7/25/2012

How To Dress for the Revolution, Medic's gear

Let's start with the basics. (Photo: La Presse)

As a protester a number of simple steps can help greatly in combating the efficiency of a chemical weapon's & projectiles' ability to harm you. The following are a list of general guidelines, followed by a complete list of clothing items to bring.

Rain gear, water resistant, chemical resistant (Tyvek suit) and synthetic clothes as outer layers tend to be police chemical resistant too.  However, you can sweat a lot in non breathable clothes.
Cover up as much as possible to protect skin from tear gas or pepper spray exposure.
Wear clinched wrist and ankle clothing.
 

Avoid cotton, polar-fleece and wool as outer layers, which are fuzzy and absorb chemicals.
Rinse clothes after washing well. Used mild or non-detergent soaps. This is because detergents enhance the effects of the chemicals on one's skin.  



Victoriaville. (Photo: Darren Ell)


















Dress for the weather! 
Changing Hot, Cold and Rainy weather can fuck you up more than the police if not prepared properly, and you do not bring enough water and food!
We see it over and over: Rallies or marches in extreme weather, maybe arrests. Protesters get dehydrated, sun stroke, sunburned, or they get chilled, frozen, hypothermic.
You might be out a long time, so PREPARE as if you were going HIKING in the raw elements. 
Check out these links for dealing with the SUN & HEAT, and the COLD.

Try out your new stuff before the demo.


Protection against projectiles and batons, but not against chemicals.

Basic eye protection against chemicals. Costs $5 to $20. Bring extra for others.
 To PREVENT FOGGING: Get anti-fog solution. Or simply use shampoo. Smear a light coat on, let it dry and buff off.
 •Don't wear it tight on top of your forehead while not using - your sweat will fog it.

Sealed protection against chemicals. May shatter with plastic or rubber bullets.
 To PREVENT FOGGING: Get anti-fog solution. Or simply use shampoo. Smear a light coat on, let it dry and buff off.
 •Don't wear it tight on top of your forehead while not using - your sweat will fog it.
Tested against hockey pucks and sticks. Probably good against rubber foam bullets and pepper spray to the eyes. Not sure about protection against plastic bullets. Need bandanna to protect breathing from chemical weapons.

 
There is a trade-off here between comfort and protection. 

The following is a list of clothing a protester could wear at a demo risking police violence.
·        Rain  or water resistant clothes and hat ·
·        Comfortable & dry shoes, running shoes or sturdy boots
·        Sealed Goggles, (swim or ski) for chemical weapons.
      Helmet: bicycle. Consider hockey helmet with clear face shield (good against pucks and rubber bullets).
·        Gas Mask, Face Filter, Respirator or Bandana soaked in apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for tear gas or pepper spray.          
·        Spare Clothes & sealed bag
·        Heavy Work Gloves for removing hot tear gas canisters.
·        Bicycle, sports, motorcycle or military helmets with shatter resistant face shields if chance of plastic & rubber bullets.
*    Padded Pants, or Goalie Pads for sit-downs.

On the other hand, maybe you should NOT LOOK LIKE A PROTESTER to avoid police attention. Bring or wear straight clothes, makeup, brand name shopping bag, a business or secretary suit, construction clothes, etc. to blend in with non-protesters.

If you will part of a front line group facing off against a line of police, you need greater protective gear. Consider home-made and sports protective gear; body padding; head, face and eye protection, etc.. There are web sites dedicated to examples you may consider.  Check out the “SHIELDBOOK”  website, and our page on improvised shields and masks.

  
Do Not Wear:
Piercings, jewellery, ties, or anything else that can be grabbed by the police. Some piercings may be taped over.
Contact Lenses if risking pepper spray. Chemicals can get trapped between them & eyes. May cause corneal damage. 

What you might not want to bring to a demonstration:
The police may dump your 'suspicious' fluids in a bottle, seize your gas mask or wooden stick for your sign.

Be creative and flexible. This demonstrator doesn't need to hold a banner.

If arrested, you're stuff will be taken from you, and some things like your gas mask might be stolen from you. You pockets will be emptied, wallet, purse and backpack could be searched and all contents photocopied or digitally copied. In jail, they will take your belt and shoelaces.

They might copy your address book,  cell phone SIM card for your contacts, and your camera's memory card. They might use your photos of people for their surveillance of groups and individuals, or to even to identify someone for committing a crime. (which is why you should be discrete who and what you photograph)

Illegal drugs or stuff like a pocket knife may get you another legal charge.
*************

General Supplies common to all members of an action:
  • Emergency Telephone Numbers
  • Snacks, food
  • Lots of Water (2l a day)
  • Money for phones, food, taxi, etc.
  • Pad, pen, markers
  • Map
  • Spare Clothes in sealed bag
  • Optional Items:
  • Two-Way Radio, cell phone
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket/Sleeping bag
  • Fanny Pack
  • Knife or Scissors (careful--cops may consider these weapons)
  • First Aid Kit

Supplies specific to medical treatments and trained medics. Only bring items you are competent in using:
  • A good First Aid Kit
  • Nitryle or vinyl gloves
  • Stethoscope
  • Blood Pressure Cuff
  • Tongue Depressor
  • 4X4 Dry Gauze Sponges
  • Tampons & menstrual pads
  • Tape: Duct & medical
  • Map of hospitals
  • Triangular bandages
  • Scissors
  • Eye Flush  bottles(squeezable sports water bottles)
  • Liquid Antacid and Water (1:1 ratio)
  • Elastic 'Ace' bandages
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Safety pins
  • Ice pack
  • Flashlight*
  • Antiseptic
  • Tweezers*
  • Bandanas soaked in Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Splint
  • Contact Lens Container
  • Red Marker
  • Hemostats
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Syrup or ipecac*
  • Eye Patches*
  • Thermometer*
  • First Aid Manual

2 comments:

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