I’ve been labeled in many ways over the years: nerd, writer, artist, Greener (TESC class of 2000), various job titles in the education sector such as teacher, pragmatist, grad student (UW class of 2013), and more recently, mother. But it’s this last title, mother, that makes being an activist the most important chosen title to date. It’s important that when we see injustice, we don’t leave it to the next generation to clean up. Procrastination and shifting of responsibility created global warming, famine, and deforestation. The Civil Rights movement didn’t happen just because women and minorities waited for others to come around, nor were governments acting without input from the population before or after the movement picked up steam. We shift the blame to our governments for the wars our nations start because we don’t realize that we have the power to hold them accountable. We have to hold our governments accountable. And we have to hold ourselves accountable.
If we act alone we are less powerful than our governments, but we are not powerless. The more we convince others to stand for what’s right, the more positive changes we can effect.
I believe we need to stop contributing to the power of those governments who would rather we have the means to kill others indiscriminately than guarantee basic human rights (protection from physical harm, food, shelter). Chemical weapons such as tear gas are allowed to destroy lives because the myth that they are “less lethal” than other weapons has been so firmly engrained in our collective consciousness.
Thank you for reading and sharing this site. Most of all, thank you for being an activist, too. Write a letter, make a phone call, organize a meeting or rally, make street art, make conscious consumer decisions, read more, and do it all again.
You can read my story of why I came to protest against tear gas specifically elsewhere on the site, along with my blanket response to detractors. I am pleased that in starting this page I have learned about others working toward the goals of educating the public about the dangers of tear gas and eliminating its use: I do my best to link to other sites so that you can read their perspectives as well. If you would like to contribute research, please email banteargasnow (at) hotmail.com. All contributors will be credited.