Ban Tear Gas Now!

Stop using chemical weapons on citizens of any nation.

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

Tear Gas is a Women’s Issue: Men, Stand Up for Women!

Barefoot and Political

Many who know me personally know that I have been fighting for justice for the loss of my first pregnancy to CS gas exposure (a.k.a. “tear gas”) since 2011. I started the website, http://banteargasnow.com, in order to compile my research for others who may be facing the same tragedy, lost and alone, fighting against forces with much more money, and therefore seemingly more power. At first, I received insults, laughing off the effects of tear gas. Then I received thanks from other activists who also understood the dangers of tear gas. I received requests for help. I received encouragement that I wasn’t alone in my battle against producers of tear gas and the government which allows its continued production and distribution.

Tear gas was banned for use in conventional warfare, yet it is still used to prevent domestic dissent (in violation of the First Amendment in US, and several aspects…

View original post 434 more words

Resist Istanbul: Or how I got teargassed again and started losing hope that this government will ever stop the violence

Stay strong!!
The only thing I wish to argue with is where the author states the effects of tear gas do not last long: this is highly dependent on the health of the individual hit. I, too, once thought tear gas was a temporary nuisance.

Update on Turkey

Tear gas is being continuously used in Instanbul, so much so that other parts of the city are being impacted.

The most telling detail of the tragedy unfolding comes from the same article: that protesters are now writing their blood type on their forearms.

There are no words. This is not right. Citizens should be allowed to speak out without harm or fear.

America: stop the sales of this dangerous weapon! US companies should not be permitted to profit from this reckless abuse of authority. More and more often, tear gas is only used to suppress democracy and protect those illegitimately in power. Stop poisoning innocent civilians!

Popular Articles about Tear Gas forget the Majority of Citizens

In the days since the Turkish protests have begun, I have come across at least two (here’s one) misleading articles in the Slate online magazine regarding the relative safety of tear gas (while still being against its use).  Both Slate articles failed to recognize the difference in effects that tear gas has on healthy young males and the rest of the population, especially women, children, the elderly, and others with compromised immune systems. The commenters also failed to recognize this fact, instead jumping to the question of if a government can’t use tear gas for unruly protesters, what can it use?

To address the commenters – Let’s set aside the obvious and often repeated fact that a government’s definition of unruly protest and the public’s definition of peaceful assembly often happen to collide. First of all, violence against your people or the people of another country should not be the go to solution. It seems as though politicians have forgotten about true diplomacy, and the fact that consensus building is not a conflict resolution tool that should only be extended to leaders of other countries with large arsenals. The people deserve to be heard before policies are imposed from above: failure to recognize the values of the governed is the key cause for “unruly” protests.

Slate is not the only magazine guilty of this failure to recognize the potential harm to reproductive health, or the health of those outside the “norm”.  Although weapons manufacturers state tear gas is safe to use, the studies relied on as proof of its safety are outdated and were not conducted on a wide swath of the population (as ethically, chemical weapons cannot and should not be tested on pregnant women) – they were conducted over a short period of time on relatively healthy male Army recruits.  By downplaying the dangers of tear gas, those who are not soldiers with access to protective gear or healthy immune systems are put at higher risk. It’s time to tell the truth. For the sake of those suffering silently, the rest of us need to speak out. Chemical weapons are not the answer.

Resource regarding Tear Gas and Turkey

Here’s a link to a great article by UK scholar Dr. Anna Feigenbaum: “What Turkey Reminds Us About Tear Gas“. Many thanks to Jeff Nguyen for sending this and other resources my way!

Tear Gas Exposure

Tear gas exposure is harmful, and others may be impacted by it more than you. Pregnant women, children, elderly, and those with immune deficiency disorders or other medical conditions (such as asthma) are especially prone to tear gas’ effects. If you are able to do so, assist others in seeking medical help. Even if you don’t immediately feel the effects, seek medical assistance quickly. Rinse your eyes and skin with cold water, 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 his or her 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.

If you are a police officer, please remember that innocent people may be harmed irreparably if you choose to use tear gas.

If you are a government official or concerned citizen, please join our efforts to ban CS gas and other chemical weapons.

Please share widely. If you would like to translate this into a foreign language so that this message can be more widely spread, email banteargasnow [at] hotmail [dot] com .

Suzanne

What is Happenning in Istanbul?

Turkish police are violently cracking down on peaceful citizens trying to make their voices heard. Innocent civilians have been killed by tanks and critically injured by tear gas and pepper spray (most likely of American origin). Please share with your friends. Contact your government representatives: don’t let the citizens of Istanbul stand alone.

İnsanlık Hali

To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because at the time of my writing most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Last week of May 2013 a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and yoga students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least…

View original post 1,057 more words

Post Navigation