Tuesday 21 October 2014

Tear Gas!

Tonight I faced tear gas for the first time. Leaving work late, we left with people rushing around shouting. News of the army only 100 feet away made us question where to go and be safe. Tear gas had been released at the end the road, after people had thrown stones at the wall. We tried to take some photos from a distant but the gas immediately filled our nose and mouths. It was like swallowing spikes. I turned to see people shying away from the scene, covering their faces with only their swollen, red, glistening eyes visible.
Backing up, we found ourselves among boys of 10356159_4627210654261_6595154733238646471_nschool age who, like their adult companions took the situation at ease. One handed over an onion to smell, apparently a counteractive effect to the gas, another set fire to items saying the smoke and burning rubber would help.To these people this wasn't an unusual situation and they were more than familiar to tear gas and the army.
However, we were stood next to a boy on crutches who only last month was shot. They were not safe and they were so often hurt. These people had sling shots and stones to throw at a wall which would 10352410_4627211214275_2885317619024688536_nnever crumble under suck feeble attacks but to the people, it was a way to protest. It joined them together under the one cause only to be met by tear gas and bullets. Today the army left but they often plan surprise attacks and use or try to trick the people out. What kind of life would let men regularly be reduced to tears, women to hide behind walls and children to lifelong wounds, from a fight they did not cause to so many who were not even born when the battle started.
We were not in direct contact with the tear gas but I can vouch for its effects. It was disgusting uncomfortable. Scorched our throats and nasal passage. Our eyes swelled and streamed making you blubber like a new born baby. The army doesn't care who is effected and it could well be a new born baby or a disabled person who is unable to flee. Whoever is around it is tough luck but I don't believe in luck because if more people acted to stop the cruelty and injustice, then luck wouldn't be needed.

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