A protest against the use of drones was held Thursday afternoon outside of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett's Frederick Office.
A small group of people brought along a model of a drone airplane in hopes of meeting with Representative Bartlett. He was in Washington at that time, but one of his office staffers spoke with the demonstrators.
The protest was part of a number of activities in Frederick and Thurmont in opposition to the G8 Summit taking place on Friday and Saturday, May 18th and 19th at Camp David.
Chanting "Shame on Bartlett," the group demanded that he return campaign contributions totaling about $88,100 from drone makers and other related businesses.
"Congressman Bartlett, he sits on the drone committee in Washington, which consists of I believe 55 members, who support companies who make these drones to kill innocent civilians in Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc.," says Kwame Madden, of Peekskill, NY, who was one of the protesters.
Bartlett is a member of the Unmanned System (Drone) Caucus.
Madden says he's not surprised that Bartlett wasn't there to speak with protesters, although the 6th District Republican has said he believes there needs to be a discussion in the US about the use of drones. "He doesn't want to face us," Madden said.
But Bartlett did issue a statement, thanking the demonstrators for coming to his office and raising this issue. But he said they should direct their concerns to the president, whom, he said, "unilaterally employs drones against terrorism suspects."
"The United States has neither a King's Army nor King's Drones. I am committed to upholding our Constitution's checks and balance protections that secure our cherished liberties," the statement said.
The visit to Congressman Bartlett's office was part of the Know Drones Tour, which has been endorsed by Frederick's Peace Resource Center, Occupy Frederick, Code Pink, War Resisters League and other organizations.
The model drone will be in Thurmont on Friday as part of the sidewalk drone education from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. It will also be in display at the Counter G8 Community Block Party at Baker Park in Frederick on Saturday from 11:00 AM until 9:00 PM.