Camp Lejeune is an example of the military’s dangerous practices coming to light several decades too late. Thankfully there are people like Mary Blakely, who is working to provide dignity for the memory of the smallest victims of this disaster. I am glad that the Stars and Stripes is publishing the full story on their website. Read it here, and join Mary and other activists in the fight to stop the military from harming innocent citizens of any nation, including our own.
Obama has pointed to using chemical weapons as the red line that Syria should not cross, but what is the difference between foreign countries using specific types of chemical weapons versus others, or foreign countries and our own homeland using chemical weapons on its citizens?
It’s a big red line that the US has already crossed, but it’s not too late to step back. Let’s lead by example. Ban ALL chemical weapons, especially the ones we produce on American soil.
It’s ironic that one of the biggest anti-capitalist holidays (made especially important this year because of ongoing austerity measures, economic depressions, and locally, the side effects of the U.S. sequester) is probably one of the largest guaranteed money makers for US weapons manufacturers each year.
I wonder what the CS President and other executives do with all that extra pocket money.
But the fact that people still came out in numbers anyway to show their collective hope for change and willpower should help other activists inch back from the ledge overlooking cynicism. It’s easy to fall into despair, but we have to keep marching for social justice.
So thank you to those who peacefully came out for the myriad protests all over the world yesterday. Thank you to the authorities who chose not to deploy chemical weapons as a quick fix.
And shame on those who showed up looking for an excuse to loot and hurt others, on either side of the power divide.
Keep working for a better world,
May Day has a long revolutionary tradition. As protests and demonstrations take place today, I hope that both protesters and police will act peacefully.
If tear gas is deployed and you are exposed, please remember that this is not a joke. It is not harmless, and others around you may be impacted by it more than you. Even if you don’t immediately feel the effects, seek medical assistance quickly. Rinse your eyes and discard clothing that has been exposed as soon as possible. In some cases, water can actually reactivate the tear gas, which is why it is important to seek medical attention.
If you are pregnant, remain calm, but immediately leave the area. Tell others so that they can assist you. Get to the nearest emergency room and explain what has happened. Demand an ultrasound and a plan for follow-up care. Do not let a doctor brush off your exposure due to a lack of experience on their part. US Poison Control may state that at as long as you were in an open area, you probably are ok: this is not necessarily true.
Assist others in seeking medical help if you are in an area where tear gas is deployed. Pregnant women, children, elderly, and those with immune deficiency disorders or disabilities are especially prone to tear gas’ effects.
If you are a police officer, please remember that innocent people may be harmed irreparably if you choose to use tear gas.
Please share widely. If you would like to translate this into a foreign language so that this message can be more widely spread, email banteargas [at] hotmail [dot] com .