Protests around the world in 2011 gave riot-gear dealers a three-fold increase in sales of tear gas. In 2013, Turkey used up an entire year's supply of tear gas in just two days, before promptly ordering more. 2015 was the year Kenyan police fired tear gas into a group of schoolchildren as young as 7, and its use is so popular in Uganda that a girls rugby team named themselves the Police Teargas Rangers. Such profligate use of tear gas tempts us to take for granted the conflicts between unruly protesters and the police who demand order. Indeed, Israeli Defence Forces have employed tear gas for close to 90 years against Palestinians.

But tracing the history of tear gas tells the story of a tool that did not simply emerge naturally, but was created from the ground up for the singular purpose of domination. Of countries opposed to the use of gas against citizen on ethical grounds, but eventually caving from the economic necessities of colonial empire; of industrial owners, rich from the poison gas arms race of global war, determined to drum up new demand for their banned products; and finally, of the creeping association of protesters with criminality. More than anything else, the history of this weapon is a revelation into the relationship between the state and her citizens, and the many ways status quo hierarchies are maintained in the face of public outcry against overt expressions of violence and power.

[full transcript available]

Subscribe now on: iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify | RSS | or search "Ashes Ashes" on your favorite podcast app.

Chapters

  • 11:55 Tear gas: from the trenches of WWI
  • 25:48 Tear gas: the colonial arsenal
  • 29:36 Tear gas: policing in 60s America
  • 32:51 A state and its people
  • 44:13 Tear gas: nonlethal?
  • 53:48 Going beyond
  • 58:15 What can we do: direct action
  • 1:08:37 What can we do: protest safety

(This is a machine translated transcript, but we'll fix it soon)


David Torcivia:

[0:06] The hit record sound like motorcycle truck drove by pretty Maiden.

Daniel Forkner:

[0:12] Went well one thing we can ask Alice Friedman is when the truck stop running does that mean that the noise outside David's window.

David Torcivia:

[0:21] Think will the silence up will be nice at first from the trucks but then they'll be just like riots and murders outside my window instead so.

[0:36] I'm David Torcivia.

Daniel Forkner:

[0:38] I'm Daniel Forkner.

David Torcivia:

[0:40] And this is Ashes Ashes, a show about systemic issues, cracks in civilization, collapse of the environment, and if we're unlucky, the end of the world.

Daniel Forkner:

[0:50] But if we learn from all of this, maybe we can stop that. The world might be broken, but it doesn't have to be.

[1:04] You know there was a couple years ago. I decided to travel a bit you know hitchhike around Europe to the whole backpacking thing and I found myself in Bordeaux France. Beautiful wine country you know and I was in Bordeaux the city walking through it and I just commenting to myself how peaceful it was. Nordstrom I found this Army of police facing off against a disorganized chaotic mass of people a civilian. The police were yelling at the people the people were yelling at the police and it was in an Alleyway right like the commercial District of the city anywhere outside that you have no idea this is going on I just kind of stumbled upon it, and I was just that you know happy Taurus like all of this is what they do in France you know what I'm just walking around all these people like running around in a certain point the I guess the police fire some gas into the crowd and people start running there's people down 1/4 who are like throwing up on the street of people with that you know water running down their eyes and in just in a lot of pain.

David Torcivia:

[2:11] This is pretty dramatic dinner with what happened to you where were you in this.

Daniel Forkner:

[2:15] I was just I was an observer I was just I didn't know what they were you know I didn't know what was going on isn't know what the protest was about I was just watching all this happened eventually what about my day, but I think back to that sometimes about the the feeling cuz there was a moment where I'm In This Crowd and, all the sudden it's like this visceral, instinctual feeling that something has changed and I don't know what it what that feeling is but it's this very deep beer kind of where something's not right in and that's about the time that people started running, away from this poison gas or to your gas or whatever it was, and I think about that sometimes in terms of you of the mob the danger of a crowd and how, when a large group of people find themselves in conflict or danger this other fear can take form and almost compel people to act an erratic ways you know what I'm talking about.

David Torcivia:

[3:12] Authorities Daniel I think Michael that mob mentality but what is that fear of that chaos for the entirety of the situation come from it's often times not from the mob itself but from the people to space to try and control, it feels like at least in my experience.

Daniel Forkner:

[3:28] That's a really interesting question you raise their I want to come back to that because this is something the reason why I brought up that stories cuz I think back to it sometimes in the context of, the things that we are going to talk about today and particularly what I want to talk about is a little bit of a history. Of what was making that crowd go crazy David do you know what that is.

David Torcivia:

[3:49] Wine. It was Bordeaux. Let's talk about tear gas a little because I don't think there's anything these days that is more associated with or ubiquitous in terms of protest we seen a lot of protest recently especially in France. With the yellow vests protests that are still going on there after 25 plus weeks, and there are plenty of photos coming out of those protests of protesters the mob at the stable called them, being surrounded by tear gas fired by police officers trying to control them or push them back or prevent them from advancing in different parts of the city, and these have become the standard go to protest photo you see it all the time here in the United States so notably a few years ago with the Ferguson riots. But even all the way back to the Civil Rights era.

Daniel Forkner:

[4:40] And even much further back than that David into stopping so interesting to me because you're right the image of teargas with protesters conflicting with police is so ubiquitous now we see it all around the world. Vet. If we didn't think about it it would come across as this is just you know always been the case this is how the relationship between protesters and police have always been but in fact, this is something that has evolved over the past 200 years or a little bit less than a hundred years and something that has really radically transformed movements for social change. All around the world and today there's a huge Consortium of international riot gear companies that Supply this everywhere from Brazil's Condor non-lethal Technologies. Francis s a e l c tax Vernon Karen & Noble sport.

[5:48] Non-lethal Technologies Safariland and saber something comical to me David about a company. It puts the word non-lethal into its name. Ty Ty I'm a sales rep Daniel from non-lethal Technologies can I interest you in some right gear equipment don't worry it's not lethal you don't have to worry about the pr backlash we are.

David Torcivia:

[6:11] Definitely not lethal it's it's in the name you think that's what the salesperson said we're non-lethal Industries it's in the name they kill someone.

Daniel Forkner:

[6:20] Yeah exactly.

David Torcivia:

[6:22] Well I guess it'll be sort of have to do that in a way right because. Today we Thursday tear gas with these protests and stop a win the product was first introduced into these nations, it was directly coming from the trenches of Europe of world war one that's where this gas was developed and people still very much at the time associated, any sort of gas with these horrible travesties of war that took so many lives and such a grim and disgusting way and we'll talk about this a little bit more in a second but I want to go back to one point you in a second ago where you mentioned how we just have sort of assumed that this stuff is always been around that's been here for forever that this is the nature of protest but actually, no tear gas it does have a long history it's over a hundred years at this point. The way that we've managed protest very much involved along with this technology it hasn't always been this way, in the same way you know the police itself how they operate their tactics have changed dramatically over even the past couple of decades will get into that a little bit but police themselves if we're going farther enough back and I'm not to get too deep into this trance, will there less than a hundred fifty years of their own history.

Daniel Forkner:

[7:31] Depending on where you are in the world.

David Torcivia:

[7:32] Depending on where you are yeah absolutely. All these things that we do very much take for granted up this is the way the world is this is the way that it's always been or not this is the way things have evolved because of various reasons will get into it there's motivations which we hope you'll come away with by the end of this episode. Understanding but let's dig in with all that said and I'm already getting distracted tomorrow in a couple minutes in.

Daniel Forkner:

[7:56] We are at you're absolutely right the teargas traces its roots directly to the trenches of World War I want talk about that history but even recently, this has evolved significantly in it's important to point out that like those companies I mentioned there's a profit behind the development and sale of riot gear equipment like tear gas, and 2011 was big and turn in terms of realize profit for these companies that was the.

David Torcivia:

[8:25] This is yeah the airespring yeah right.

Daniel Forkner:

[8:27] Yeah exactly the Arab Spring also we had Occupy Wall Street and the United States countless protest around the world in tear gas companies saw a three-fold increase in sales during that year. Insisting it has been the weapon of choice for governments around the world to use against their own people. Tear gas you know historically it's been used non-stop for the past 90 years by Israeli Defense Forces, and at the Palestinian territory it's been used countless times and India and Pakistan Brazil Indonesia Thailand, China and South Korea are also major exporters and tear gas is used so extensively David in East Africa, that a Ugandan rugby team ironically named themselves the police tear-gas Rangers. That's how that's how.

David Torcivia:

[9:22] That is that's that's sort of sad but before we meet Lee jumping in history of it, I don't know if everyone is entirely familiar with what tear gas is, most people haven't been to your guests fortunately I haven't I don't know if you have Daniel maybe got some residual to gas from your experience in Bordeaux but it's not a fun experience to say the least. So modern tear gas is typically dispersed through a couple different mechanisms they'll be fired from what are essentially grenade launchers are there are grenades that are hand-thrown, sometimes there are drone disbursement methods this has been tested a lot and Israel against Palestinians recently and Israel as a hotbed of testing and Technology against protesters, and then the process of turning that into a profit and shipping it around the world but you can and will get into. There are several different strains of tear gas there's stuff called CVS in CR other all different mixes and each one is slightly unique summer stronger than others but typically to Gas Works in a couple ways.

Daniel Forkner:

[10:29] David here's a quote from Anna feigenbaum from her book tear gas quote. Tier gases are designed to attack the senses simultaneously producing both physical and psychological trauma, in medical terms teargas operates on multiple sites of the body at once primarily affecting the mucous membranes and respiratory system, it can cause excessive tearing burning blurred vision redness runny nose burning of the nostrils and mouth. Difficulty swallowing drooling chest tightness coughing a choking sensation wheezing shortness of breath. Skin burns rashes nausea and vomiting has also been linked to miscarriages and two long-term tissue and respiratory damage.

David Torcivia:

[11:16] Yeah exactly she puts it much more eloquently than I was going to but. Disabled you it makes you blind it makes you unable to see it makes you unable to to breathe it disorients you just want to get out of an area and so it is used.

Daniel Forkner:

[11:32] Which is the appeal.

David Torcivia:

[11:32] Or exactly that purpose exactly it is. Less-lethal it's not supposed to allegedly kill people the people do get injured and die from various parts of it, which will get into but we have at least a basic understanding of what your guy says what it does, and the knowledge that you don't want to be caught up into your gas because it sucks let's talk about work came from.

Daniel Forkner:

[11:56] We have to go all the way back to World War II begin this history and it's possible that the French were the first to use chemical weapons in War. With one account that they fired gas grenades into a German trench in 1914. With Germans then firing back with their own even deadly are gas a year later in 1915 and this kind of sparked an arms race so to speak that involved both the Germans and the allies, rust to convert their universities their chemistry experts to basically full-time chemical warfare researchers, and I have to admit David this kind of surprised me because I got the impression I guess from basic history education in primary schools at, you know we were fighting World War 1 the Germans the evil Germans attacked us with mustard gas, and everyone immediately realized this is terrible it's unethical and so we band. And maybe this maybe this reveals how poorly I paid attention in school.

David Torcivia:

[13:00] No I think that's like the story most people having their head in. And it's supposed to be evil German part that's a very big staple of the way Americans teach World War 1 which is basically just in passing, it's Franz Ferdinand was assassinated for some reason, a bunch of people fought and get confused with other alliances Americans came in and we save the day like we always do and then flappers.

Daniel Forkner:

[13:27] Yeah well that's not how it happened at all, this this was an arms race that went on for years they were at one point over 5,500 scientist. Worldwide all working on developing lethal gas nose not until after World War I that poison gases for Warfare, we're banned under the Geneva protocol which was signed in 1925 so that's 11 years 11 years after the first chemical attack. That any International treaty was designed, too bad that this wasn't even the ultimate treaty that took care of chemical weapon the Geneva protocol only banned the use of poison gas in war but it was not until 1993, that the chemical weapons convention outlawed the production and stockpiling of chemical weapon.

David Torcivia:

[14:18] What is things of that was really interesting to Daniel was reading of the justifications for the use of the gas they were love propose to said you know this gas is great. Look at it you know when we come through and we're killing people with artillery it's awful way more people are killed with this, it's loud it like destroys people's bodies even if they don't get directly blown up by an artillery shell you know they get Maine to get scrap know they're going to be disabled for the rest of their life, and besides it's what I put gas is clean and efficient this is the future of combat it just rolls through you're either dead or you're not, it is much more humane way of killing and I was a phrase that was used a lot to justify this stuff, and of course it ignores the horrible suffering the emotional trauma that occurred from all of the people who are scared of gas all the time you've got to try and survive it in these very primitive gas mask that maybe would work for a while, but not long enough and slowly suffocate in it or you go crazy rip off your mask and then your lungs are burned up in the agony of a of a.

[15:20] Chlorine gas or mustard gas attack or something and the traumas of War which is really, made that much more dramatic by these gas attacks and other sparsely weather eventually bad but there were so many extremely educated well-regarded researchers including somebody that we talked about on the show Fritz Harbor, who invented the nitrogen fixation process that allowed us to have the Green Revolution. A birthday in a seven and a half billion people that live on earth right now because of the ability to use this nitrogen for fertilization what he was also one of the first proponents using this mustard gas on the battlefield I think he might have been the guy who I should turn the knobs and started this whole thing. That is a very brilliant people asking for this just awful awful.

Daniel Forkner:

[16:08] And we'll get into how this gas is repurpose for domestic and Colonial use but, it's not just that you know there is debate about is this ethical or not but there are major players in the development of in the deployment of tear-gas generals in the US Military and so on. Do used it as evidence of the western model of civilization and as a way to contrasting the West with, what many called the Savages of these colonial projects that, we're managed by Empires around the world right and in so as it becomes deployed for Colonial use, you see these arguments of like look the degree to which a country is civilized can be measured by its use of chemistry and these chemical weapons and yes or no arguments about Humana being Humane in the treatment of different people but it's really wrapped up in this kind of. Racist ideology of like look we are the superior beings here we are the Americans were the British and these people of Africa who we are colonizing are the Savages. And the chemicals that we use against them to control them are simply the evidence of our superiority. You know they fight with sticks and stones we fight with modern Industrial Products.

[17:30] All that being said so Geneva protocol was signed in 1925, but like you mentioned yes there was still debate going on about the ethical use of poison gas in war, but eventually this gets phased out in war and it turns out that economic reasons may have been what kept this technology alive, since so much industry was built up during the war that it became nearly impossible to get rid of it, and these Factory you know these chemical production plants needed you know an outlet for their production process, and Anna feigenbaum in her book argues that we see the early formation of modern public relations taking place. In the chemicals chemicals industry as companies sought to position themselves as the answer. Basically for two of the new leading priorities of Empires light Great Britain and the United States at the time which was number one. How do you keep peace at home within your Border in.

[18:29] That primarily meant how do you prevent all these labor strikes and how do you prevent all these workers from organizing to resist their boss is right we need a tool to. Break them up and suppress them and then that the secondary goal of these Empires with how do you keep peace in colonial territories like I mentioned. And this is because. It's not great for PR when as the British did in 1919 you surround a group of people in in India in this case. And just surround them with soldiers and just shoot them.

David Torcivia:

[19:05] But I don't have a name in The Mask.

Daniel Forkner:

[19:08] Yeah I don't remember the name of the massacre but it was 1919 1500 people died by local accounts the British committed to 350 people but this is a PR nightmare. And so. There's there's the skull of what we still want to dominate these countries we still need their resources and obviously the people are not happy with that but now that we have newspapers and journalists who are reporting on the fact that we're just you know shooting people in the streets. Is there a better way that we can maintain these relationships maintain the structure of power while avoiding the public relations nightmare. And this is the the void that the chemical companies inserted themselves into and they began advertising poison gas. As tear gas or tear smoke as a solution to civil unrest and protesters arguing. Quote it is easier for men to maintain morale in the face of bullets than in the presence of invisible gas and that tear gas isolates the individual From the Mob spirit.

David Torcivia:

[20:15] I'm the one interrupt one second here Daniel end and just point out we talked about this before way back in episode 11 designing deception. We kind of had to create a large shift in the way the economy functioned to deal with all this excess, capacity that industry had been able to create after the war was over so we're one we're creating all these things for War guns tanks, chemical like this whatever and now the war ended and we don't want to just shut down all this stuff we want to turn it to something so PR was created a we tried to shift to a consumer-based economy what we're trying to create this idea people have want and I'll go out and they buy these things and will really change how the entire economy works and how we target people on the psychology of advertising we started getting going but, I think it's really illustrates how ridiculous it is when you're thinking about these people were making these poison gases and I guess tear gas is a poison gas even if it's not, technically fully lethal like something mustard gas is.

[21:15] Say how can we take this horrible gas so we're making this used to torture or kill people in the trenches of Europe. And make that into an industry that we can keep these factories running domestically here in the United States or Great Britain or wherever but not for war specifically. And the fact that were asking a question that all is insane right how can we take these weapons of war and then profit off of them outside of that war. But a huge amount of our current world is because of this how can we take these things that we're designing for war preparing for war and spin it around and make it profitable or not in war, right that's a whole way that the economy looks like it is now we talked about this with shipping containers those exist because of this stuff and it really makes you wonder just how much of the world is the way it is right now. Because of war end and not because like visited the new Border Lines we draw on a separate like just a sheer manufacturing and way that we interact with each other in the way that the economy is in a political structure know this because, we are designed around War but I'm getting a little off topic again.

Daniel Forkner:

[22:18] No I think that's it that's absolutely true is. You know like you said in designing deception we talked about the remaking of the American economy the Western economy to Consumer needs, above the needs based economy precisely because of the factors that have been built up during the war and so this teargas campaign, was ultimately two-tiered in which the chemical industry owners and the Military Officers of the war collaborated together to manufacture and Test new gas products, so there was a we see the early emergence of the military-industrial complex occurring at this time where companies are profiting off of relationships with Military Officers who, had to pretend there was this distance between them but in fact they are meeting for lunch they're discussing you know how can we test your product and, giving the ability of these companies to succeed through their relationship with the military and then on the other end of that was.

[23:33] Police Department's to entice them to purchase from them they even sought out companies who could use the tear gas against their own employees, write one journalist wrote in 1936 quote. Birds engaging in this sort of business do not wait for strikes to commits they go after the business before trouble breaks out and persuade industrialist to arm regardless of the consequences to the workers. And. So that's also an interesting part of this history which is at one point in time companies were purchasing tear gas directly from these chemical corporations to deploy against their own work cuz I don't think this is legal today.

David Torcivia:

[24:15] I would like I actually was curious and I went and I try to find if you could just like by to your gas you were me and I couldn't find any book things I didn't contact manufacturers directly cuz I didn't have time to in terms of the show. Maybe I still will do that if anybody knows for sure and let us know and we'll add it on the web page but you can buy tear gas grenades like one-off grenades and I guess the legality, is questionable to putting a warrior what your state rules are or whatever but you can still sort of by tear gas but. I don't think like Coca-Cola is buying tear gas to break up strikes in South America anymore I think they just pay deathsquads to do that it's easier.

Daniel Forkner:

[24:57] Yeah everything these days is layered in contractual relationships right.

David Torcivia:

[25:01] That's a great diplomatic way to put it.

Daniel Forkner:

[25:03] Yet no one ever does anything directly is if u.s. military want something done in Venezuela we likely just you know funnel the cash to some local militant group there and then if anything goes wrong it's their neck on the line in the meteorite. There's always these late you know it just like companies have shell corporations I feel like governments also have shell organizations right.

David Torcivia:

[25:24] Yeah so if anyone is looking for a shell organization and they want to pay us do that reach out to us.

Daniel Forkner:

[25:31] But I'm sure it's fairly easy to acquire tear gas but the deployment of that this is something that in the 1930s a company could just deploy against their workers right but today I don't think that would fly.

David Torcivia:

[25:41] I can't just throw tear gas at people I think I get in trouble.

Daniel Forkner:

[25:48] Okay so that's the domestic front I want to talk I just want to touch briefly on the colonial side of this and what I think is particularly interesting is that, the u.s. is the one that embraced puregas primarily they the United States was the one that was manufacturing the stuff and pushing it around the world trying to get other governments to adopt it trying to get their own domestic organizations like police and military to use it. But Great Britain actively opposed the use of tear gas for quite some time on the grounds that it was unethical and uncivilized so that it completely different from the United States it took a long time for Great Britain to come around, and I think that's really important again going back to the fact that today it's so ubiquitous everywhere every single country where there civil unrest going on today is likely to Ploy. Tear gas. It's a we take it for granted perhaps as just being the normal components of domestic riot gear Arsenal.

David Torcivia:

[26:48] I wonder how much of that at the time was specifically also because a lot of these police officers, where a staff are the stuff where I had been in the war and had had this trauma with gas and we're not so sure that we should be finding gas at civilians at least that's what I would like to think that there was a moral, a questionnaire but, it's missing one of these Colonial situations where they didn't exactly see the people that they were trying to subdue as equal or even entirely human at times maybe that's not the case but let me claim to this little bit of fantasy here Daniel.

Daniel Forkner:

[27:21] Well it's hard to say David because those aren't really the people who are you know at the table of these debates right. Is the 3-star generals or whatever right that are having these debate in the first place. But regardless it's very likely that economic pressures is what helped Great Britain change. It's mine on the deployment of this again going back to the 1919 massacre in India. Great Britain was having economic issues with other colonial projects for example the copper mines in North Rhodesia were very important to Great Britain. And they had problems with their workers who I just didn't want to be slaves for the Empire and one panicked police officer actually wrote to. The crown in the thirties that quote there is always a likelihood of trouble in the mining areas around about Christmas time. And that was his reason for requesting teargas as a way to keep the mines product. David I wonder why it's hard to keep mines productive around Christmas time what what what might be the reason for that.

David Torcivia:

[28:30] Why would mine why would people not want a mind around Christmas time.

Daniel Forkner:

[28:36] Yeah I know that this is kind of curious to me.

David Torcivia:

[28:40] Well I mean if it's a Coal Mine the definitely don't wanna be mine and Cole so little kids don't get coal in their stockings.

Daniel Forkner:

[28:46] I know that's true David you know if it was no one's mining call who you know what is Santa going to use to deliver toddlers naughty children.

David Torcivia:

[28:56] Do you think that the.

Daniel Forkner:

[28:58] Or no wait maybe it's the parents who are naughty right they're the ones that don't want to call.

David Torcivia:

[29:02] But I I think I know who's naughty but I don't think we need to say but do you think that coal in stockings is Pro or anti climate change because it's paid for by big Cole or is this like anti-big Cole.

Daniel Forkner:

[29:17] I like saying like if you're bad you deal with call but in order to get that call you have to extract it.

David Torcivia:

[29:23] You're like funding big Cole yeah so I don't know maybe to wash.

Daniel Forkner:

[29:29] Yeah that'll be about the research that and maybe do another show on it. All right so I want a fast forward real quick David to the 60s United States because this is kind of where things take a turn. And you know we can derive some main points from this little history. And that's that with a lot more civil unrest in America during this time there was a reactionary, approach to policing that was a lot more aggressive right there was huge violence between police and people who marched in the Selma marches in the 60s, and this is where things started to change because police started using tear gas more offensively and punitively.

[30:18] Right so punitively being that you know during the Civil Rights protests like Selma's marches there were accounts where, to escape the tear gas to escape the police brutality that was going on many people would run home and there were times when police with chase them to their home, and then once they were inside fire tear gas canisters into 0 through their window and there was one man's house that caught on fire for that reason, and of course please we're starting to use this more offensively by preparing to use it no matter what before something even happened, there's one I want to draw your attention to David which was what happened at People's Park California in 1969 of the University UC Berkeley, I purchased the plot of land to turn it into something but they never did it became dilapidated and so some students in the area and also some other people in the community got together inside will let's turn this into a park let's beautify it ourselves. And of course the university didn't like this this was their private property after all doesn't matter if they are not doing anything with it at the moment I'll dare you you know so there was a protest that came about from this. Ronald Reagan was the governor of California the time and he responded with such Force he called and helicopters he had police come into the area and shoot Buckshot into the crowd in 1 instant killing James Rector.

[31:44] And this was a major paradigm shift because. It was a a scene of complete brutality right that was against these defenseless students. But Ronald Reagan Justified it by calling these protesters essentially enemies of the state he accused the students of being quote bent on destroying our society and our democracy. And through that he justified that use of force that the police use that resulted in the death of James Rector and injuries of others. It's all want to end the history of tear gas here and kind of reflect on the changing relationship of people to their government and what it means when, the government unless they here in the United States looks at a group of students who are you know they have an issue they have a grievance they want to take care of a park, they want to do this or do that looks at those people that says look they're destroying our democracy this is anti America these are enemies, of the state and we're going to use Force to destroy them what do you think what do you think about that.

David Torcivia:

[32:52] I think you're really hit on a point that I was that it was some motivation for doing this show for me, the show isn't just about tear gas even though we ramble on about it for 30 minutes at this point but like a larger discussion of protest in the way that we interact. With the state because usually when you're protesting it's you it's always going to come in contact with the state whether you're protesting a specific company or something of the countries doing itself. The state is going to intervene at some point and that's where it goes from a protest to a tear gas situation or one of the other less-lethal techniques or sometimes the Alisal techniques that are used to try and control it.

[33:31] I don't want to sit here and say or even like half pretend that every protest is good because they're not let you know we say things like Charlottesville, couple years ago which was a protest by neo-nazis that is obviously not good ended in tragedy, unrelated to this but a lot of times I would say the vast majority in at least in my experience a protest of people out there. You just say this world sucks this thing sucks, this is the way of life right now it sucks I want something better I can imagine something better and I'm willing to go out there and ask for something better even when I know that that might risk myself. That I might end up arrested I can lose my my livelihood because of that I might get injured at or in some situations I might even die and. The way that we react to that that the state reacts to that. Isn't to say okay you know I'm listening to what you're saying it's get the fuck out of the streets what you do and go back home return and stop complaining Citizen and that has been the standard response for forever.

[34:37] These are people here asking for something better and we were spawned by shooting teargas designed World War II murder people to force them out of trenches so they could be shot and killed and that is that that's a response. That is the situation of protest right now we will we look at France in the situation has been going on for months at this point is there people saying you know. This world can't keep on going like it is right now and what do they get to get tear gas in their face you look at UK right now with Extinction with billion people saying if we continue doing what we're doing now the world will burn. Billions of people will die and they're getting tear-gassed shot in their face they're getting locked up by the thousands. When people go out and ask I want a better world Estates responses to say will to fucking bad I mean use violence on you whether that violence is intended to kill you, or just to get you out of the streets it's about controlling people and that really is Decor thing you should take away from this is a protest as a battle, turn people who want a better world and those who say too bad this is as good as it gets right now if you want to change the go to your polling Booth once a year. It's the only acceptable way to do it change can't happen when you ask for it I have to let you do that.

Daniel Forkner:

[35:50] Yeah that's that's really one of the main points I take away from this history which is that protesting, is seen in of itself as a threat to power it does not matter what the people are protesting for the act of demanding change any change is seen in the eyes of our government's most of them anyway as a threat. And I think it's the height of irony for Ronald Reagan to call that, anti-democracy what is the complete Flipside right the people crying out for something, is how we should Channel democracy not through this top-down you know shut up go to the the voting booth that's the only way you're allowed to express yourself and as another example to that point, you mentioned in all these different types of things people processing for a lot of those are these Global movements but. We can also think locally on January 12th of 2015 school children as young as seven all wearing their green sweater uniform grouped up behind a fence that have been constructed around their playground. In Nairobi Kenya What had happened is they had come back to school after Christmas. And to their surprise a private developer politician had taken the land beneath their playground.

[37:08] And close it off so he could profit from the cell and so the children responded by protesting. You know they got it in front of this fence they started chanting and dancing and they beat on the metal fence and you can watch a video of this online I just searched a schoolchildren there'll be Kenya 2015 protest you'll find it. And the response was police showed up in riot gear and then they fire tear gas into crowd of student and several of these children were hospitalized by what one witness described as. Brutality beyond words and Beyond description.

David Torcivia:

[37:44] Well this is this is one time at this is the violence that is inherent in asking for something is kids want a playground which already belong to them and there they weren't like asking for something using like just give me back what we've already been using. But somebody's property rights got in the way this politician who is able to use the violence of the state to his own personal profit he comes in, redefines the rules Texas thing and instead of any rational world we would say well of course the children other ones using this the children of the one that deserves the land not some guy who can come in here and even if it's a legal process it's wrong. There are. It's always important to remember that that just because something is legal does not make it anything even remotely ethical or or proper or moral or whatever and. Twist that even further by using this violence to control these kids to teach them not only like are you wrong get out of here but if you ever act up against the state or property or anything again you will face what is essentially the threat of death.

Daniel Forkner:

[38:44] Another thing that occurred to me about this where any type of protest is seen as anti whatever government you are. There's this Platinum of the concept of protesting in general right this is the way we use language in modern society has this effect of flattening issues a lot. Very often to the benefit of power but just consider David like the word protest and protester and how this is used in media anytime a group of people have a grievance.

[39:14] But there are so many diverse reasons why someone would be a quote on quote protester. But the media's use of this single word this very flattening language has the effect of cementing associations in people's mind with the word protester, which can then be used to shape how people feel about anyone who might be labeled that word which totally obscure is the fact. That label is covering up a number of issues that might look nothing like that you know what one protester you know has a grievance against versus another, you are a child in Kenya protesting against the land grab of their playground is totally different in terms of issues. And and other idiosyncrasies with let's say someone protesting police brutality in Ferguson or it which is completely different from a. Teacher in California who is protesting budget cuts to her school that are being led by their billionaire super antenna. These are totally different issues.

[40:30] This language disburse is the issue so that we don't see what's really going on.

David Torcivia:

[40:36] I think that language thing is a really great Point gained on that I know we talked about language allowed in the show we want to devote more time to it but even the nature of what protest is that is such a large word, but it's really been Define down to a very narrow bit of acceptable types of protest protest, interfere with people's day-to-day life I'll people have labeled that you know non-violent protest but nonviolent protest is created initially. Popularized by Gandhi which was it an idea that they really ran with and it inspired others like like Martin Luther King and others what's the concept that they called satyagraha I'm sorry for the Hindi and Sanskrit speakers out there that I butchered that but, this is the nonviolent protest that we consider it today but, it wasn't what we would recognize this series nonviolent protest it involved a lot of economic violence blockading roads making sabotage so so trucks and Military things can get buy anything that could disrupt it though, the sections of power in a way that would not hurt individual people but would lessen the attack that's happening on, are the people protesting or whatever issue there is there but now if you went out and you blocked the road people would call you a violent crazy protester but this is literally what God he was calling for the time.

[41:53] How big is a language because the way that power has tried to redefine with protesters and what type of protest is acceptable are building to protest his got narrower and narrower into finally something that more or less doesn't matter you ever been to a protest in major cities probably seen that you're basically loud just on a sidewalk you probably have to get a permit you're not allowed to disrupt anything your ear there too have a sign and maybe make some noise if you have a noise permit and that's it and people can just pass by and ignore you but the second you step off that road, miniature gas is going to come out then they're going to come out with the L rats and all these less-lethal tools are going to be used to try and kick you out of that space because Fate has decided you can complain, as long as it's not disrupting anything or threatening any economic powers or buy the property or whatever with all this with the emergence of the ideas of free speech zones, I don't know if you seen these Daniel where you're allowed to protest like if you want to protest a political convention or protest at the University or something but only in a small.

[42:54] Fenced off caged area and that's where your free speech is allowed to exist but anything outside of that I think in a zip tie you in three in the back of the van, and of course these Free Speech zones are always heavily controlled by police they're usually out of the side of media usually have big walls and fences around you, and not even close to thing you're protesting like if I want to protest the Democratic National Convention or the Republican National Convention the Free Speech zone is probably like half a mile away not even close where they can just. Make you stand over there you have your signs but everyone's ignores you because you're basically in a cage until you decide to leave.

Daniel Forkner:

[43:32] Yeah one of them I think it was the DNC where they stuck protesters under like a highway you know that I just stuffed under a bridge with chain link fence it literally look like.

David Torcivia:

[43:44] Yeah they look like little concentration camps and that that is what the powers-that-be have decided is the acceptable form of saying I want something better do it out of sight out of mind where you can't make any difference and if we try to do this non-violent protest at the state has decided we're going to allow at least in word and celebrate in the likeness of Gandhi or Martin Luther King well if you trying actually follow the things they said they do you know sabotage things economically well then you're going to go to prison.

Daniel Forkner:

[44:14] I want to take a step back real quick day because there's another main point I want to come to but first I just want to talk real quick about the danger of tear gas because. Look yes it's a non-lethal technology but as pointed out that can cause cause miscarriages people do die regularly from it.

[44:31] Those school children were hospitalized because it's more sensitive if you're a child if you have asthma it can trigger that. In what it in one of the benefits from the government standpoint of tear gas is non-discriminatory right so, if there's a crowd of a thousand people in there happens to be two three four babies in their it's your grass doesn't discriminate so maybe it only causes someone pain who's a healthy 30 year old person but maybe for that baby that has, lasting and damaging effects in 2013 more than 8,000 people were injured by police in protests across turkey, at one point Police use upwards of a 130000 canisters of tear gas in just 20 days, which of the four that had been a year supply of it one woman who was injured by tear gas had to receive two brain surgeries. And although she has a master's degree she's a professional dancer she knew for languages and actively volunteered in her community. This damage left her unable to read to write in to speak you mentioned Ferguson David.

[45:43] Where we saw a massive protests Park after police shot and killed Mike Brown this was what led up to the black lives matter movement, and police responded heavily to protest with violent deployment of tear gas, I want to read for you just what one person does the person who participated the protest names Tori Russell this is what they have to say about what the experience is like.

[46:10] Quotes you no longer feel American it does something to you first mentally before it even hits you. You smell the tear gas is it goes in it's not even air when you breathe it in so you are actually choking right and then you don't know and you panic, mentally you don't know what to do it takes away your reasoning instantly you don't know what to do, then you try to scream but you can't breathe it goes into your lungs your chest it constricts you can't breathe and all this is in like 10 seconds then you just start crying tears just slow down you start sneezing, coughing if you don't get out of that 5-yard ratio then you're instantly going down to the ground. And it's so one thing I want to say is that. Going back to that language and how we paint protesters and these movements as violent it's undeniable, that more often than not it is the police we're using these tactics that are themselves the instigators of violence.

[47:15] You'll consider the Tory Russell's visceral reaction to tear gas and in the context of what Tori is protesting against the fact that police in America regularly and indiscriminately murder innocent black people in the street, in their backyard and their own beds and the excuse is always at the police officer feared for their life because the victim moved too quickly or put their hands in their pockets, when it was just a cell phone, well I wonder how many people have been killed because of police officer fired teargas at someone who then panicked just as toy Russell describes, which then provided the officer the justification for unloading a full magazine of bullets into their body.

[47:57] He reminds me of a story I told on this podcast a while ago when I went to a peaceful protest in Atlanta to show our support for the families being separated by immigration officials, and the police responded by driving motorcycles through the crowd of people. Before they did that we were peacefully on the sidewalk but once they started ramming their their motorcycles to the crowd we were in the streets, but it was the police that incited that finest they were the ones physically ramming their bikes into people and it makes me wonder how close my son, of us some peaceful protesters have been, Thule say involuntarily reacting with you know extending their arms for spawning and anger may be pushing a police officer it all of a sudden just like that that's the justification the police need to start pulling the trigger. And again here gas this non-lethal Technologies. It plays this double role in shaping the public image of protesters when violence does occur on the one hand it creates chaos. The deployment of tear gas is what causes crowds to panic but then that Panic that chaos is what. Visually justifies the presence of police. We see images of protesters running going crazy but all the sudden that images used to justify this line of police officers in riot gear.

[49:21] Then if protesters try to cope ahead by let's say wearing gas masks or something like that will then it's very easy for me public relations standpoint to point at those protesters as violent agitators you look, they brought military gear to a so-called peaceful demonstration, made it so all of this plays into the criminalization of protesters in multiple ways.

David Torcivia:

[49:43] Of course you know wouldn't when it's not the protesters were throwing the tear gas or or any of these chemical weapons but it's it's just there to try and resist that the attacks they know will company polices the police choose to escalate the situation in order to be able to arrest the protesters and get them out of the way cuz if you can get them out of sight off the streets then you can shut down whatever it is they're actually trying to ask for.

Daniel Forkner:

[50:05] And then there's one other point I want to make David which kind of goes back to the history of tear gas but in the twenties when maybe the thirties when tear gas was being developed by these companies and being marketed to police agencies there was an early model of this that was designed from the ground up to be shot point-blank, indoors and it was marketed as such and it highlights the the point that tear gas is not a tool that has been repurposed right for, you know this riot gear equipment it's not a baseball bat that has been been repurposed to you as a billy club right, the sole purpose from its conception in a factory somewhere. Used to be used by a government against its own people that's its only function it has no other purpose.

David Torcivia:

[50:59] And in fact it's been banned from war you can only use it against your own civilians it's the only place that it's allowed to be used internationally.

Daniel Forkner:

[51:07] Yeah and it brings up a question of my mind what is r.

[51:25] Ever in a million years ever need to defend itself against his own people. Under what circumstances would a government ever be in a defensive position against its citizens. It can only be when the government is not serving its people why else would have why else would anyone oppose their own government. If this is democracy and we are represented then why would we ever oppose those who represent us unless they are not doing that job.

[51:55] One more example David and then we can move on there's a long history of protest surrounding Headwaters forest in California in which people have been fighting to keep loggers from destroying the old growth redwood forest. In 1997 peaceful sit-ins by protesters were attacked by police who have soaked Q-tips in pepper spray. And then swapped protesters eyes with them then the police took canisters of pepper spray and sprayed them directly in people's faces and eyes from just a few inches away. If this occurred at least three times and just a month or two. In a suit against the Sheriff's Office was created the first judge threw the case out the victim's attorneys appealed and on a third case the jury found the sheriff's to be guilty of using excessive force. David you want to guess what the victims were awarded. From this very damning charge against the sheriff's use this pepper spray.

David Torcivia:

[52:55] Based on what I know of the justice system I would guess that they were actually forced to grovel to the police officers and ask their forgiveness and wash their cars.

Daniel Forkner:

[53:07] Not that the victim's won this case.

David Torcivia:

[53:12] I know I know what I said.

Daniel Forkner:

[53:13] They think they won the case.

David Torcivia:

[53:14] I understand 100% what I said they wanted and that was with the court let them get away with blood.

Daniel Forkner:

[53:21] So what's your guess.

David Torcivia:

[53:22] Play 4 for $5 like enough. Enough for like a Big Mac Book like the dollar menu.

Daniel Forkner:

[53:27] What about a sad Big Mac is another thing now for mental health awareness.

David Torcivia:

[53:30] That's Burger King.

Daniel Forkner:

[53:34] Okay what anyway you're five times too much is one. They got $1 each.

David Torcivia:

[53:37] 5 * 2 months Jesus I thought I was being funny but.

Daniel Forkner:

[53:44] I got $1.

David Torcivia:

[53:49] We've been rambling about your gas for a while and we crossed over to some protest things and then we keep talking about like we'll get to this part of the show and we'll get to that and actually I don't know if we will cuz I don't know how long.

[54:02] Remember unit tier Gatsby is one of the many tools that are being used to control people today the other, less lethal weapons if you've ever been to be situations probably seen them bean bag.

[54:14] Guns rubber bullets lrad is the new Cool Tech in town it said called the long range acoustic device and it's basically a giant speaker, that blast a very painful sound at you at a very high-volume enough that you have to run away or to risk Aaron Gammage they are testing microwave guns that will heat up your skin and basically burn you from long distance to try to get you to get out of an area those are two very exciting Technologies for police departments will talk about wine in this moment, pepper spray is of course ubiquitous pepper spray is not the same as tear gas they are sort of someone their function but they have a different specific uses for example in New York we don't really use tear gas here in the city because it's too hard to control within the city and they don't want to just gas people in their buildings no and they do have plenty of your gas if they were feel like they needed a, it's not standard operating procedure for NYPD to utilize teargas even in large protest situations but they do use plenty of pepper spray, is there pepper spray bombs for stray bullets and also just the handheld pepper spray fire extinguishers for like a better way to put it's not like your little May scan is basically a fire extinguisher filled with pepper spray liberally, shoot around every space along with the animals tasers too much lesser extent batons of tonsil really falling out of a favor.

[55:36] Riot shields are often used for beating people this is the standard protest makeup today but a problem with a lot of that is as we talked about your gas degree visual thing into, you pointing out Daniel was actually used to cover up crimes quite a bit especially in situations like happened in Selma work in front of these tear gas and then Indie confusion of the gas while you're police officers have gas masks on while the poor civilians can't see anything you take that chance in the dark to beat people away from the cameras prying eyes well now people have associate just a vision of gas as something that is negative and end in scary against the police so they really are trying to think about. Public perception with the new technology is being deployed which is why you're seeing things like these lrad systems where you can disperse the large crowd who doesn't want to hang out and go deaf, but there's nothing to take a picture of there's nothing there it's just people running away the same with these microwave guns they don't even really look like a gun they don't need anymore, you're not going to shoot somebody and leaving with a bruised and they can take a picture of her earlier maybe they have a burn but it's just a red spot on their skin.

[56:44] This is the future protest because police departments have gun Savvy and realize it's not just enough to be able to disperse this stuff we have to do in a way that doesn't spread on social media. And I think that's really where the industry is heading so I tear gas will always always be part of the Arsenal and it'll always be the last choice that they make but I think the future is is moving away from tear gas is which is in some ways even more Insidious.

Daniel Forkner:

[57:09] Yeah absolutely it gets kind of unnerving to me because. Tear gas just represents look the need was we need something that is not as visually violent as shooting somebody. So in a way to your gas the function is maintaining status quo in terms of our relationship to power. Right it goes back to we have the our Colonial slaves to mine copper for us and we need that status quo to continue. And if it becomes intolerable to the public to see the violent means we use to keep that mine productive will will switch to a different tool that's not quite so violent at least visually, and I think you're absolutely right with the proliferation of surveillance facial recognition that predictive policing technology like we talked about in episode 9 nothing left to hide we're seeing you no power.

[58:12] Sickly controlling them and that is a deeper insidiousness but why don't we talked about maybe some ways we can fight back.

David Torcivia:

[58:20] It's funny you mention that because this really is a show at its core about fighting back, write a protest is when people decide you know I've had enough it's time to fight back. Andale we can warn you about some of these tools people are using I can give you some protest tips as well as Street medic tips if you're in a situation where you are being assaulted by these tear gas or pepper spray things I guess and get to that in a moment.

[58:45] I think it is gorgeous thinking about our relationship to state power thinking about a relationship to corporate power, thinking about a relationship with their Community when we do want to ask for something whether it's protest with that protest might be in that limiting ourselves to that very specific media image of a bunch of people on the side of the street with signs and on the other side of street or in the street there's a bunch of cops making sure they don't do anything out of line, or the image of a hundred cops in 20 protesters there which we keep seeing more and more. After the WTO protests in Seattle really change the way that police interact with protesters which is interesting story maybe we can touch on that a little bit today Daniel. Thinking about the ways that we can take action the ways that we can make a difference the way that we can, ask for something or achieve that something not even just having that limit ourselves that can I have this but actually going out and getting that I think is what we we really want people to start thinking about and to take away because yeah we're been talked about a lot of failures in this protest world because of this day power because of these teargas techniques and other things but there are a lot of Victories at the same time.

Daniel Forkner:

[59:50] Just briefly I read another book David called direct action by La Kaufman and what I want to touch on what you just said about the failures. And the victories because we mentioned dr. Martin Luther King jr. and Gandhi earlier and. I think they represented something in protesting that has changed. So we think about the type of civil rights protest that we're going on in the sixties the type of protest that dr. Martin Luther King Jr lead. You're absolutely right about the Civil Disobedience meant to disrupt but there was also this kind of you know Central leadership there was a lot of planning around many protests.

David Torcivia:

[1:00:35] There was a lot of violence happening not in the nonviolent protest that enabled the nonviolent protest to work to I don't want to give an entirely sanitize story of History, and we liked teaching especially Western schools and particularly in America where Martin Luther King and Gandhi were able to change the world for the better by just being peaceful because both of their successes were absolutely enabled by the violence of others either the state itself, in other parts of the world with with military actions which is sort of what led to the end of colonialism in India for the British or by other parties were directly involved are in the same struggles alongside these these charismatic nonviolent leaders of people like Malcolm X whose actions were just as important in getting immensely to that change but again that's that's another topic.

Daniel Forkner:

[1:01:21] In Doctor Martin Luther King Junior actually even wrote from jail at one point on the need for direct action, among people and he said quote direct action seeks to create such a crisis and Foster such attention, Delta Community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored in quote. I think that those those goals of disrupting in order to make change of always kind of been there, but I think in terms of tactics at least until a cough and rice is a bit of a shift in the 60s and the 70s in which protest movements and the goal and the way the people win about, getting that chain moved from a more centralized structure a kind of top-down you know National leadership plans it then promotes it lets everybody know and everybody Across the Nation shows up, to something that was more decentralized. It included way more voices in these smaller groups that then fought to enact change in their local communities. And this this kind of the shift as she writes takes place after the May Day protests of May 3rd 1971 in which 25,000 protesters showed up to organize and anti-war direct action protest, to block traffic going into DC at more than 20 bridges in different traffic choke.

[1:02:50] And the u.s. President Nixon at the time saw it as such a threat that he had troops from the Army and National Guard conduct Mass arrests, practically anybody in the street and what was the largest mass arrest in US history 7000 people were arrested on the first day and 13,000 were arrested total in the span of this protest. It what was different about the tactics of this protest although it was a failure and its immediate goals, it had the effect of inspiring activism across United States, to change to a more decentralized direct action a tactical approach. In ways that focus on outcome that is you know action rather than congregation disruption rather than display. Know which is total of the opposite of the typical protested is planned with preset paths, there was a big protest in DC not long ago David that I know had to get a permit from the state just to occupy so this is very different from that.

[1:03:52] And then on the decentralized structure there was something that you do is called a finity groups in which there are no Central organizers no National leadership, the action is organized around geographic regions with each region having their own tactical autonomy. And this is where the affinity group structure comes in where people organize themselves he's activist into groups of safe between 5 and 15 and these are people that all know each other all trust each other in these groups are what then, make their own decisions about how to participate in a given action given a specific goal. And I think going forward this is a really important change in in tactics because something we haven't talked about I don't think but. One thing that came to light in the sixties and seventies was the way the FBI and even the CIA in the United States actively targeted its own citizens by disrupting group from within this is one of the things that, how to destroy the Black Panther Party of the time with the FBI infiltrating then with informants, sending letters to Fred Hampton and Eldridge Cleaver II to create relational Discord between them and kind of break the party up, but when there is no organizational structure like that, there is no easy way to disrupt what people are doing because there's no one left to Target and so as l e Kaufman right in her book after this may day tribe and after this kind of shift in the way the US government responded to protest.

[1:05:22] You know there was this there was this.

[1:05:24] Change because those who were protesting in civil rights movement of the sixties and seventies and those who were protesting the Vietnam War they had done all these demonstrations all these marches all this sign caring but then I looked around and realized why, poverty is just as bad as it always has been the Vietnam War still raging as hard as it ever has been and as a result, activism in the United States turned inward an introspective and local during which according to her quote. Movements became smaller and weaker than they had been but there were more of them and speaking in a greater array of voices, in quote the itself in terms of introspection many activist groups shifted their focus from building mass movements, the building better structures of organizing themselves there was a ton of work put into experimenting with new structures to ensure every voice could be heard that affinity group model was augmented with a Spoke model for maintaining constant communication between groups, so as this Focus shifted towards these new models of participation actions tended toward the local and immediate. Was that were anti-nuclear protest of the 70s and 80s weather was the women's march on the Pentagon the the movements in the 80s against South African apartheid the Occupy Movement soninho 2011 and Beyond.

[1:06:47] And then I'm really trying to do summarize this down David but the main takeaway from this history of of a changing protest landscape in America and abroad is that. Yes we should support and be a part of these Global movements like XR Rebellion.

[1:07:05] But at the same time we should recognize that there is tremendous power in organizing at the local level with just a handful of people you trust, to Target things in your area that need immediate attention, direct action to get your mayor to make a change or your community to rally against a specific issue because as La coffin point on her book often times the greatest Transformations on a national landscape have occurred from these instances of small resistance, is one example she cites the 1977 Seabrook occupation in which just 2,000 people occupied a site for the new construction of a nuclear power plant, but to even participate in this activist required each participant to attend 7 hour long training organize themselves into Affinity groups in this action alone inspired similar actions Across the Nation and many people point to this this movement, is responsible for the enormous reduction in plant nuclear power projects in the US you know For Better or Worse depending on how you feel about nuclear power but the point being that fighting back in your local area can sometimes be the most powerful thing you can do.

[1:08:25] The yes we need the mass movements but so often it's just that spark at the local level that can inspire people around the world to take your example it doesn't take much and we can all do that.

David Torcivia:

[1:08:38] There's so many ways these days Daniel to reach out and to try and take this action into your own hands it doesn't have to be going out into the streets with thousands of other people you don't have to wait for these events to be publicly organized on Facebook and put that little attending button for whatever bizarre reason we decided as a community that that is the way we want to organize this stuff up for the sake of surveillance don't get me started, these types of things can be small and action can be we talked about this on the show before it is going out there with your community with your neighbors getting to know them saying hey there's a problem here let's see what we can do about it and sometimes it's as simple as like let's go out find a tree let's do a little bit of gardening and that can be the little step that takes you in that process of making a difference a planting a tree somewhere can absolutely be an act of protest it doesn't have to be in the streets battling with police officers and I think in a way the states would have wants us to think about protest in those terms because that is where the state has the most control, that is where they have all these tools to subdue us with these less-lethal techniques and if they're not using less lethal techniques they can always up it to Liesel techniques and then they have the final say in the type of violence, and they can lock you up they can take away your livelihood that that is their Battleground and that's why they want you to fight it but if you turn to other places and these small little notes that the estate power doesn't quite reached then you can really start pushing back.

[1:10:03] You can take in your hands these things. People like Gandhi were talking about with economic sabotage and I don't think I can actually say anything here without putting myself in legal trouble but there are lots of options available to people who want to make a difference not in the way that the media has decided that we're going to define the word protest, protesters anytime you say I want something better and then you do something about. Is your protesting the situation that you find yourself in and you're you're making a difference in that process you're taking action and that's the important part to do there, a couple traditional protest tips I just want to make real quick.

[1:10:37] These may vary based on where you are and I don't want to scare people from attending protest because the vast majority of protests do not end violently they do not end in tear gas but a couple things to keep in mind I guess, is 1B very aware of your arrest ability. If you can't get arrested don't get in a situation where you will be things are heating up and get out of there this is especially important if you're an immigrant if you're not to take care of people if you have a job you can't lose there's no need to be a hero there are people out there who can be arrested, and they will do that end in further more than to let people know this too so they don't actually get you in situations, where you can be arrested because they're not paying attention on the same website if you can be arrested and you want to be arrested for some reason like Extinction Rebellion is planning on doing it to try and get as many people as possible to be arrested.

[1:11:28] People who can't get arrested in danger in your attempts to be arrested because yeah you might be fine he might have bail money you might have somebody who's there to come and get you out of you might not get fired but if you accidentally get somebody arrested who can't be they might be deported they might end up homeless these are things you need to keep in mind it's not just about you it's about the people around you and some knowing who those people are are important in making sure that you yourself don't make things worse and I see this a lot of people who are new in protest too excited to really get out there be mindful you're part of a crowded part of the community, and then that should be first and foremost in your head not some some martyr or hair or thing or whatever.

[1:12:08] Safety stuff it depends on what the season is we're coming up to protest season right now it's going to get hot around the country and make sure you have plenty of water most protest injuries icr because people are not drinking so make sure you have water make sure you have snacks if you're diabetic or whatever make sure you have things to keep your blood sugar up no the local laws, you can't step on streets you don't get arrested don't do that if you can't mask yourself and your your District don't wear a mask, all these things are important wear your sunscreen that is always important make sure your dressing properly hats are great hats with bills are even better cuz they can slightly hide your face I recommend bringing a backpack because not only can you store stuff in it but you can also spin around and use it as a sort of Shield if the cops ever bring a bean bag guns or something did the movies turn your back of the cop put your hand over your neck drop your head down and walk away and that is the most secure you can be, your protest will probably have Street Medics if it's well done I find them and they will help you they have water and snacks and whatever other things you need. Don't be afraid to run away from situations you don't feel comfortable in if you do get pepper sprayed.

[1:13:16] We run lots of tests on pepper spray cleaning a lot of people who volunteered to be pepper sprayed with a lot of different types of spray to figure out what is best the online myth about milk is not true as far as we can tell it just makes you gross so the best way to do it is take a bottle of water, do not wear contacts to protest, if somebody has contacts in your eyes get them out before you flush them but basically squirt the bottle of water from the inside of the base to the outside of their face repeatedly to flush them hold their eye open the person doing this should be why my glove world you're just going to get more pepper spray all over their face, do this to both eyes also sort of rinse off the rest of their face make sure the person does not touch their face make sure they do not touch their hair cuz they're just going to get pepper spray back in their face if they do that, go home if you've been pepper sprayed wash your hair and mediately cuz you're going to sweat and get more pepper spray in your eyes and wash your head when you shower by backing up slowly into the the shower, with your head back so that the water from your hair doesn't run down your face or is he just going to re pepper spray yourself. Wash your hair with with shampoo in a good clean winner.

[1:14:22] Of course I want to scare people that hardly ever happens what it is good to know sort of what to do I'm giving you a very very quick basic rundown of that at some point and we can go into more detail about this anybody have specific questions feel free to email me I'm happy to help but there's probably also a street medic elective in your city that can give you this type of information and take care of whatever fears you have when it comes to getting involved in these types of situations don't be scared they're fun you'll meet great people and you can have a very visible way that you're making a difference, but don't limit yourself to the sole of these types of protest like we mentioned there lots of different actions you can take little.

[1:14:57] All in different parts of your life that can be acts of protest at the protest are you saying this is not good I want something better and I'm going to do something about it and that's all, anybody ever expects from you.

Daniel Forkner:

[1:15:10] Well said David I know you have a lot more to say on this so you know if you are interested in in the more the whole show on this topic may be what it's like to be in a protest what to expect. You know David you can talk a lot more about how to prepare to give in different situations maybe we could do that if people are interested.

David Torcivia:

[1:15:30] Yeah let us know we love hearing show suggestions we love hearing from the community as a whole are we got a large Greek community and we love all of you so don't ever be scared to reach out how you can email us you can message yes you can join our Discord and we'll tell you all those details in just a second but this is what candy starts so we have to begin somewhere we hope we can make a difference together and as always Daniel.

Daniel Forkner:

[1:15:54] Let me guess David that's a lot to think about.

David Torcivia:

[1:15:56] You got it but think about it and do something about it we hope you will. You can learn more about everything we talked about today you can find the books that we've mentioned it maybe even that video on our website as well as a full transcript of this episode at ashes ashes. Org.

Daniel Forkner:

[1:16:14] A lot of time and research goes into making these episodes possible and we will never use ads to support the show, so if you like it and would like us to keep going you our listener can support us by giving us a review recommending us to a friend, or visiting us at patreon.com ashes ashes cast we also have an email address its contact. Ashes ashes. Org we encourage you to send us your thoughts we read them and we appreciate.

David Torcivia:

[1:16:44] We are also on all your favorite social media networks at ashes ashes cast and we are in fact looking for people to help us manage Barr Twitter we're going to head off to people weekly in the near future so if you're interested you can join our Discord what you'll find at the top of our website the invitation link to that school Community Discord and you'll be on here to great group of people and there's a chat room setup for social media interested in helping us run a Twitter for a week or two or whatever popping their say hey and a we will start getting that sorted very soon we're also on Reddit at our / ashes ashes cast. Next week we'll be digging into that ipbes Global assessment report only mentioned last week the full report isn't quite out yet it'll be coming out later this year at this full 1500 pages but there are 50 or so pages of summaries for media and policymakers that we will be digging into because this is a very important thing is that we want to make sure that our listeners and everyone else in the world is all caught up on this this is just as important as the ipcc report so we absolutely hope that you'll tune in for that. Until then this is Ashley's ashes.

Daniel Forkner:

[1:17:58] When there is no organizational structure life that there is no easy there is no easy way to disrupt what people are doing what people are what people are doing because there's no one to Target there's no. Hey hey.