Ban Tear Gas Now!

Stop using chemical weapons on citizens of any nation.

Archive for the tag “social justice”

US Troops Injured by US Chemical Weapons in Iraq

According to mulitple sources including the Global Research’s condensed article based on the New York Time’s investigative report, the US did in fact find chemical weapons in Iraq, but they were our own. Having researched this issue for years now, through scholarly articles, historical documents, alternative news sources, and conversations with injured military vets, I am surprised that this information is just now coming to light in the mainstream media. There are a few questions that this “new finding” brings up:

1: Is it somehow worse that the people who are trained/ paid to deploy these weapons have been injured by said weapons to which innocent civilians have been subjected for decades?

2: Will further evidence that Americans can be and are injured by these weapons be enough to put an end to the production and export of these technologies?

Humans unfortunately have a history of staying silent in the face of genocide as long as our own tribes are not affected. We saw it during World War II. The media forced us to see Vietnam and even now, US vets are still suffering from the long-term effects of the chemical agents used there.  We’re seeing it in the Middle East, and what’s more, we are still responsible. We can point to the terrible things being done by ISIS to men, women, and children (which are indeed truly, utterly irredeemable), but our hands are not clean.  Our leaders claim that chemical weapons are necessary to our defense, but the liabilities of these weapons far outweigh any potential benefit. Chemical weapons have poisoned water and soil around the world. They have killed and permanently injured countless victims. Birth defects are on the rise.

We can no longer focus on stopping the “bad guys” from getting these weapons. Regimes change, policies change, and our friends today may very well be our enemies tomorrow — especially given the US tendency of creating enemies where there could be friends. If we want to protect our troops and stay the “good guys,” we need to ban the production, distribution, and stockpiling of chemical (and nuclear) weapons.

So what do we do?

We vote. We question politicians on their stance, and we lobby. We put forward our own candidates who will make the necessary changes to protect the global community from chemical weapons. We stop pretending like these issues don’t affect us or are too big for us to solve. We read and we talk to friends about the importance of this issue.

If you agree with me, share this article. Write your local representatives. And comment below if you have more information or solutions.

–Suzanne

 

Changes

Our next goal is to push the US legislature (you know, if they ever get back to work) to ban the production and distribution of tear gas. We will begin posting petition information in the coming month or two, with the idea of going live with a national petition on January 1. We will also have resources for those who want to help change policy at the state level. If you believe in the cause, please help us solidify forces. Tell your friends about http://www.banteargasnow.com and ask them to join our Facebook group. Thank you for your support!

Chemical Warfare

Correction:

At least 35 of the 125 victims killed in last week’s chemical weapons attack in Syria were children. Since the original posting, the number of casualties has risen to more than 1400, more than 400 of whom were children. They were hiding in their homes, in bathrooms with useless towels, dead on arrival to hospitals if they made it that far, their parents unable to protect them or themselves.

In Israel, children wait in line with parents to try on gas masks in preparation of US intervention in Syria.

There is not a lot to say that has not already been said. I truly believe based on history and common sense that US intervention strikes would only kill more civilians and not actually stop those responsible for chemical attacks.

Furthermore, we need to examine the implications of our interference in the Syrian Civil War based on chemical weapons as the red line that hooks us in. The US government use of chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, bullets, tanks, prisons, torture cells, and other enforcement methods of authoritarian rule go far beyond the Syrian (or any other) government’s capabilities,  but who would dare intervene in our country’s actions? Intervention strikes in response to American military actions would be considered Terrorism. Even acknowledging what our military has done can be considered terrorism. Whistleblowers are being punished more harshly than war criminals.

Military strikes will only stoke the flames of civil war and encourage more “terrorist” attacks on US targets. If our country’s leaders really want to send an effective message to Syria and other “rogue” nations regarding the use of chemical weapons, we need to lead by example. If we expect to stop others from engaging in chemical warfare, we first must stop the American use and production of chemical weapons of all grades.

Despite manufacturers’ claims, there is no such thing as a safe chemical weapon.

It is dangerous to become numb to the U.S.’s hypocrisy and the ongoing tragedy in Syria and elsewhere. We the People need to take a stand for innocent victims everywhere. Contact your local representatives and federal officials. Join lobbying efforts to ban the use of chemical weapons.

We can’t seriously expect other countries to make changes that we ourselves refuse to make.

Support Our Cause!

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This link comes from Ricardo Silva, who states: “Each tear gas bomb cost for Brazilian police around US $400.00. More than some desktop computers.” Ricardo has been kind enough to share many resources related to tear gas abuse in Brazil on our Facebook Page: please show your support for our cause by liking this page on Facebook and sharing additional resources there.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of news relevant to tear gas and its harmful effects lately, and I have been slow in updating readers. I will do my best to update this page as quickly as possible.

As always, stay safe, and keep protesting this dangerous weapon. Our hearts are with those who have been affected by the very real consequences of tear gas and government abuse.

Thank you for your support and desire to create a more peaceful and just world.

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.

Barefoot And Political

To provide a forum for more generalized political commentary and other work, I started a new website: www.barefootandpolitical.com . I’ve been contacted by readers of this site with some great questions and comments that will have a more appropriate venue there. In fact, feel free to submit stories or work to barefootandpolitical (at) hotmail (dot) com.

I’ll continue to post resources regarding tear gas and other chemical weapons primarily on www.banteargasnow.com.

Thank you for your support!

— Suzanne

British millionaire sold fake Iraq war bomb detectors

One more example of why we should stop trusting military suppliers to tell us what’s safe. With even MORE direct evidence of soldiers being harmed (since foreign civilians seem to go unnoticed), will the public finally step up and demand accountability from our leaders? What will it take to get the public off their butts and on the phones with their representatives? Or better yet, when will more citizens start actively protesting government offices for an end to irresponsible military spending?

Dear Kitty. Some blog

Iraqi soldier with an ADE 651

This photo shows an Iraqi soldier with an ADE 651. If there is a bomb in that car, then that device won’t detect it.

After Tony Blair spending British taxpayers’ money on searching paranormally for non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq … after non-scientific conmen landing top “scientific” bureaucratic jobs in the government of Israel and of New Zealand … now this.

From Popular Science:

How A Millionaire Sold Fake Bomb Detectors To Governments All Over The World

The British businessman’s fraud likely killed many soldiers who relied on the bogus devices to detect explosives.

By Kelsey D. Atherton

Posted 04.24.2013 at 4:23 pm

It turns out someone can make millions in defense technology without any skill, innovation, or relevant expertise. Instead, as businessman James McCormick found out, it just takes some snakeoil, salesmanship, hubris, a couple bribes, and a lack of scruples. A London court found…

View original post 455 more words

Close to Home

Yet another family member, who lives in the immediate vicinity of Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, has been diagnosed with cancer, despite being a non-smoker. That brings the total to my grandfather, two aunts, an uncle, and now my dear cousin, all of whom have had to deal with some form of this disease: three different kinds in the last five years.

I was planning to head down to Alabama after graduation to research the area before this sad news, but this weekend I started researching the base (via Internet) a little earlier than anticipated. Apparently, Redstone Arsenal is an EPA Superfund site, due to chemical weapons production (beginning in World War II) and training exercises (conducted from 1972-1986, officially). The soil is still contaminated. 

As our nation continues to produce these weapons for use far from sight of the typical US civilian, would the fact that our local communities are also exposed change policies regarding chemical weapons? Or would production just be shifted to even poorer communities elsewhere? I would love to hear from others who live in the areas surrounding this and other weapons manufacturers. Do you think these facilities’ practices have affected your health? What difficulties have you faced as a result?

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

 

 

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