Miami Beach residents' protest of the controversial Zika-fighting pesticide naled is quickly morphing from a spirited public debate into an all-out ground war. In threads on social media, some protest organizers yesterday suggested that flying drones could intercept the county's pesticide-spraying airplanes.
Michael DeFilippi, the anti-naled organizer who raised the possibility of using drones, says he doesn't encourage anyone to use the tiny aircraft to break the law or interfere with pesticide-spraying planes. But if something were to peacefully disrupt the county's spray missions, he wouldn't necessarily be opposed to it.
"If there's a way that something delays or interferes with what the county is doing, that could be a net positive," he says via phone.
But he stresses he's not encouraging anyone to do anything rash, illegal, or dangerous using a drone. The discussion started yesterday with this post from DeFilippi:
"I just kinda threw it out there to see if there was any interest," he says. "Maybe people could cover the event and get footage of what the county is doing... If we could monitor what’s going on or serve as a reference to what’s happening, that’s great."
He does, however, suggest that if the skies were filled with drones before the pesticide planes took off, there might be a chance the county would cancel its spraying missions.
"There's potential that if a group of people
Nor does he know anyone who plans to, he says.
But even to other anti-naled organizers, the idea of messing with real airplanes appears to go a step too far.
"That sounds neither safe nor legal," said Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco, who opposes spraying naled in his city. "I wouldn’t recommend that. With that kind of chatter online, I’m sure law enforcement is watching."
Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control spokespeople tell New Times the county is indeed aware of the social media posts.
In the past 48 hours, Miami-Dade's pesticide use has blossomed from a local debate into a national controversy.
The county had originally ordered planes to spray
New Times on August 10 first reported that
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As real concerns over
But for all Grieco has said about
Instead, if you're upset about the county's naled-spraying regimen, here's a much safer outlet for your anger: Residents are circulating a Change.org petition to persaude the county to stop spraying the chemical altogether.