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Chemistry of CS Gas (active agent in tear gas)

Chemistry of CS Gas (active agent in tear gas)

Be prepared. Read up.

The chemical agent is solid at room temperature and its the heat from the canister that makes the gas. It has been said that putting the canister in a bucket of water will cool it down and stop the gas from coming out. I have never had the chance to test this but its worth a try. Also bring insulated welders gloves or something to pick up the canisters with. The canisters are really hot and will burn your hand without protection. Large sling shots are good for getting the canisters deep back over the police line.

Protection from gas:

Gas masks are best but if you cannot find or afford one try these alternatives:

Soak a bandana in vinegar put in zip lock bag. Double bag it to avoid leaks.
When gas is fired remove bandana from bag, Place over mouth and nose and get out of the cloud. If you cannot deal with the vinegar some have said coke cola helps.
Get swimmers goggles or something to protect your eyes. The gas gets into your clothes too, so bring a poncho and close openings with large rubber bands.
Also there is this from wikipedia: washing with an alkaline solution of water and 5% sodium bisulfite. Never tried this not sure what sodium bisulfite is.

For the rubber bullets bring shields and or body armor or make your signs out of some hard.

Remember don't scatter stay together and protect each other in a nonviolent manner. If you need to pull back do so as a group.
If you do get broken up have a rally point selected in advance to regroup and resume the protest.

Have some people in reserve to do un-arrests if possible.

Hope this helps

Keep fighting

Thoughts on Countermeasures 11.Mar.2007 22:44


From experience around several pig riots over the past 10 years, a soaked, fairly tightly woven cloth, like a bandana, is very difficult to breath through. In fact, if its really soaked, it is effectively air tight, almost like trying to breath with a bag plastic in front of nostrils and mouth. In any case, its a challenge to breath with a wet cloth over mouth and nose--especially when one's cardio-respiration is elevated in the course of fast breaking events, only adding to the stress. I've always been skeptical of the vinegar countermeasure to the effects of CS exposure. Decontamination for CS exposure involves washing with an alkaline solution, implying that CS is acidic. Massive irrigation with clean water seems as good as anything, but still not instantly effective--more like relief from the initially incapacitating effects if one has really gotten a dose.

"Pepper spray" soaked into clothing is another concern. An undergarment, something like a impermeable light weight vinyl sweat suit, might be considered. This has implications for the season of the year. One is bound to build up moisture inside the suit, which can have chilling consequences in the winter. During the summer, it would also be uncomfortable. But there's nothing like having to live and/or "try to sleep" inside "pepper spray" soaked clothes for hours and hours before getting to a change of clothes. The cheap vinyl poncho sounds like a reasonable alternative. One might make preparations by having some fresh, dry clothes stashed around near the action.

Keep track of the wind direction.

Body Armour 12.Mar.2007 13:41


You can get good body armour at second hand sports shops like "Play it again Sports. Also at second hand stores and garage sales.
There is a LOT of old hockey and moto-cross stuff out there.
I'd put it under baggy clothes though. No need to let the cops put a bullseye on you.
Paint ball helmets might help too. Hate to get a rubber bullet in an eye.
Can't help with the gases. When I was in the army over 35 years ago, you could pretty much use mind over matter...once you got experience. I think the stuff they use now is much stronger.