of speech...we along with others in the military, past and present, had or have the opportunity to support and defend these constitutional rights that they are exercising."
The base says the drone mission wouldn't start until 2016 at the earliest. The protestors said they hope that day never comes.
"It is making us less safe, when you kill people in other countries it makes them very angry and we are and will continue to experience blow back," says protestor JoAnne Lingle.
Anti-drone groups are planning several protests in April at locations that control them and at universities researching drone technology.