Greetings friends and countrymen!
As we here in Denver prepare for what promises to be an exciting week, we thought we'd share with our electronic audience some of the important safety tips we printed up for the occasion:
"How to Stay Safe in the Event of Police Action"
"Knowing is half the battle!"
Over the past 4 decades, Riot Control in the United States has been honed into a precise science. Therefore, the best way to avoid bodily harm, in general, would be to avoid riots and similar scenes of social upheaval altogether. HOWEVER, should you find yourself in the midst of civil unrest, the following pointers may come in handy:
What to do in case of Tear Gas
Tear Gas and its close cousin Pepper Spray are chemical agents designed to enter the bloodstream by way of your body’s mucous membranes at a rate much faster than air or water. There is no defense against a direct hit...should you find yourself in a cloud of capsaicin without a full-face respirator, go fetal and put your hands out politely to be handcuffed. Don’t worry: it shouldn’t take too long.
If, however, you find yourself on the periphery of a tear gas cloud, there are several measures you can take to ensure your continued comfort and safety:
1. Find HIGHER GROUND. If this is not possible, try to determine the wind-direction and depart the area in a PERPENDICULAR MOTION.
2. If the person next to you can’t see, OFFER YOUR ASSISTANCE IN EXITING THE AREA.
3. If you find your vision diminished due to swelling or irritation, TRY TO FIND A PARTNER LESS IMPAIRED AND FOLLOW HIM/HER AWAY FROM THE AREA.
4. In the case of contact with the eyes, FLUSH the area with clean, warm (room-temp) water CONTINUOUSLY for at least an hour. There are a number of saline eye-washes on the market that will do the job, but should you find yourself unprepared, CLEAN room-temperature water will usually suffice. (If you are using bottled water, you should be aware that “Fiji” has the lowest mineral content and most neutral pH among major brands and is therefore less likely to further irritate the affected area.)
5. In order to limit exposure, wash your clothes in soap and water as soon as possible.
What to do in case of Water Cannons
Most Riot Control Procedures dictate that the use of Water Cannons will be authorized only in areas backed by concrete or masonry walls. That is to say, if there are a large number of glass surfaces in the area (building facades, shop windows, automobiles, etc.) you are considerably less likely to encounter this particular type of crowd control technique. However, should you find yourself in the cross-hairs of a Water Cannon:
1. LOWER YOUR CENTER OF GRAVITY.
2. Protect your ribcage by keeping your ELBOWS CLOSE AGAINST THE BODY.
2. “Duckwalk” out of the area along the nearest wall.
What to do in case of Rubber Bullets
Other than a full suit of Kevlar body armor, there is very little defense against a rain of rubber bullets and/or beanbags. They hurt. Plain and simple. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that riot control procedures prohibit cross-fire among friendly personnel. Therefore, despite the demands of natural instinct, one of the safest places in any “civil” unrest is BETWEEN TWO ARMED UNITS!
[IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: While following the above procedures will, by no means, guarantee your well-being in the event of a riot, they should (if properly employed) make for a safer, happier, and more productive demonstration for all involved.]
This public service announcement has been brought to you by your friendly local literary magazine: Fact-Simile (for more about us, please visit www.fact-simile.com)