Protesting in the Time of Police State

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How to stay safe when exercising your rights

If you’re planning on participating in a peaceful demonstration or protest keep one thing in mind, at any time it could turn into a bloody riot.

In the past it has been a common practice for governments to send agent provocateurs to mingle among the demonstrators until a given time or signal, and then to begin instigating violence as both a way to demonize the peaceful protesters in the media, and as an excuse to send in the riot troops to bust heads. As demonstrations around the world can attest to, this tactic has not gone out of fashion.

So what should you do if suddenly rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and flash bang grenades are whizzing past you and a hundred Mad Max extras waiving clubs start goose-stepping in your direction?

The following will provide you some tips and advice to keep you as safe as possible should you suddenly find yourself in a war-zone.

Clothing

When the storm troopers make their appearance at your protest march, you’ll notice they came dressed to kill. They typically wear helmets, face shields, gas masks, chest protectors, elbow pads, knee and shin pads, and combat boots. In addition, they will carry shields, batons, Tasers, radios, medical kits, shotguns and pistols. Meanwhile, you are standing there in a t-shirt and flip flops. The first tip is to come dressed for the occasion.

What to Wear

Long pants and long sleeves to reduce the exposure of skin to RCAs. (Riot Control Agents)

Wear only cotton or wool. Natural fibers are fire resistant whereas most of the synthetic materials are highly flammable and can quickly ignite from a spark from a flash bang or Molotov cocktail. When these materials burn they will melt right into your skin and cannot be removed without taking the skin with it.

A bicycle helmet, this can be a life saver in case agitators begin throwing rocks and you happen to be in the line of fire. Also useful as protection against police nightstick attacks.

A backpack, fill the book pocket, the pocket that is closest to the back straps, with a large hardcover book. This can act like body armor protecting your back from rubber bullets. In addition, it can be used as a shield by placing your forearm through the shoulder straps and holding the pack as a shield if front of you if you have to escape volleys of projectiles and rubber bullets.

A bandanna: can be used as an emergency bandage, sweat band, improvised dust mask, and washcloth.

Bring work gloves to protect your hands if you have to escape through broken windows, or other sharp wreckage caused by rioting. Wearing gloves will also help prevent burns if you have to remove smoking teargas canisters.

Wear work boots or hiking boots, or at least good high top leather runners. This is to help protect your feet from broken glass and sharp debris on the ground, and will help support your ankles when running, or climbing over barriers.

Wear protective eye-wear. The sports style sunglasses with padding on the inside such as used in racket ball and other sports works best. This is to protect against RCAs, rubber bullets and fragments from teargas canisters and Flash Bangs.

protest emergency kit

What to Carry

The riot police typically carry a lot of gear and it is a good idea for you to carry some items on your person as well.

Water: you can quickly become dehydrated standing outdoors and access to water may be restricted. Local stores may be closed for fear of rioting and looting and police may block off access to public fountains and washrooms. Bring 2 litres minimum and double if the temperatures are high.

Snacks: the excitement and physical exertion can quickly use up your glucose stores and leave you feeling weak and nauseous. Bring some snacks to nibble on through the day to maintain your blood sugar levels.

Cell Phone: to call for help, an attorney, or a cab to help you get out if you become trapped or arrested. A cell phone is also useful for filming the violation of human rights.

Pocket First Aid Kit: to treat minor injuries like cuts and blisters. Add one or two a chemical cold packs to help treat welts raised by rubber bullets and baton strikes.

Small Flashlight: in case you’re out after dark and the power goes out.

Cash: to pay for parking, or public transportation, or to hire a taxi.

Dust Mask: to help filter out riot control agents.

Identification: in case you are detained or arrested providing I.D. can get you released sooner.

Attorneys’ Business Card: If you participate regularly in an activist community you will eventually have an encounter with law enforcement. It is best to be prepared ahead of any such encounter by finding a reputable lawyer that specializes in civil rights cases and get several of his or her business cards to keep in your wallet and another in your protest emergency kit. Don’t rely solely on your cell phone for contact information since cell phones and other electronic devices will be seized when you are arrested.

How to Deal With Riot Control Agents

The term “riot control agents” (RCAs) refers to several gases commonly known as ‘Tear Gas’ or ‘Pepper Spray’. Exposure to these chemicals can cause skin, nose, and eye irritation, nausea, and respiratory difficulties within minutes. In rare cases, RCAs can cause long-term health complications, blindness, and even death. The effects generally last less than half an hour but can be extremely uncomfortable.

The first defense is to try to stay out of the line of fire and away from the front lines of the police. If the chemicals are released in front of you, you should run straight behind you to get out of range. Try to get upwind of the point of release where there is fresh air.

If RCAs are deployed inside a building, get out as quickly as possible. The chemicals do not dissipate as they would outdoors, and the high concentrations can be extremely dangerous with prolonged exposure.

Get to high ground. RCAs are heavier than air, and the highest concentrations thus tend to be near the ground. Try to get to the highest point possible. This could be up a hill, atop a wall, etc.

If you are caught in a smoke cloud, soak a bandanna or other cloth in apple-cider vinegar or lemon juice and tightly cover your mouth and nose with it. (Bring these items in your kit.)

Finally, avoid wearing oil-based creams or sunscreens, as these aid absorption of the RCAs. If you are exposed to these agents follow decontamination procedures.

In emergencies, dry powder such as flour, baking soda, detergents, or even soil can be used to reduce the quantity of chemical agent available for uptake through the skin. Pouring flour onto the chemical followed by wiping with wet tissue paper is reported to be effective against the nerve agents soman, VX, and mustard gas.

How to Escape a Riot

Try to look as inconspicuous as possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob. Stay close to walls or other protective barriers if possible.

Get inside and stay inside if you can. Find a retail store, office building, or coffee shop to go into and off the streets. Look for a rear exit to these buildings that will lead out to a back street where there are no rioters or police and carefully make you way home.

It can be dangerous to move against a crowd, so go with the flow until you are able to escape into a doorway or up a side street or alley. It may also be advantageous to stay with the crowd until you are certain you can safely escape because it will help you remain inconspicuous and improve your odds of survival if shots are fired. In addition, police may barricade side routes and ambush anyone seeking to escape the main mob. You do not want to be the only person trying to get past a police barricade.

Avoid public transportation. Buses, subways, and trains will likely be out of service, and stations and depots will probably be packed with people. Even if you succeed in getting on a train or bus, rioters may stop it. Subway stations are particularly bad places to be, both because they are difficult to escape and because riot control agents are heavier than air and may drift down into subway stations and accumulate there.

Protesting in a police state can be a dangerous, if vital exercise of your basic human rights. You cannot trust that unstable elements within the ranks of law enforcement would not instigate violence that would trigger the police into attack mode. You could be entering a war zone, and so to protect yourself and fellow activists make sure you follow the advice given and come prepared.

This is taken from the Art of Urban Survival.

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“To maintain their personal sense of superiority, progressives [like Jon Stewart] need to sit in the seat of the scoffer. They used to spend their time mocking those who dared question President Obama as self-evident fools and racists.

Now that Obama’s failure is obvious, they’ve had to move on to other targets. Defending his disastrous record would make his fans look like the unsophisticated rubes, and they can’t have that. Instead, they focus on a stumbling Fox News host, an errant red-state legislator, or any citizen whose comments can be edited to inject the left with their daily dose of smug.” –Jon Gabriel

(surprising how many people in my wife’s family actually quote jon stewart like he is the guru of the news! the idiots!)

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Situation Comedy

Situation-Comedy

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Welcome to “What We Learned This Week,” a regular feature where we share all the most interesting nuggets of information we picked up in the past week.

Go HERE.

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DARPA Is Developing Implants That Can Heal Soldiers’ Bodies and Minds

Every time we hear about a new Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) project—like bioengineering new life forms or enlisting preteens to test advanced military software—it’s like being pulled into the pages of a pulpy scifi paperback. The agency’s newest project continues this trend: implantable chips that can heal soldiers’ bodies and minds.

The goal of the program, dubbed ElectRX, is the development of tiny chips that can be injected into soldiers with a needle to act as pacemakers for the nervous system. By precisely stimulating the right nerve endings with minute electromagnetic signals, the implants will treat painful and chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and mental illnesses, researchers say.

What’s more, a joint fact sheet released by the Department of Defense and the Veteran’s Association revealed that DARPA scored a cool 78 million dollars to build the chips as part of the US government’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) program.

“Instead of relying only on medication—we envision a closed-loop system that would work in concept like a tiny, intelligent pacemaker,” said Doug Weber, DARPA program manager, in a statement. “It would continually assess conditions and provide stimulus patterns tailored to help maintain healthy organ function, helping patients get healthy and stay healthy using their body’s own systems.”

More found HERE.

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What can the US and NATO do to prevent Putin from defeating Ukraine?

The new incursion into Ukrainian territory by Russian forces has led some veteran US foreign policy hands to call for a quick and highly visible Western airlift of military equipment to Kyiv. The aim: to prevent a Russian rout of Ukraine.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former US secretary of state George Shultz and ex-defense secretary William Perry urged the US and NATOto deploy forces in the Baltics, and equipment in Ukraine.

The prospects a swift victory for Russian president Vladimir Putin’s forces grew dramatically on Aug. 26, when a column of Russian armor appeared over the border at Novoazovsk, sending the Ukrainian troops into a full, panicked retreat. Russian forces today occupied the town,and are reportedly advancing to the strategic port of Mariupol.

US and NATO leaders, in addition to journalists on the ground in Ukraine, describe it as a Russian invasion in all but name—the kind of operation Putin pulled off when his forces overran Crimea in March.

The pro-Moscow rebels forces include Russian volunteers, such as these chronicled by France 24. But Polish prime minister Donald Tusk saysthe evidence of Russian regulars and armor (paywall) is indisputable. Tusk told his parliament: “Nobody can seriously accept talk of ‘separatists’ in Ukraine anymore. The information is from NATO and confirmed by our intelligence, and is basically unambiguous.”

The action urged by Shultz and Perry, among others, is mainly in the realm of optics—no one is suggesting the deployment of Western troops, not in Ukraine anyway, and no one thinks that Ukrainian forces, even with Western equipment, can outmatch the overwhelmingly superior Russian forces. But the hope is that a show of Western support could deter Putin.

Andrew Kuchins of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says the action by the West must come immediately. In an email exchange with Quartz, Kuchins says:

Obama and NATO allies will need to VERY RAPIDLY mobilize lethal military support for the Ukrainian forces. We need to have a few C-130s land in Kiev and some other things cross the Western border of Ukraine by air and by land. The moment of truth may be upon us very shortly. … Putin most know NOW that NATO will not sit back and watch Russia mop up Ukrainian military forces.

Found HERE.

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Absurd Creature of the Week: The 100-Foot Sea Critter That Deploys a Net of Death

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