Protesters Disrupt Keynote Speech at LA Drone Expo

Today we attended the first LA Drone Expo in Downtown LA at the Sports Arena. Hosted by the UAV Systems Association (UAVSA), the event was an overall success with an excellent turnout, great exhibitors, and informative presentations.

A brief disruption occurred during the keynote speech by Austin Blue when a group of 6-10 protesters stood up in the crowd and began shouting and waving signs that said things like “Child Killer” and “Drones Kill.” A couple of them unfurled a large cloth banner on which they had painted ”DRONE FREE LAPD." The chants ranged from “Shame on you Austin Blue” to “Hands up don’t drone” (which aside from not making any sense is kind of an insulting mockery of the Michael Brown protesters) and lastly “drone free LAPD, no drones LA” which they continued shouting even as police and venue security staff patiently and peacefully ushered them to the side of the stage and finally out a side door of the arena. I managed to get a couple of videos with my phone – one of the initial protest and another of the group chanting and mouthing off to police as they were being asked to leave.

Aside from this it was an awesome event. Looking forward to the next one. More video and a bunch of pictures of the event, vendor booths, etc can be found here:

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  • For future expos we should just give these people a table, it would be a lot better then having them running around and disrupting guest speakers. 

  • face palm

  • Moderator

    We have always invited the groups to our shows, #sUSBExpo we also don't pump the Police and Military uses they are concerned about. These folks have valid issues and should be heard, just arrogant to do anything other than that. There are genuine humanitarian uses of RPAS and its a great shame security companies are lining up to make money out of fear from RPAS. Less money in compassion.

  • I wonder if their next protest is at mobile phone manufacturing companies and security camera companies. These pose more of a threat to privacy in populated areas. 

    These protesters seem pretty ignorant. Perhaps someone can sit down and explain the various verticals UAVs can provide a positive impact on without breaching the privacy of individuals. 

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