We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Brief Protective Gear List

by LA Activist Doc Friday, Mar. 21, 2003 at 9:23 AM

This list of gear describes the tools which can help protect you and enable you to make your voice heard in the coming days. The list describes some basic tools which will protect you against tear gas/pepper spray, as well as a bit of first aid gear.

I. Basic Gear For Street Demos:

(choices arranged in order of increasing cost)

(1) Eye protection:

Shatterproof eye protection is very useful in case of "less than lethal" weapons used for crowd control (plastic bullets, tear gas [aka 'CS' or 'CN'] canisters, pepper spray [aka 'OC'] "paintballs", etc.)

Possibilities include:

shop "goggles" - plastic shatterproof material - sold at any hardware stores. If you tape up the air holes, gives some protection against tear gas/pepper spray.

shatterproof swim goggles - sold at swim stores.

shatterproof face shield - sold at most hardware stores - is suspended off head band over front of face. Good protection (with a broadbrimmed hat) against pepper spray squirted into crowds. If you combine with goggles/simple respirator, good against tear gas [note - check to see that respirator/goggles fit under face shield]

shatterproof glasses (sold at gun shops, etc) -

full face respirator with shatterproof shield - gives good protetion against tear gas/pepper spray - sold at some big hardware/industrial supply houses [call first]

military surplus gas mask - best are full face transparent shields with detahable (replaceable) filters. Second best have partial transparent shields over upper face. Least good have two separate transpartent areas over each eye.
AVOID Israeli masks (from Gulf War I), old WW II/Korean/Vietnam masks - they didn't work in Seattle or any of the later protests.
AVOID any masks with glass lenses. AVOID any masks unless you know face shield/eye shields are shatterproof.

(2) Breathing protection -

NOTE: Tear "gas" is actually a petrochemical based solid which has to be heated to become a gas. If the heated molecules pass through water (especially water acidified with lemon juice or - less good - vinegar) some of the molecules will become trapped in the water...so you can't breathe them.

Tear "gas" molecules also revert to their solid state when they cool off. When tear gas (CS or CN) molecules encounter a solid surface (like the ventilation ducts of an office building, your skin, your eyes, the lining of your nose/mouth, the inside of a sturdy 5 gal plastic bucket) the gas molecules cool off and become solid.

If they cool off on your body, you hurt - the wetter the part of your body, the more you hurt! If they cool off somewhere off your body, then they wont cause you pain (unless you handle the object they cooled off upon).

So, breathing protection involves trapping the tear gas:

Possibilities include:

bandanas with water - only work for a few minutes. Hard to seal to nose mouth.

bandanas with lemon juice (or vinegar) - last for more minutes. Still hard to seal to nose/mouth. Vinegar really stinks and can cause skin irritation - lemon juice is better! You can fold up a lot of moistened bandanas and keep in Ziploc bags - this worked well in other big demos.

"respirator" from paint/hardware stores - covers nose/mouth - has replaceable filters (screw on/off). Very effective - make sure you get filters for "organic chemicals" or "methylene choride". Usual cost - about $20 to $30.

military surplus full face (or nose/mouth) gas mask - see info above. Only gas masks with replaceable (screw on/off) filters are likely to work. The old fashioned masks with long tubes leading to a separate filter apparatus are nearly useless. Usual cost: $40 - 100.

full face respirators with shatterproof face shields and replaceable filter(s). Excellent protection. Usual cost: > $100

(3) Skin protection:

NOTE: Pepper spray ("OC") is usually delivered as a liquid (sometimes fired into crowds as "paintballs") - it may be squirted from small, hand held canisters, backpak size canisters, or water cannon. Pepper spray causes an immediate burning sensation.

Tear "gas" ( "CS" or "CN") is a solid which must be heated to become a "gas". When tear "gas" settles on you, it causes a chemical reaction which produces pain. The wetter the place the tear "gas" lands, the greater the chemical reaction and - therefore - the greater the pain. For most people, tear "gas" will produce the greatest discomfort in eyes/nose/mouth.

The primary goal in skin protection is to keep pepper spray off your skin.....

Bringing an extra set of basic clothing (including socks!) wrapped securely inside a heavyweight plastic trash bag will make your day much better if you have been sprayed or gassed......

Protective possibilities include:

(a) face:

- broad brimmed hat. Helps shield pepper spray from above. (Pepper spray on the ears hurts!) Useless for "straight-on" spray.

- bandana. Very limited

- "face shield" (see above). Together with hat, gives good protection

- full face respirator/gas mask . Together with hat, gives best protection.

(b) feet:

- closed toe footwear is much better than sandals/open toed footwear.

(c body/arms/legs:

- Heavy duty 40 gal plastic trashbags with torn out holes for head/neck

- loose fitting, long sleeved lightweight (in LA) windbreakers/ rain jackets/ "warm-up" pants made of waterproof material. These will "shed" pepper spray for a while (if they get soaked, they will then act like a big wick on your skin - if this happens, dump them)

- loose fitting, long sleeved lightweight (in LA) windbreakers/ rain jackets/ "warm-up" pants made of cotton (or other absorbent fabric).

- lightweight "jumpsuits" made of synthetic fabric. Very DEVO....

II. Basic First Aid Gear.

Please take any prescription/non-prescription meds you take (especially inhalers!) on a regular or as needed basis. Take in original, lablelled containers from pharmacy. If you are worried about losinng the meds, store the bulk of the pills (safely) at home in marked containers (out of reach of children/pets/roomates) and take a few days worth to demo with you.......

A. Spray bottle (new!) with hand squeeze action - from 1 pt to 1 qt is best. Fill with 1/2 liquid maalox and 1/2 water. Use for pepper spray in eyes. (If you don't have spray bottle, plastic "bottled" water with "sports top" is better than nothing).

B. Water in plastic "bottles" with "sports top" - figure at least 4 to 6 pints per person per day - more if you have to wash eyes/skin from chemical weapons.

C. 4x4 (nonsterile) pads or clean squares of torn fabric for soaking up pepper spray. DO NOT wipe pepper spray so it spreads over a larger area - you'll just increase the size of the chemical burn!
Mineral Oil/Rubbing Alcohol (both - in separate original containers!) - ONLY if you know how to use them for pepper spray on skin. If you don't know how to use them, please don't experiment on self/others - it will make the pain worse.....

D. Band-AIds, moleskin (synthetic!) are always good - as are any other basic supplies you know how to use....

Have fun out there and be safe(r)!

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Ms. Beth Hubbard Friday, Mar. 21, 2003 at 11:15 AM
Ms. Beth Hubbard Friday, Mar. 21, 2003 at 11:18 AM
Ms. Beth Hubbard Friday, Mar. 21, 2003 at 11:47 AM
may day protests paddy Saturday, Apr. 17, 2004 at 5:54 AM
May Day protest Michelle Carney Saturday, May. 01, 2004 at 6:37 AM
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy