Thursday, May 16, 2013

A "Street" Guide for Protesters

The following text is a free translation of “Bir Eylemci İçin Sokak Rehberi” published anonymously in Fraksiyon on April 30th, 2012. It is aimed at providing a list of suggestions for protesters.

  • Never forget that the state uses psychological violence for preventing you from going to the street. Trust your companions and feel your legitimate actions.
  • Have a small action committee. Try to stick together as much as you can. Keep communication channels open.
  • Beware provocations. Even a few motivated people can become natural leaders of a mass demonstrations. Come up with ideas to maintain the action, and let your creativity flow.
  • The strongest side of an action is its unpredictability. Do not act according to how the state would predict.
  • Spread the action. Tell by-walkers about the action and expose state violence.
  • Be careful with your reactions towards objects that are not directly state's tools of violence or symbols thereof. Choose your targets wisely so that those who do not take part do not get confused about your acts.
  • Put sneakers on in order to facilitate running.
  • Put on clothes that would cover most part of your skin in order to protect yourself from sun and teargas. Light raincoats recommended.
  • Get eye protection. Take care that it is resistant to cracking. Sunglasses, goggles or gas masks recommended.
  • Have gas masks or a scarf and eyeglasses.
  • Take light extra clothes. (in case of yours get wet, painted etc.)
  • A hat or a helmet for protection from sunlight and from chemicals.
  • In case of direct contact with any kind of chemicals, never put on petroleum jelly, mineral oil, oil-based suncream or moisturizer. Only if it is summer time and you will be exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, put a little bit of suncream (even if it is oil-based), because teargas on sunburned areas hurts a lot.
  • Never have contact lenses on.

How to protect yourself

  • Apple vinegar is one of the simplest ways for breathing. You can prepare scarfs submersed into apple vinegar and keep them in your bag. In case of teargas attacks, cover your mouth and nose tightly with the scarf. If you don't have apple vinegar, lemon juice can be used.
  • In case of a teargas attack, try to climb up the hill as much as you can, and never kneel down even if you are exhausted.
  • When exposed to teargas, clean your nose, gargle, cough and spit, try not to swallow it.
  • Never rub your eyes.
  • You can prepare a baking soda for your skin and carry it with you. (around 5% baking powder in water) When exposed to teargas, you can treat your skin with the soda to neutralize the chemicals.
  • Another method for your skin is to scrub it with alcohol (pay special attention to keep alcohol away from your eyes) and then put canola oil. To do this, get a sponge, immerse the oil in the sponge and apply it to the parts exposed to teargas.
  • To clean your eyes from chemicals, you can use milk. Take half a teacup of milk, tilt your head backwards, drop a little bit of the milk to clean your eyes.
  • Spread your arms wide, make movements.
  • Take off all the clothes with teargas and wash them with detergent. If you cannot wash them immediately, take them off, put them in a plastic bag, and leave them outdoors (such as in your balcony).
  • If you cannot go home right after being exposed to teargas, get rid off your clothes as soon as possible (including underwear). Carrying extra clothes recommended.
  • Take a cold shower. Before taking the shower, pay attention not to touch your eyes, your face, people around you or even the objects in your house. Wait five minutes under cold shower without using soap or without rubbing your skin. Only after the cold shower, use mild water and soap. Do not take a bath.

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