Queer Self Defense Fund, a project meant to assist broke queers and trans people with obtaining pepper spray and other self defense items by request.

Send an ask if you need free pepper spray. We will be sending them out as donations come in, prioritizing queer and trans poc and people with disabilities. Sucks, but we need a copy of your ID to verify that you’re 18, and we have to follow these rules.

Family Files Lawsuit Against NYPD Officers After Being Pepper Sprayed In Subway With Toddler & Infant

Three NYPD officers have been named in a lawsuit alleging they needlessly, and without warning pepper-sprayed a mother, father and their three small children,” including a 5-month-old baby, in a New York City subway station in August, 2012.

The suit, filed last month by Marilyn Taylor, claims that Officers Maripily Clase, Suranjit Dey and Jermaine Hodge approached Taylor and her family after she used the station’s service entrance to push the stroller carrying her 2-year-old child onto the subway platform – arousing suspicions that she had skipped paying the fare.

According to the complaint filed by Taylor’s attorney, and available at Gothamist:

During this stop, the aggressive language and demeanor of the officer defendants caused the Minor Children to become scared and upset. Ms. Taylor responded to her four-year-old daughter’s question as to whether she was going to be okay by leaning over to tell her daughter that, “everyone is going to be okay.”

At this point, defendant DEY unloaded pepper-spray into Ms. Taylor’s face. The spray caused Ms. Taylor to reel backwards, nearly falling off the platform, and to fall to her knees, blinded and in pain. The pepper-spray struck Mr. McClain [Taylor’s husband] as well, resulting in pain and discoloration of his left eye.

The Minor Children were also struck by the pepper-spray, causing them to scream and cry in fear and pain, and sending [the two-year-old] into fits of vomiting.

Taylor was then cuffed and detained by the officers, according to the lawsuit, and pushed down the station’s stairwell in “an unreasonably forceful manner that caused bruising to Ms. Taylor’s wrists and lower back,” after which she was taken to Central Booking for her arraignment.

The complaint says that Taylor and McClain have both dealt with eye problems in the months since the incident, and that their children suffered severe psychological trauma. Additionally, the complaint alleges that the officers proceeded to harass and intimidate the family outside the station where the incident occurred in the weeks that followed.

The NYPD didn’t immediately respond for comment on the lawsuit.

The police department, which was the subject of heated criticism after an officer famously pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters at Occupy Wall Street in 2011, has also been embroiled of late in a number of other controversies – in particular, a stop-and-frisk program largely targeting New York’s minority populations, and the disputed shooting and killing of 16-year-old Kimani Gray.


Your tax dollars “defending the state of Israel” hard at work - An Israeli soldier sprays a Palestinian woman on her face from as close as possible with pepper spray at a Land Day protest outside the Old City of Jerusalem, March 30, 2014. 

Land Day commemorates the killing by Israeli forces of six unarmed Palestinians in 1976 during protests against government plans to confiscate privately owned Palestinian land in the Galilee region in what is now called Israel. 

Photos: Sebastian Scheiner - AP / Baz Ratner - Reuters

Wanna guess which people in that picture have crushing levels of debt? And which people should get advice on investing their wealth?

5 Viral Stories That Had Insane Twists After We All Moved On

#5. The Pepper Spray Cop Got a Better Settlement Than the Students He Sprayed

After the video of the incident went viral, Lieutenant [John] Pike was suspended with pay from his $110,000-a-year job (that’s not a typo) while the university conducted an investigation. While the officers claimed that they were trapped by the students and justified in their use of pepper spray (and totally not creaming their pants at the opportunity to finally try out their shiny new Judge Dredd gear, honest), an investigation found that the use of force was “objectively unreasonable” and that even the size of the pepper spray can was against regulations… Well, a couple months later, Pike filed for worker’s comp because of the emotional trauma stemming from the death threats he and his family received after the incident (Which, to be fair, is right fucked up. Shame on you, Internet). Following a psychiatric evaluation, the university awarded him just over $38,000, which is approximately one dollar for each stinging tear shed by the 21 students.

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My City is Being Tear Gassed

This is not a good weekend. I woke up this morning to discover that while I’d been sleeping, police had begun tear gassing protestors in my home town. Please read this, because it really is breaking my heart. 

Quick background: Hong Kong was a British colony for 99 years, and in 1997, it reverted to Chinese sovereignty. It is now a Special Administrative Region of the PRC, with its own Basic Law that guarantees it more rights and freedoms that anywhere else in China. Almost more importantly, it is a city with its own distinctive culture and identity. According to the terms of the handover, Hong Kong was supposed to make a move to universal suffrage in time for the 2017 elections. Up until now, our Chief Executive (highest political office) has been elected by a 1200 member election committee, dominated by the business sector and heavily deferring to Beijing. 

In June 2014, Beijing released a “white paper” announcing the procedure for the 2017 elections. In 2017, the general public will be able to vote… for any one of three candidates approved by Beijing. We get to vote, but in a totally meaningless way.

This has provoked a lot of backlash. On Monday, students across the city went on strike, organizing a sit in around the government buildings in protest. On Friday, they stormed Civic Square, the forecourt of government headquarters.

At the end of the week, it was announced that the Occupy Central, a protest movement that plans to shut down the city’s financial center, was starting, building off the momentum of the student protests.

Thousands of people turned out to do just that. The police presence was strong, as is to be expected with a civil disobedience movement. Protestors were pepper sprayed, and arrests began, with at least 78 people arrested over the weekend.

And on Sunday, police fired tear gas into the crowds.

Hong Kongers are angry, and we are scared. These protests are about democracy, but they’re also indicative of a more general fear for our future. Come 2047, we lose our status as an SAR and revert fully to the mainland. Already, police and the judicial systems are becoming politicized. Even the anti-corruption agency was used as a scare tactic earlier this month as they were sent after media boss Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying, a pro-dem supporter. Basic rights like the right to protest are being curbed. And on a more everyday level, Hong Kong culture is being wiped out as the government, toadying to Beijing, continually put the interests of mainland tourists above those of local people.

Hong Kong is my home, and it really is a special place, and it’s a really horrible feeling for me to be studying abroad, sitting in a different country and watching as my friends get tear gassed, as this is happening in my city.

So please, help me tell people what is going on. Wear a yellow ribbon in support of Hong Kong. Stand with us.