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 .