Activists Organize Nationwide Series of Drone Surveillance Protests

At least 49 protests are planned in 18 states and Washington, D.C.

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy assembles the SkySeer, an autonomous drone aircraft used for surveillance and reconnaissance.

Activists plan to protest against domestic drones, like this one belonging to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

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 A variety of activist groups are organizing a series of nationwide protests in April in an attempt to stop the integration of domestic drones into American airspace.

The protests will occur in at least 18 states at facilities that research drone technology, drone command centers, drone manufacturing plants, universities that have drone programs and the White House, according to Nick Mottern, founder of Known Drones, a website that tracks unmanned aircraft activity in the United States and abroad.

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Mottern says he started organizing these protests, which he's calling "April Days of Action" because citizens don't know the "scope of surveillance" that drones are capable of.

"People really don't want this constant surveillance," he says. "This is the first concerted nationwide effort in this area."

Protests associated with the movement are being organized by more than 15 anti-drone groups, including Codepink, Veterans for Peace, No Drones Network and the American Friends Service Committee. The groups will be protesting both domestic drone integration and targeted drone killings overseas.

The protests will vary depending on the location: At drone manufacturer offices and Air Force bases the organization is planning for "some civil disobedience," Mottern says. At universities, they are planning drone education seminars and outreach programs.

[READ: Police Blindsided By Public 'Panic' Over Drone Privacy]

In the past, several law enforcement agencies have expressed interest in using drones to monitor protesters—Mottern says "it's very possible" that police would want to use drones at some of the April Days of Action.

Though he's unsure how many people will show up to each event, he says since the series of protests was announced in early March, many groups have expressed interest in organizing an "April Day."

"People seem to be very eager to want to organize these events," he says. "I don't think we're going to have protests that have thousands and thousands of people at them, but we'll see what happens."

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