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for hope, a siren song in the dark

bertolt brecht / @imransuleiman - palestinian lady collects gas bombs fired by israeli army. she grows flowers in these bombs. / mary oliver, ‘invitation’ / quarantined italians sing songs in their balconies / philip larkin, ‘an arundel tomb’ / @madeleinewitt - love poem / maggie smith, ‘rain, new year’s eve’

Important Info

Some advice about tear gas:

  • Don’t put water on your skin or face unless you have a steady stream of it, it will hurt more. If you can find a drinking fountain or a sink, wash your eyes out between 10 to 15 minutes. If this is not available, don’t touch your face or touch your eyes until you can use a saline wash and a cold shower at home. 
  • If you are tear gassed, your clothes are now contaminated and when you are safe and able, strip them off and rinse your skin with as much water as you are able. {again, drinking fountains or public restrooms if showers are unavailable}
  • Milk helps with pepper spray, not tear gas, but milk/yogurt is used for the pain and the cooling effect it has, if water is unavailable, then it is best to use milk/yogurt. 
  • If you are teargassed, try to remain calm, tear gas tricks you into believing you cannot breathe. 

Preparing for tear gas: 

  • Don’t wear contacts or makeup to the protest. Leaving contacts in with a irritant is dangerous and can lead to corneal ulcers. Makeup shouldn’t be worn because tear gas can cling to things like mascara and lipstick. 
  • When attending a protest, bring a thick scarf with perfume in it or any sort of incense, use it to cover your face if the cops are using tear gas. DO NOT RUN IN THE GAS. Avoid it as best as possible. If you cannot move upwind, lay on the ground and cover your face until it dissipates. 
  • Some Palestinian advice: carry around a bag of chopped onions, if the tear gas is out, deeply inhale the onions. The gas used by the IDF is the same gas used by the police.
  • Wear a mask to the protest, cover your mouth and nose. Plastic face shields would also work well. Make sure your eyes are protected, you can use swim goggles - sunglasses and eyeglasses won’t help seal out containments. 
  • Long sleeves, pants, and socks - protect your skin and bring an extra change of clothes - the denser the material the less the gas will get in.

Stay safe, roll with a crew, the cops have fired tear gas at peaceful protestors, always be prepared.