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In honor of pResident Bush's UNwelcome party, here are some arts 'n' crafts ideas to make activists more powerful.
Find a used sports store, and invest in helmets and pads of all kinds (get extra for your friends). Make alterations to the helmets to make them impossible to remove by others (drill holes for chains or bike-locks to lock on your body, or cover the buckles with duct-tape); use your imagination!

Wrist-guards and gauntlet-gloves are excellent for arrest-proofing yourself. If you are VERY serious about this, cover the wrists of your apparatus with WOOD JOINERS (you'll find them in the nail-section of any hardware store or Fred Meyer). Use two pliers to bend them to your comfort, then lighty glue or tape them facing up on the wrist section; then stretch duct-tape right through the spikes, around the wrists to secure them. THIS TECHNIQUE CAN BE APPLIED TO ANY PIECE OF ARMOR, JUST BE SURE THERE IS PADDING OR A HARD BARRIER BETWEEN YOU AND THE FLAT PART OF THE JOINERS.

If your local Army/Navy surplus is out of gas-masks, go to the hardware store, and find the painting/industrial masks. The ones you'll need usually have two filter cans on the sides, and they go for $20-$50. You'll still need eye protection, and swimming goggles will do the trick, or any eyewear that's airtight, or at least waterproof.

(Inspired by the previous post, thanks!) Buy lots and lots of aluminum foil, and wrap it around cardboard "shields" that can be used as mirror light "weapons". These will be easy to fold and conseal until the perfect moment. If you want more protection, use a wood, plastic, or metal shield. If you run out of foil, use chrome paint and chrome tape (yes, it's somewhere in most hardware stores).

A cheap way to make plasic shields can be to find used snow-disks and add handles, or find large garbage-cans and cut them vertically into halves or 3rds, and add handles.

Finally, if you can afford or borrow some, use LEAF-BLOWERS to repel the tear-gas!
Tear gas, light weapons 12.Aug.2002 12:29


Is the foil to blind people? I have often wondered, does it hurt to pick up tear gas cans? Why not just throw them back?

YES, THE MIRRORS BLIND. AND..... 12.Aug.2002 12:50

The Engineer

The cans are not hot, they can be handled safely. I also heard of an idea to deflect them: anyone with good aim can bring TENNIS/RUGBY raquets to swat the cans back at them!

stupid is as stupid does 12.Aug.2002 13:28

can't catch me

Going up against riot troops with plastic sleds and foil?

Ummm... Engineer is not too bright, or trying to spread misinformation.


Sorry, you may be right; have you done it? 12.Aug.2002 13:38

oops, my bad

It doesn't really make sense that they would be hot though.
To be on the safe side, wear thick gloves anyway. I hope this little mistake won't get in the way of our friendship.

Anyone who has personally handled the things please post and advise?


Can't Catch Me, don't be so hostile 12.Aug.2002 13:48

anti-war vet

If you have any bright ideas to protect activists from storm troopers, we'd like to hear them.

Yes, use gloves 12.Aug.2002 14:12


Fight the power, do no harm
What They Are:
Tear gas (also called CS, CN, or CX) and pepper spray (OC) are chemical compounds that are weapons designed to be used by the military and police to disperse crowds and subdue individuals. They are mucous membrane (the inside of your mouth and nose, among other places, are lined with mucus membrane) and skin irritants. They are mixed with solvents, and delivered through the use of propellants. Some people think some of these can cause cancer, birth defects and genetic mutations. In Seattle, one batch of tear gas contained methylene chloride, a highly toxic solvent which can cause mental confusion, headache, tingling of the limbs, rapid heartbeat, visual and auditory hallucinations, menstruation cycle disruption, spontaneous abortion, and varying effects on lungs and the digestive system.
How They Are Deployed:
Tear gas and pepper spray can be sprayed from small hand-held dispensers or large fire-extinguisher size tanks. Tear gas is most commonly deployed via canisters, which are fired into crowds, sometimes directly at people. Don't pick up the canisters without gloves as they are extremely hot. Be aware that the time it takes you to throw it will allow you to be heavily exposed.



Tear gas canisters are very hot. In Quebec, people with thick gloves on had 3rd degree burns on their hands from picking up and lobbing back canisters.

Get fire resistant gloves if you are thinking of picking up a fired canister.

Better yet, have a bunch of 5 gallon buckets ready, and turn them over on top of the canister and leave it for a few minutes. That keeps more of the gas away from everyone. Throwing it back may be symbolic, but does not help all that much, as the gas still gets in the air.

Another idea 12.Aug.2002 14:24


How about a fire resistant lining to a big trash can, with a lid. Toss in the cannisters as fast as they are fired. Tear gas teams could be deployed at strategic locations at upcoming big actions for this purpose.

A RETRACTION 12.Aug.2002 14:29

The Engineer

I humbly apologize for the unscientific assumption that tear-gas cannisters aren't hot. I have no formal training in the handling of such a weapon. I made a confident guess, based on observing video footage from WTO '99.

I do not, however, retract my assertion that our right to protest is under fire (literaly); and anyone with enough courage to face the violent oppression of the establishment should be as equipped as possible. Unless someone wants to donate millions of dollars worth of bullet-proof vests to the progressive cause, I suggest we put our heads together, and get creative.

While I'm at it, let's be inspired by the creativity of progressive activists in western Europe, who have to contend with rocks thrown from police helicoptors. They found that using metal wire to fly kites around the edge of demonstrations kept the flying pigs at bay. It's that kind of imagination, and the sheer number of citizens that show up for these demonstrations, that get things done.

Bring children 12.Aug.2002 14:29


Protests often include small children. I'm not suggesting they be put in harms way. They can and should be away from the front lines. However, they are a mighty represention of dissidence within all class groups. If mothers are so afraid for their kid's future, they are willing to bring them to protest the bastard and his henchmen, the police and riot officers may realize whom to protect and who is the real threat.

paint bombs 12.Aug.2002 14:54


A real weak spot for robo cops is that although heavily protected they can not see through their protective visors or clear shields if they are covered in thick house hold paint. Supersoakers might do the trick but paint bombs (water balloons filled with paint) can be used at a greater distance.

It is harder than you'd think to fill a water balloon with paint. One method that works is (1) buy a siphon with a pump from hardware store or automotive store, (2) buy cheap house paint. (3) buy waterballoons.

Trim the hose of the siphon to about 1 foot. Place a water baloon on the filling side of the siphn (the side that air pumps out of). Place the shortened tube in the paint (you might need to water down the paint) squeeze the pump on the siphon pumping paint into the balloon.
Throw balloon.

This is a messy and confusing method but it does work! If anybody has any other recipes for paint bombs please post them here.

Bring dirty diapers... 12.Aug.2002 18:22

Limpclinton Liberal

and when the moment arrives, TEAR-OFF your poopy diaper and throw it at someone who really gives a crap.
Jump up and down and then throw yourself onto the ground screaming at the top of your lungs.
Maybe then you'll be taken seriously as the looney liberal pathetic dolts that you proclaim to be.

life is worth it 12.Aug.2002 18:56


Everything that we do as a progressive movement hinges on our right to protest. If we don't have that, then they win, and it's the end of all life.

If we care about the future existence of the human race, or any life on planet Earth, we have no choice but to fight the establishment.

If all you can do is criticize, go find a website where everyone agrees with YOU.

Medical Errors in "Preparations" post 12.Aug.2002 19:54

kirk james murphy, md kmurphy@ucla.edu

Unfortunately, much of the info in the "Preparations" post to Portland Indymedia is erroneous; some of the information is dangerous. Posts pointing to the "Preparations" piece popped up all over various Indymedia newswires..which ensures that more people will be misled........

(1) Tear gas canisters DO cause severe thermal burns - I've seen them happen and treated them!

(2) Any direct action eye protection must be shatter-proof (against projectiles like rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, batons, etc.) - all activists should have this protection.

See the Portland Black Cross Health Collective web site for accurate information:
 http://www.blackcrosscollective.org . This site also has links to other good activist medic resources.

FYI......One effective technique for dealing with smoking canisters is a 5 gallon plastic bucket - place over the canister and trap the "gas". [Take care that the bucket isn't touching the canister, of course....] Tear "gas" is actually a solid at room temperature - which is why it must be heated to become a vapor. As the heated molecules transfer their thermal energy to the bucket wall, the tear "gas" moleules fall out of suspension in the atmosphere and - voila - no more "gas".

In between capping tear gas canisters, the buckets make for great percussion instruments (albeit with limited tonality) and are very useful for an impromptu seat ....

thanks for the heads-up 12.Aug.2002 20:09

the masses

We have, at this point, already established that cannisters are HOT. Now, let's continue the real discussion of how to defend ourselves from attacks by the stormtroopers.

one question 12.Aug.2002 21:03


Have riot cops even bothered to use tear-gas or plastic bullets on crowds in the U.S. since Seattle '99?

if there's a way to do it... 12.Aug.2002 21:19

thomas painte

The paint trick sounds cool. You can also start the balloon stretching with a bit of water. I bet then the paint can go in using a simple funnel. That, and you can fill more balloons. But won't you get arrested and charged with defacing public and private property and endangering a police officer? If only a paint ball gun wouldn't get you shot at...

bean bag guns, tasers.... 12.Aug.2002 22:11

fuck tha police

Wearing floating life vests can help to absorb beatings from sticks, etc. We can make shields and form a line against the cops and use the shields to push them back. Shields can also be used to protect the people behind you from spray, etc. You can make paint bombs w/ hollow egg shells, egg containers that pantyhose and those supermarket quarter machines for kids use, etc.... How to deal with the horses, tho?

Yeah, tear gas canisters are hot! 12.Aug.2002 22:45


Hell yeah, tear gas canisters are really hot.

If you are the army surplus, ask them for big chemical gloves. Or at the hardware shop, buy some work construction gloves they're resistant.

Also in Quebec people brought hockey sticks to slapshot the canisters back.

Children the ultimate weapons!!!! 13.Aug.2002 10:59

baby hater

Let's use babies as weapons! First we purchase children on the black market, then put them in the front lines. If the pigs try anything we throw the babies at them and take them down while they try and catch the children.