Ban Tear Gas Now!

Stop using chemical weapons on citizens of any nation.

Archive for the tag “activism”

Activism Works! Bahrain’s Supply of Tear Gas Cut Off

Activism Works! Bahrain’s Supply of Tear Gas Cut Off

“South Korean authorities announced this week that they are suspending the export of more than 1.6 million canisters of tear gas to Bahrain in response to a global advocacy campaign. South Korea joins a growing list of countries including the United States, France, and Spain that have stopped shipping chemical irritants and crowd control weapons to Bahrain.”

 

Click on the link above to read the article in full. We need to focus our efforts in the coming year if we want to eliminate the weapon all together!

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

Inequality, Complicity, and Rights

Today I wish to address the larger issue of social inequality. Until the government provides protection for citizens without money from those with money,  the barrier to the elimination of chemical weapons and justice for those victimized by chemical weapons will remain.

There are many politicians and corporate executives that make a living by ensuring others’ deaths, destruction of property and livelihoods, and submission, which is arguably death in itself. Ironically, these are often the same politicians who like to draw support based on their “family values”. I question the values of anyone who wastes taxpayers’ money on challenging women’s right to reproductive care only then to turn around and fund weapons which kill and maim innocent families across the globe.

The US legal system is theoretically meant to establish rule of law in order to assure citizens’ rights are protected. Every day, however, I become more and more disillusioned about how this protection of the citizen without access to large sums of money can actually occur. We in many ways have not progressed past the original philosophy of rights as belonging to the property owners; rights are not shared equally. The property owners still include the poorer citizens amongst their chattel, and those running the government allow this exploitation to continue as they, too, benefit from this arrangement.

Until there is equal access to the courts for victims and their families, regardless of income level or nationality, the fight for justice will remain a pipe dream for many around the world. In reality, those who have been affected by chemical weapons are not in a position to challenge their exposure in court. We need to recognize that if we allow victims who can’t fight for themselves to continue to be victimized by weapons our tax dollars pay for, we are complicit in their suffering. If we allow our government to continue to conceal evidence of its wrongdoing against innocent citizens, we are complicit. If corporations operating within our borders help other governments victimize their citizens, then we are complicit.

Step up and help right the wrongs of our government and American corporations. Seek accountability from the corporations who profit off of the production of chemical weapons. Contact your local politicians and tell them why you want to see reform of our current laws which allow the production and use of chemical weapons in any context. Share information regarding the dangers of chemical weapons with your loved ones and get them involved in the fight for justice for all.

Call for Collaboration

 

During my senior year in college, many years ago, my professor accused me of always trying to reinvent the wheel. It was in my nature to be as independent as possible, and being in an arts focused program at the time, I felt the need to make sure I didn’t steal inspiration from other artists. It was more about a code of ethics than stubbornness. Although I can be found guilty of this quality, too. You need to be stubborn if you are going to accomplish your goals. So I let the criticism slide off my back.

 

But now, as I push forward in my research, I have realized that collaboration is a necessary aspect of what I am trying to accomplish. First of all, in order to avoid repeating history, learning from others is just common sense. That’s why one purpose of my site has been to promote the work of others who have also written about this subject from a knowledgeable standpoint (and not the one promoted by the corporations who profit from weapons sales).  Secondly, the efforts of many will (most often) trump the efforts of one: if it’s just lonely little me on a soapbox, there’s only so far this message can go.

 

So I am asking for help as I ramp up my efforts to stop the further victimization of citizens through the use of tear gas and other chemical weapons. I want to partner with other organizations that may not have the exact same purpose as me, but also are working towards making a more socially just world. I would love to work with artists, lawyers, researchers, scholars, and other activists as I pursue this goal. (Many thanks to Jeff Nguyen for his contributions of resources; I will be posting them soon!!)

 

If you know of or work for an organization that would be willing to sponsor my efforts this summer as I conduct interviews and create activist toolkits/ materials, please contact me at banteargasnow (at) hotmail (dot) com.

 

Thank you for your support of this cause, and for the efforts you take each and every day to make this a better world.

 

— Suzanne

 

 

Link to Katriel’s “Health impact of Tear Gas?”

And another older work by an author from 2006, Jacob Katriel, who tried to get answers about tear gas from a military representative of the Israeli Governmental Radio. Read what he wrote here.

No More Tears

“CS Gas, in 1988, was suspended by the Federal Laboratories Inc in the United States for sale. Ironically, however, the vast majority of CS canisters fired in the first days of the conflict in Egypt were manufactured by Combined Tactical Systems of Jamestown, Pennsylvania in the United States.”

Please read this article, please share, and please tell the US government you will no longer be silent!

UK Activists Against Weapons Manufacturers

Please check out this call to action to stop the 2013 Arms Fair, which is basically a chance for US weapons manufacturers to market their goods to other countries, regardless of how those weapons will be used.  http://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk/ .

Share it with your friends, get out there, and do something!!

Suzanne

Fellow Activists/ Ways to Get Involved

The War Resisters League has recently started their own blog on those who have first hand experience with tear gas: http://facingteargas.tumblr.com/. Check it out, and share with your friends! To learn more about the War Resisters League, based in New York, visit: http://www.warresisters.org/.

Official Report from Physicians for Human Rights

I have not had as much time to work on this site since school resumed, but Physicians for Human Rights has produced a telling report from their fieldwork on the effects of tear gas. Click here for their official report on the dangers of weaponizing tear gas. It is my hope that American officials will take heed when formulating policies on local control tactics. The debate over the ethics of allowing American military contractors to continue production and supply of this weapon to foreign governments must begin in earnest. Please share this link widely, and encourage your friends to do the same. Victims of tear gas and other conventional weapons deserve justice. But don’t just share, act! Write letters. Make phone calls. Research if not this, then other injustices. Ultimately, let’s shut down the industry that profits off death without limits or fear of consequences.

Suzanne

Post Navigation