portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

human & civil rights | police / legal | technology cheney protests

New "Less Lethal" Weapon Deployed in PDX

Budgets are tight in PDX: clinics close and families feel the squeeze from all sides. But, as always, there is money for more weapons systems to defend capital from any potential "bad guys" seeking equality, representation, rights, or other such absurdities.
Budgets are tight in PDX: clinics close and families feel the squeeze from all sides. But, as always, there is money for more weapons systems to defend capital from any potential "bad guys" seeking equality, representation, rights, or other such absurdities.

Ossifer Felts at the Cheney protest was toting a Belgian FN303 "marker" rifle. It's powered by CO2, fires a .68 caliber "paintball" that contains very little paint, about 5% pepperspray, and the toxic heavy metal Bismuth — the main ingredient.


This weapon caused damage to facial nerves when used against a union leader in Switzerland who objected verbally as the police beat down her son. Bismuth was imbedded all over the muscle and fat of her face, so close to nerves that it couldn't be safely removed by emergency room physicians. Her doctor called the police, asking what this metal was, and they denied knowledge of this weapon and responded that it must have been something thrown by a demonstrator. So here's the scoop before it happens in PDX.




I strongly suggest forcing that fuckwit fascist mayor and her accomplices into banning this weapon today. It is really an insult ontop of injury to Oregonians to spend big bucks on weapons to repress them with at a time where social spending is at rock bottom.

In solidarity,

Other fucked up factoids about the FN303:
Range: 100m (range at which it can be aimed, total projectile travel is much farther)
Shot per magazine: 15
Velocity: 330 km/h!!

homepage: homepage: http://www.ssi-media.com/pigbrother/Gummi1.htm#3d

Translation of German to English of ssi_media information 29.Jul.2004 06:48

99th monkey

For those of you that do not have translation capability.......
here is the translation of the relevant information on the new TOY that our local Gestapo has brought into their arsenal. WE HAVE TO GET THIS OUTLAWED! IT IS A DANGEROUS WEAPON THAT WILL MAIM AND CREATE MASSIVE LIFE-CHANGING INJURIES. "Less lethal", my ass! Thsi is a weapon of intimidation, pure and simple. Anyone that sees what damage it causes will be very unlikely to ever put themselves in front of it again. The Fascist "public safety officers" know exactly why they bought this weapon; not for "less lethal crowd control" but to stop disent before it happens. One more step down the ever-shortening road to a fascist state.
FN303 translation
FN303 translation

thanks for the info 29.Jul.2004 07:17

portland dad

i wondered what those weapons were.i noticed the magazines on the rifles and just assumed they were the rubber bullet riot control guns.thanks for the heads up.did you notice a couple of officers had their fingers on the triggers all afternoon?i hate to think that i could have been hit with one of those paintballs for exercising my right to assemble and protest peacefully.

Here is more on this LETHAL weapon 29.Jul.2004 08:31

Hector Macgoblin


This is advertised by the manufacturer as a "less-lethal" weapon. Less lethal than what, you might ask. Less lethal than a bazooka?

Another featured weapon by this manufacturer is a .308 police rifle -- a rifle you can trust, they say. This comes complete with convenient carrying case and silencer. Silencer? Why on earth would a policeman need a silencer?

The Minute Men are coming....

NonLethal Weapons Technology Exposed! 29.Jul.2004 09:42



The Plastic Bullet and Beyond

Battles in the streets with cops are getting more and more dangerous. Anyone who has been to a peaceful protest in the streets in the past year, knows of the increased use of force by police on the generally unarmed protesters. This is made possible not only by the police on power trips who reside over today's American cities, but by companies small and large that have been designing new and more advanced "non-lethal" weapons to be used against us. The Jaycor corporation is just one of these companies.

Tear gas, paint bombs, and fire hoses are just the beginning my friends. Plastic and bean-bag bullets and pepperballs, used most recently during protests against Bush's Iraq War, have become common, but are still on the low end of the technology ladder. Check out some weapons currently under design that will very soon make their debut at a protest near you!

Case Study: The Jaycor Corporation

The Jaycor corporation was founded in 1975 and has since worked primarily for the Department of Defense. In 1999 Jaycor Tactical Systems (JTS) was created "with the mission of developing, manufacturing, and marketing goods and services to assist law enforcement and corrections departments gain compliance with nonlethal weapons". In 2002, JTS was bought by the Titan Corporation, which recently became a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.

While Jaycor has supplied law-enforcement and prison authorities with non-lethal weapons for years, the newest line of proposed weapon systems is getting more advanced, and more brutal. Here are just a few of the things Jaycor has in the works:

Sticky Shocker: the next step after plastic bullets. When this bullet is shot out of its gun, it sticks to the target and transmits electricity to stun that person. According to Jaycor's advertising page, the Sticky Shocker "puts stun-gun technology on a wireless self-contained projectile, allowing temporary incapicitation of a human target". The electric bullet, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), "contains a battery pack and associated electronics that will impart a short burst of high-voltage pulses."

The glue material used in the Sticky-Shocker comes from Sandia National Laboratories, a nuclear weapons laboratory in New Mexico. Sandia's "sticky foam" technology is paired with a "short barb attachment scheme". Jaycor's website announces that "the short barbs are designed to partially penetrate thick clothing or leather to achieve suffiently close contact with the skin."


Water Cannon: not your average super soaker, Jaycor's "wireless stun gun technology can deliver electric shocks to individuals at ranges up to 25 feet without conductive wires." The Water Cannon is designed as a hand held unit for use by a police officer to immobilize a protestor by delivering a "stream of fluid that delivers a high-voltage pulse capable of delivering shock even through protective clothing." But it is also designed to operate by a vehicle-mounted water cannon for use on an entire crowd. Jaycor claims that "in certain applications the electrical current could be controlled to deliver potent electrical shocks to equipment as well as individuals."

GLIMPS: The Grenade-Launced Imaging Modular Projectile System. Combines camera with radio-transmitter in a 44mm projectile. Being developed for use "by law enforcement and the military in an urban environment to extend surveillance capabilities".

Other New Nonlethal Technologies

While most of the above mentioned technologies have been created to suppress dissent within the United States, there is a series of other nonlethal weapons that are currently being designed for use by the US Military in foreign countries.

Time Magazine recently reported on the Pentagon's interest in the creation of nonlethal weapons technology for use in foreign countries. Through interviews with activists, watchdog groups and nonprofit organizations, and via information obtained via Freedom of Information Act Requests and the websites of the weapons manufactureres, these are some of the new technologies the world can look forward to:

Directed Energy Weapons: beams of microwave energy that flash heat upon a target from a distance. These weapons, being designed at the Air Force Research Laboratory have so far cost taxpayers $40 million dollars. The beams, usually mounted atop a humvee, "do not burn flesh but do create an unbearably painful burning sensation. " Expect to see this in the military's arsenal by 2009.

Antitraction Material: Texas's Southwest Research Institute has created a "sprayable antitraction gel" for the Marines. Makes the ground so slippery you won't be able to walk or drive on it.

Nonlethal Chemical Weapons: the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philly has been researching "malodorants" for the Pentagon. Using such smells as vomit, burnt hair, sewage, and rotting flesh, these weapons are designed to quickly clear out spaces from anyone who can breathe. Mostly being designed for use against protesters.

Barriers and Webbing: General Dynamics has created an elastic web that "springs up from the ground in an instant to block a road". According to Time, it can stop a 7500 pound truck travelling at 45 MPH and then wrap it up inside of it, trapping the occupants. Foster-Miller has designed a 10 foot wide net made out of Kevlar. The net can be shot out of a gun and entangle targets from as far away as 30 feet. Bigger nets are being designed for bigger targets.

Ray Guns: No, this isn't some SciFi fantasy. Santa Barbara's Mission Research Corp is working on a "pulsed energy projectile (PEP) that superheats the surface moisture around a target so rapidly that it literally explodes, producing a flash of light and a loud bang." Perhaps even scarier is the new technology from HSV in San Diego. This flashlight sized taser can paralyze targets as far away as TWO KILOMETERS by transmitting an electric current along a beam of ultraviolet light.

What's Next??

After Miami's FTAA protest in December, it's necessary to take a look into the production of non-lethal weapons, their role in the rapid transformation of the balance of power between protesters and law enforcement, and their increasing brutality. They don't want us in the streets. It's bad for business, it's bad for politics. Fuck them. Just make sure the next time you go you wrap yourself up in some bubblewrap or something.

*quotes taken from Time Magazine, "Beyond the Rubber Bullet: The Pentagon's effort to create nonlethal weapons that hurt but don't kill has set off its own fire storm" By LEV GROSSMAN July 2002 unless otherwise noted.

okay so now what 29.Jul.2004 10:43

concerned citizen

Now that we know they have this dangerous often less than lethal weapon we need to GET IT OUT OF THEIR FASCIST HANDS!!!!

Potter and Fransesconi are vulnerable on this police brutality stuff. How can we get them both (so no matter who wins this weapon is gone) to pledge to ban this weapon?

What are we going to do?

Who has a strategy?

Bismuth 29.Jul.2004 14:33


Bismuth isn't toxic, however, it is nearly as dense as lead (9.75 g/cc vs. 11.35 g/cc), and brittle (hence the fragments embedded in the woman's face from being shot with one of the pellets).

Nevertheless, having the RRT out *at all* is an act of aggression by the police. And promoting Kruger to lieutenant could only have been done when Vera was hepped up on Limbaugh drugs after her recent surgery.

easy... 29.Jul.2004 14:37


start a protest, get shot by one, then sue the city after you're crippled.

let's face it, that's the only way its going to get media (and public) attention.

More info and analysis 29.Jul.2004 15:39

Bison Boy

From :  http://www.spa-simrad.com/fn303faqs.htm
What is the operating mode of the system ?

The FN303 is a 'semiautomatic-only' launcher (no bursts) powered by compressed air. However, it is not a firearm as it does not use any pyrotechnics.

What is the velocity and the effective range of the projectile ?

The muzzle velocity is 88/90 meters per sec.
All the launchers have been factory set for efficiency at 30 meters.

Precision is one of the key points of the system. With an adjusted launcher and a training, all users will be able to target a human torso at a distance of 20/30 meters. In addition, the system may be equipped with a holographic sight so that aiming and hitting probability are improved. It is then possible to reach a target at 50 metres.

How many rounds can be loaded in the magazine ? What is the structure of the magazine ?

The rotary magazine has a capacity of 15 rounds. It has been provided with a transparent cover which allows an evaluation of the quantity and the type of the projectiles in use. The rotation of the magazine occurs mechanically thanks to a spring which is compressed when loading.
The projectiles are supplied in tubes (capacity : 15 projectiles) which will be fixed to a speed loader accessory.

How many rounds are deployed per second ?

The 15 projectiles of the magazine can be shot (only single-shot) in approx. 3 sec..

What is the H+L : at 30 metres ? at 50 meters ?

H+L (30 meters) = 35 cm
H+L (50 meters) = 75 cm
The stability of the trajectory is guaranteed, even under adverse conditions (strong wind, rain ... )


What are the components of the projectiles ?

All the projectiles have the same weight (8.5 g) and the same ballistics. The calibre of the projectiles is 18 mm.
All the projectiles have a cylindrical front part and a non-toxic bismuth-powder ballast (6.5 g).
As the bore is smooth, the rear part of a projectile is provided with fins which ensure the stability of the projectile by rotation.
The rear part of a projectile can be filled with a payload such as OC, washable marking products, indelible marking products or a 'glycol propylene' solution (selected for its non-toxicity and because it does not freeze at low temperatures).
The waterproofness between the two parts is ensured by a seal disk.

What are the differences between these projectiles ?

There are 2 types of projectiles : those with an inert payload such as glycol (frost-resistant product), washable markers and indelible markers and those with active payloads such as OC.
However, the active payload has a limited effect. The concentration ratio of the OC (10%) is considered as a secondary effect. (ref question 9)
The purpose of the markers is to catch and/or to confront people who cannot be arrested at the time of action. Tests have shown that the mark resulting from the impact has a limited size (approx. 10 cm_) and is efficient.


What is the operating temperature range of a FN303 projectile ?

The projectiles resist the extreme temperature range of -30 to + 65 C. They have been developed not to freeze at low temperatures and not to react at extreme temperatures. The marking projectiles consist of 40% glycol and 60 % water and paint pigments. They should remain liquid until an extreme temperature of -30C.

What is the impact force of a projectile ?

At the impact, the projectile ensures optimal efficiency.
The final effects are known. They can be predicted knowing the shooting distance and the point of impact. The system has been conceived in such a way that it never exceeds the minimum energy levels causing a cranial traumatism or a perforation of the skin.
However, some people will take an impact of 30 Joules without flinching while others will strongly be disturbed by an impact of 10 Joules. The age, the constitution, the mental condition, ... these are all internal factors acting upon the perception of pain of a subject taking into account that there are also many external factors such as the being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the clothes, the equipment, ...


Also, note that bismuth is not all that toxic. See  http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/Bi/biol.html

Right at the muzzle, it's about 34.5 joules... not much more than at 30 meters. For reference, that's about the equivalent energy of getting hit by a baseball at 50 mph, but obviously over a much smaller area. It's about three times as much energy as a solid paintball hit. Equipment suitable for paintball might be sufficient to reduce a really painful hit from this to just a very uncomfortable one. :) Or maybe some light plastic rigid armor under clothing could be effective?

Note that if you wear something impervious to propylene glycol and water the markers may just rinse right off. No such luck with the OC component, alas.

I wouldn't want to take one of these in the face, but I suppose it's better than taking a bullet.

we could 29.Jul.2004 17:08


...not be where they are! We could try inventing new and creative ways of mass expression utilizing the multifaceted nature of our movement! Instead of calling protests for a specific time and place, why not call general protests in which different groups meet in different places around the city? The more the limited police force gets split up, and the less time they have to prepare for an event, the less effective they can be at stiffling dissent. If they want to set up their microwaves at the north park blocks, let em! We'll just go somewhere else! Keep them running. Keep them guessing. They are, after all, getting paid overtime, so let's make them WORK for it! The funny thing is that what I'm suggesting isn't really all that revolutionary, just different. It's not even illegal, unless you happen to be doing something illegal.

Seriously people, wake up! Stop milling about like herds of cattle behind well-maintained police lines!

bismuth toxic? 29.Jul.2004 17:11


As a main ingredient in Pepto Bismol, I would hope that it is not! But does it really matter? I mean, WE HAVE COPS SHOOTING PROTESTERS! Who CARES if the projectile is toxic?!

well, all heavy metals are toxic 29.Jul.2004 18:01


It's just a question of degree. Bismuth is less toxic than, say, lead but that doesn't mean you want large amounts of it in your bloodstream. But clearly the point of this post isn't that these weapons are bad because of the Bismuth. And I would try titralac in place of pepto bismal.

Kindly Advice 29.Jul.2004 20:36

Sun Tsu

Ultimate excellence lies
not in winning every battle
but in defeating the enemy
without ever fighting.

Avoid an opponent's strong points,
strike the weak ones.

Those who are into kinky sex will, of course, continue to play footsie with the cops.

The superior activist attacks his real enemies.

yeah right 29.Jul.2004 21:55


Yeah, let's wait for LAWSUITS to solve our problems for us... After all, it's ONLY been 3 YEARS since the piggies peppersprayed a baby, and still nothing has come of it. The legal system is corrupt and set up to oppress at worst, and ineffectively slow at best.

Alice is 30.Jul.2004 11:43


The "brave" pig that peppersprayed the little baby still has his job and goes to the same church as does Jason Sery...remember that murdering pig don't ya? Bet
they both sing together in the choir...."Oh! How I love Jesus...."

What the hell... 30.Jul.2004 14:17

Trin Kiger trin@subvertical.org

So, the cops are gearing up for war against us protester/activist types? Fabulous. What are we suposed to do now, just wait to get shot at? The "lawsuit strategy" is dead wrong and totally ineffective. I don't think so, not this time.

Like a previous poster said, "the Minute Men are coming". Should some of us get ready to throw down in the streets against the cops? Do we need to start shooting back? Do the pigs want an open, armed uprising on their hands, a rebellion!!? That's exactly what'll happen if they escalate their weapons and tactics any further than what it presently is. What a mess. Really now, how many will stand idly by while pigs start shooting down brothers and sisters on the streets during peaceable assemblies and protests?

The radical contingent of this movement can organize on the basis of exposing as much of this kind of thing as possible. Like this, if we get video and audio footage (alot of it) of the pigs from different angles doing their thing against people, we could get as much of it as we could onto the airwaves and webstreams all over the place. Screw the corporate media, they'd never go for a story like this until it's well too late, so we'd need to find as many ways as we can to jack our signals and files into a broadcast array of our own design. This doesn't seem so far-out, does it?

I'm pissed as hell, anyone should be after hearing this news. This story is going straight into the subvertical.org website and will be all over the group's email listserve as well. This kind of thing (pigs as troops) won't just be contained to PDX, I'm sure it's all over the place even as we speak, Miami comes to mind. It's time we got serious about exposing this stuff, it's time to get as much video and audio equipment as we can get our hands on. Other, more militant means of engaging in this struggle may become necessary in time, but for right now we should ready ourselves for a popularity contest rather than stooping to the level of armed clashes with The Man.



Protests don't work with this 30.Jul.2004 17:36


The way to make it stop is to group together and have over 50 people who object go to city council meetings over and over voiceing their objections and demanding information. That's the only way you can get some action. Are we organized and committed enough to use the system to change it, cause lawsuits won't. Who would make time for this?

R U insane? 31.Jul.2004 19:04


You think the piggies won't snipe your ass if you shoot back? I think that they use these outrageous tactics in order to provoke the most vocal ones amongst us into doing something that gives them an excuse to kill us, or put us away for a long time. I'm not going to fall for it.

Sky not falling. 01.Aug.2004 00:06

Bison Boy

Folks, it's just a new weapon for the cops. It's not going to stop protests any more than nightsticks or riot shields or tear gas or water cannon or bayonets or attack dogs did. It's not that big of a deal.

Cops will misuse their power at peaceful protests... it's bound to happen eventually even in the best police force. If it happens with this new gadget, it'll be a lot more likely to result in a lawsuit than a funeral. That is *not* such a bad thing.

What we can do to be constructive is to look at the tools available to the police and to the protestors, and find methods and tactics that tilt the advantage to the protestors.

The person who posted as Sun Tzu brings forth good advice: Read "The Art of War", by Sun Tzu. It is a very, very useful book for many things other than war. The person who suggested dispersed protests has a really good idea, one that Sun Tzu would think highly of. A thousand people appearing simultaneously at a hundred intersections, all waving signs for fifteen minutes during rush hour before dispersing, would be hugely visible to Joe Sixpack... and the police would have no way to respond. (Note that in organizing such a thing, one *wants* traffic to keep flowing, so the public can see several intersections inhabited by sign-wavers.)

The person who suggested armed insurrection is... errr... a bit premature. (Which is a diplomatic way of saying "he's a f*ing loony.")

We also need to get a zillion video cameras aimed at the cops at every big protest... so many cameras that the cops can't possibly supress evidence of violence against peaceful protestors. Massive surveillance can work both ways.

Bismuth, alas... 01.Aug.2004 11:08


Bismuth is indeed toxic, as are most heavy metals. Bismuth is mainly damaging to the tubules of the kidney.

It is usually classified as nontoxic because it is difficult to absorb from the gastrointestinal tract (a relief to PeptoBismol users), but you're not eating it — except in the metaphorical sense — when a Pig pops you in the face with one of these projectiles: it already is inside your body at that point.

Geneva 2003: Union Secretary severely wounded by FN 303 26.Oct.2004 10:05


article in german with several photos:  http://www.ssi-media.com/pigbrother/Report2003.htm#3cornavin

as usual, police denied everything, even said woman being hit by protestors -- "clear case of friendly fire, like in irak" as police spokesman said.

finally, after the countrary was proven by fots & the extarcted bullet-parts plus another bullet being found, Geneva police minister Mrs. Spoerry fired the police chief, who had wanted to inform the public as soon as possible.

the rest of the bismut parts couldn't be extracted surgically from the womans face beeing too near to the facial nerve with high risk of being paralised afterwards.

wounded union secretary Denise Chervet in hospital
wounded union secretary Denise Chervet in hospital

Greetings from the future 28.Oct.2004 23:11

October 28, 2004

Here is a link to a story that concludes what everyone could see coming a mile away. A female college student in Boston killed by the police with this weapon.