[Final Straw Radio Show broadcast, 1 OCT 17]
On September 12, the Berkeley City Council gave permission to Berkeley police to use pepper spray during violent protests. Previously, the city council had banned the use of pepper-spray when officers at U.C. Davis walked up to peaceful protesters on campus and sprayed them directly in the face with pepper spray, one after the other. I remember seeing the video of that event. Quite bewildering. But, it seems, the footage has gotten less bewildering over time because, now, the Berkeley City Council is facing the grave threat posed by predominantly white, over-socialized college kids who occasionally protest between studies designed to gain them upward mobility. Nothing more dangerous that upwardly-mobile, white, suburban students with nothing left to lose.
Welcome to [cough, cough] Berkeley.
The Berkeley City Council approved the pepper spray only for use on specific individuals engaged in violence, but not for crowd control, which is a somewhat curious distinction when you consider that “crowds” are composed of “individuals” and if you spray enough “individuals,” you certainly have an influence over the conduct of the crowd. In fact, just the very threat of the use of pepper spray in advance of any crowd gathering will likely have some influence over how that crowd will behave. So, just the very act of approving use of pepper spray has likely already provided some degree of crowd control.
Since I spent five bucks for an Associated Press feed on my mobile device, I’m going to quote at length from an article posted on September 13 that relates the following:
“…[A]n event in February was abruptly canceled when masked, hooded left-wing anarchists dressed in black rioted outside the event– setting fires and smashing windows on campus and on nearby city streets…
“…Masked anarchists hurled Molotov cocktails at officers and caused $100,000 worth of damage…”
How cool is that? Masked, hooded left-wing anarchists– as distinguished from the suit-and-tie radical right-wing anarchists –are wilding out. Berkeley anarchists are going to make Berkeley look like Oakland.
Anyway, not to diminish the fantastic contribution these– how are they described again? Oh, yeah, “left-wing anarchists” –not to diminish the fantastic contribution these “left-wing anarchists” are making to the inevitable and impending systems collapse and the liberation we all deserve, but I didn’t hear any descriptions of violence in that description of violence. Did you?
Hold on. It says “fires”… “smashing windows”… molotovs hurled at officers… and a dollar amount on the property damage. There’s no reference to anyone actually being hurt. I realize the article says molotovs were hurled at officers, but I would suggest that we don’t really know what that means. I have no doubt molotovs were tossed in the general direction of police, but such actions are often largely symbolic, particularly when cops don’t get hit with the molotovs.
I point all of that out to say this: A twenty-year ban on the use of pepper-spray in Berkeley has been rescinded on the basis of claimed violence and yet, it seems, no one was hurt. The article doesn’t report, for instance, that a dozen police were burned… or that they lost six teeth and an eyeball. Instead, the article relates that there was $100,000 in damage to property.
See what I’m getting at? This event reveals an ever-expanding definition of violence in the minds of poor, deluded hierarchs. Property damage equals violence. Smashed windows is violence. A dumpster fire is violence– particularly in the context of this property damage being committed by masked and hooded anarchists wearing black. Fashion turns property damage into violence.
The Berkeley City Council does not seek to protect innocent people from injury by us molotov-throwing, ski-mask-clad anarchists. They seek to protect their glass windows and the rhododendrons they have planted along the sidewalks. They want the police to use technologies of state violence to stop graffiti. They respond to a can of spray paint with a spray can of their own.
The good news is, for anyone wilding-out in Berkeley, police are bringing dozens of cans of peppr-spray for us to use on them.
Last bit of advice from my own experience: If you get spryed with pepper-spray, first, remove the clothing as quickly as is fasible; soak up as much of the spray as possible with something like baking soda or baby powder, but don’t rub or wipe th sprayed area. Don’t apply powder, just throw it on there. Then immerse the sprayed area in whole milk, which is slightly better than water. Again, don’t wipe or rub it until after powdering and dunking.
Wear safety goggles to protests. And apply a layer of petroleum jelly to exposed skin beforehand.
This is Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain from Warren Corruptional in Lebanon, Ohio. If you’re a masked, hooded, left-wing anarchist, you ARE the resistance…
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Categories: Sean Swain