Ban Tear Gas Now!

Stop using chemical weapons on citizens of any nation.

Archive for the tag “tear gas”

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.

May Day Hangover

May Day protesters in Turkey were met with tear gas, while in Seattle, they were met with pepper spray and flash bang grenades.

It’s ironic that one of the biggest anti-capitalist holidays (made especially important this year because of ongoing austerity measures, economic depressions, and locally, the side effects of the U.S. sequester) is probably one of the largest guaranteed money makers for US weapons manufacturers each year.

I wonder what the CS President and other executives do with all that extra pocket money.

But the fact that people still came out in numbers anyway to show their collective hope for change and willpower should help other activists inch back from the ledge overlooking cynicism. It’s easy to fall into despair, but we have to keep marching for social justice.

So thank you to those who peacefully came out for the myriad protests all over the world yesterday. Thank you to the authorities who chose not to deploy chemical weapons as a quick fix.

And shame on those who showed up looking for an excuse to loot and hurt others, on either side of the power divide.

Keep working for a better world,

Suzanne

For a Safe May Day!

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 .

Suzanne

Colorado Police Use Tear Gas to Disperse Party

This news comes from the Huffington Post. Which is worse, some noisy party goers and bottles being thrown, or a potentially toxic gas being released in a crowd?

I’ll refrain from writing excessively about this, but feel free to share your opinions in the comment section, especially if you were witness to the scene. 

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.

Fighting Giants

This is the start of my day. Every day, two years and counting. How do I get closure? Am I closer or farther? Why am I fighting Goliath when most days I don’t even know what I did with my slingshot?

There are a series of smaller fights that must take place every day, but I can’t stop until the bigger fight is won. Every day my thoughts are focused on how do I make others understand the importance of my mission to ban the production, distribution, and use of tear gas, and then from there, how do I use that shared understanding to effect change.

Right now, I am gathering rocks. Like this one. Or this one.

Every day I put more information in my arsenal.

While I’m gathering ammunition I may be missing sight of other opportunities to win the war, but this is all I can do until I find that damn slingshot.

Please join my cause. Help stand up for those who can’t. Write your local authorities about the ethics of using chemical weapons on citizens. Challenge politicians, bureaucrats, producers and distributors of “less lethal” technologies who profit from killing and denying citizens their basic rights. You can contact Combined Tactical Systems at 724-932-2177. Leave a voicemail for CEO Don Smith, who is conveniently out for the day.

Share this mission with others who are willing to fight. You can also show support by liking the Ban Tear Gas Now! Facebook page and following us on Twitter @BanTearGasNow.

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.

Link to Terry Allen’s article, “Chemical Cops: Tear Gas And Pepper Spray Can Be Deadly”

This article addresses the dangers of tear gas and pepper spray after the 1999 Seattle WTO riots. Although 13 years have passed since Terry Allen wrote about the dangers of allowing corporations to define safety of these weapons, what has changed?

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