One Thing to Consider When Attending a Protest

With the way things have escalated in Portland, and with authorities saying they will send these federal troops to other Democratic led cities, everyone needs to prepare for this in their own cities. I wish I didn’t have to say this at all. Whether you support the Second Amendment and have stockpiled weapons or are a pacifist who wants to fight for your freedom, there is one thing you should have if you don’t already. A Gas Mask. This is more important than weapons. It will protect you from Covid-19, but it’s also helpful against tear gas.

Tear gas, also called CS gas, is a chemical compound used as a non-lethal weapon to disarm and demobilize people. It irritates the skin, the eyes, the nose, and throat. Your skin feels like its burning. Your eye water and burn. You cough. All the mucus in your head comes out of your nose. It isn’t pleasant. You’ll survive. After about 15 minutes, you’ll feel better. Your sinuses will feel better too. With a gas mask, the chemical will still irritate your skin, but with a little resolve you can keep moving. You’ll still feel uncomfortable.

You may have seen photos from Portland of people in gas masks wielding hockey sticks to throw back tear gas canisters. Walls of people protecting each other from Federal Agents. This is what government oppression looks like. If you still support the Orange Nazi in the White House, you are against Democracy and Human Decency. You do not care for others and are selfish. There are a few other things that might be helpful when dealing with protests and unwarranted federal agents. These are optional so don’t feel obligated to get any of these things. Always have a gas mask.

Shield of some kind can protect you from rubber bullets. Shields are versatile in that you can protect yourself and use it to bash against something if needed. I recommend something that covers most of your body and can easily be swung around with one arm. Think of Captain America’s shield but longer so you don’t have to squat to cover your whole body. Armor may be necessary. This could be Kevlar or something as simple as the gear a baseball player wears in the position of catcher. Elbow pads and knee pads at a minimum will help if getting knocked down on the pavement.

If it can be arranged, having a water canon at your disposal can help your fellow citizens. Police have used this during riots with success and you may need something to push them back. This could be from a fire hydrant or fire truck. I only mean for this to be used if necessary. And I only mean this to be used against an Authoritarian State ruled by fascists. And the best course of action is a military tactic. Outnumber them three to one. The military always sends more troops than needed to ensure a victory. I know there are more citizens than federal agents. They can’t stop everyone.

I hope what’s happening in Portland stops soon and I hope it doesn’t happen in any other city. But I fear things will get worse before they get better. Stay safe out there. Fight the fascists. Never give up. Never surrender. This is our country and our home. We will take it back.

Coffee and Contemplation: Nonviolent Resistance and Protesting

A couple days ago something amazing happened in Portland, Oregon. Portland police ‘retreat’ after standoff with NAKED female protester. A woman walked up to police stopping several feet away and began performing yoga on the street. The police eventually withdrew. With all the protests happening around the country, I think people may need more ideas of nonviolent resistance. There have been many examples throughout history including the Sit-In protests in the 1960s. Black Americans who were not allowed in “white only” establishments would sit down refusing to leave. They would sometimes fill an entire restaurant.

I first want to point out the difference between Nonviolent Resistance and Civil Disobedience. Berel Lang makes the argument that civil disobedience is a form of political action which necessarily aims at reform, rather than revolution: its efforts are typically directed at the disputing of particular laws or group of laws, while conceding the authority of the government responsible for them. In contrast, political acts of nonviolent resistance can have revolutionary ends. My takeaway is Civil Disobedience is like people protesting against wearing masks and quarantine (things in place to help protect people). Nonviolent Resistance is protesting against police brutality such as the naked yoga woman I mentioned.

There are many forms of Nonviolent Resistance. Many have been seen in the US for the last few years. Tactics such as picketing, marches, vigils, leafletting, protest art, protest music and poetry, and boycotts are just a few examples. One of my favorite historical events was The Singing Revolution which helped lead to the liberation of the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia). As a fan for “V for Vendetta” (2005), I also enjoyed reading about The Rose Revolution in the country of Georgia. The event derives its name from the climactic moment, when demonstrators led by Mikheil Saakashvili stormed the Parliament session with red roses in hand.

I hope some of these examples help everyone think of new ways of Nonviolent Resistance. The entire United States and the world at large has to work together to make the world a better place. Reform is no longer and option. It’s time for a revolution. I hope we can achieve a nonviolent end to all the suffering.