¥ Gas Masks
¥ Other Equipment
Demonstrations always will be an important form of protest. The structure can vary from a rally or teach-in to a massive civil disobedience such as the confronting of the warmakers at the Pentagon or a smoke-in. A demonstration is different from other forms of warfare because it invites people other than those planning the action via publicity to participate. It also is basically non-violent in nature. A complete understanding of the use of media is necessary to create the publicity needed to get the word out. Numbers of people are only one of the many factors in an effective demonstration. The timing, choice of target and tactics to be employed are equally important. There have been demonstrations of 400,000 that are hardly remembered and demonstrations of a few dozen that were remarkably effective. Often the critical element involved is the theater. Those who say a demonstration should be concerned with education rather than theater don’t understand either and will never organize a successful demonstration, or for that matter, a successful revolution. Publicity includes everything from buttons and leaflets to press conferences. You should be in touch with the best artists you can locate to design the visual props. Posters can be silk screened very cheaply and people can be taught to do it in a very short time. Buttons have to be purchased. The cheapest are those printed directly on the metal. The paint rubs off after a while, but they are ideal for mass demonstrations. You can print 10,000 for about $250.00. Leaflets, like posters, should be well designed. One way of getting publicity is to negotiate with the city for permits. Again, this raises political questions, but there is not doubt one reason for engaging in permit discussions is for added publicity. The date, time and place of the demonstration all have to be chosen with skill. Know the projected weather reports. Pick a time and day of the week that are convenient to most people. Make sure the place itself adds some meaning to the message. Don’t have a demonstration just because that’s the way it’s always been done. It is only one type of weapon and should be used as such. On the other hand, don’t dismiss demonstrations because they have always turned out boring. You and your group can plan a demonstration within the demonstration more accurately. Also don’t tend to dismiss demonstrations outright because the repression is too great. During World War II the Danes held street demonstrations against the Nazis who occupied their country. Even today there are public demonstrations against the Vietnam War in downtown Saigon. Repression is there, but overestimating it is more a tactical blunder than the reverse. None the less, it’s wise to go to all demonstrations prepared for a vamping by the pigs.
Most vamping is accompanied by clubbing, rough shoving and dragging, gassing and occasional buckshot or rifle fire. The clothing you wear should offer you the best protection possible, yet be light weight enough to allow you to be highly mobile. CS and CN are by far the most commonly employed tear gas dispersibles. Occasionally they are combined with pepper gas to give better results. Pepper gas is a nerve irritant that affects exposed areas of the skin. Clothing that is tight fitting and covers as much of the body surface as possible is advisable. This also offers some protection if you are dragged along the ground. Gloves come in handy as protection and if you want to pick up gas canisters and throw them back at the pigs or chuck them through a store window. Your shoes should be high sneakers for running or boots for kicking. Hiking boots sold in army surplus stores serve both purposes and are your best selection for street action. Men should wear a jock strap or protective cup. Rib guards can be purchased for about $6.00 at any sporting goods store. Shoulder pads and leg pads are also available, but unless you expect heavy fighting and are used to wearing this clumsy street armor, you’ll be better off without it.
Everyone should have a helmet. Your head sticks out above the swarming crowd and dents like a tin can. Protect it! The type of helmet you get depends on what you can afford and how often you’ll be using it. The cheapest helmet available is a heavy steel tank model. This one is good because it offers ear protection and has a built-in suspension system to absorb the blow. It is also bullet proof. It’s disadvantages are that it only comes in large sizes and is the heaviest thing you’ll ever have on your head. It costs about $3.00. For $5.00 you can get a Civil Defense helmet made for officers. It’s much lighter, but doesn’t offer protection for the ears. It has a good suspension system. If you get this model, paint it a dark color before using it and you’ll be less conspicuous. Our fashion consultants suggest anarchy black. Construction helmets or “hard hats” run between $8.00 and $10.00, depending on the type of suspension system and material used. They are good for women because they are extremely lightweight. The aluminum ones dent if struck repeatedly and the fiberglass type can crack. Also they offer no ear protection. If you prefer one of these you should find a way to attach a chin or neck strap so you won’t lose it while you run. If you get a hard hat, make sure you remove the hard head before you take it home. Probably the all-around good deal for the money is the standard M-1 Army issue helmet. These vary in quality and price, depending on age and condition. They run from $2.00 to $10.00. Make sure the one you get has a liner with webbing that fits well or is adjustable and has a chin strap. Their main disadvantage is that they are bulky and heavy.The snappiest demonstrators use the familiar motorcycle crash helmet. They are the highest in price, running from $10.00 to as high as $40.00. Being made of fiberglass, they are extremely lightweight. They have a heavy-duty strap built in and they can be gotten to fit quite snugly around the head. They offer excellent ear protection. The foam rubber insulation is better than a webbing system, and will certainly cushion most blows. Being made of fiberglass, a few have been known to crack under repeated blows, but that is extremely rare. Most come with plastic face guards that offer a little added protection. Get only those with removable ones since you might want to make use of a gas mask.
Ski goggles or the face visor on a crash helmet will protect against Mace but will offer no protection against the chemical warfare gasses being increasingly used by pigs to dispose crowds. For this protection you’ll need a gasmask. All the masks discussed give ideal protection against the gasses mentioned in the chart if used properly. If you do not have a gas mask, you should at least get a supply of surgical masks from a hospital supply store and a plastic bag filled with water and a cloth. The familiar World War II Army gas mask with the filter in a long nose unit sells new (which is the only way gas masks can be sold) for about $5.00. Its disadvantages are that it doesn’t cover the whole face, is easy to grab and pull off and the awkwardly placed filter makes running difficult. The Officer Civil Defense unit sells for the same price and overcomes the disadvantages of the World War II Army model. Most National Guard units use this type of mask. It offers full face protection, is lightweight and the filter canister is conveniently located. Also the adjustable straps make for a nice tight fit. The U.S.A. Protective Field Combat Mask M9A1 offers the same type protection as the OCD, but costs twice as much. Its advantage is that you can get new filter canisters when the chemicals in the one you are using becomes ineffective. New filters cost about $1.50. When you buy a mask, be sure and inquire if the filter has replacements. To get maximum efficiency out of a mask it needs an active chemical filter. The U.S. Navy ND Mark IV Mask is the most effective gas mask available. It has replaceable filter canisters and fits snugly to the head. It costs about $12.00. Its disadvantage is its dual tube filter system, which is somewhat bulky. Fix it so the canister rests on the back of your needs. It’s more difficult to grab and easier to run. When you get your gas mask home, try it out to get the feeling of using it. Make sure the fit is good and snug. Purchase an anti-fog cloth for 25 cents where you got the mask. Wipe the inside of the eye pieces before wearing to prevent the glasses from clouding. Another good reason for wearing a mask is that it offers anonymity. Helmets, gas masks and a host of other valuable equipment are available at any large Army-Navy surplus store. Kaufman’s Surplus and Arms, Inc., 623 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10012 is very well stocked. For 75 cents you can get their catalogue and order through the mail. It’s in New York though and probably more expensive than a store in your locale. The surplus stores buy from wholesale distributors themselves, who in turn buy directly from the military. If you know a soldier or someone who is married to a soldier, they have access to the Post Dispensary or PX and can get all sorts of stuff at nothing prices. For 20 cents you can get an invaluable pamphlet from the Government Printing Office called How to Buy Surplus Personal Property. It has a complete list of regional surplus wholesalers. The closest one in the Northeast is the Naval Supply Center, Building 652, U.S. Naval Base, Philadelphia, Pa. and in Northern California, the Naval Supply Center, Building 502, Oakland, California. You can order by mail or in person and the prices are very low, even though it isn’t as good as the stuff our brothers and sisters in the Viet Cong rip-off.
You should always go to a demonstration in a small group that stays in contact with each other until the demonstration is over. One way to keep in touch is to use walkie-talkies. No matter how heavy the vamping gets or how spread out are the crowds, you’ll be able to communicate with these lightweight effective portable devices. The only disadvantage is cost. A half decent unit costs at least $18.00. It should have a minimum of 9 transistors and 100 milliwatts, although walkie-talkies can go as high as 5 watts and broadcast over 2 miles. Anything under 1 watt will not broadcast over ¸ mile and considerably less in an area with tall buildings. The best unit you can buy runs about $300.00. If you ever deck a pig, steal his walkie-talkie even before you take his gun. A good rule is to avoid the bargain gyp-joints and go to a place that deals in electronic equipment. The important thing to realize about all walkie-talkie networks is that if anyone can talk, anyone else can listen and vice versa. This applies to pigs as well as us. All walkie-talkies work on the Civilian Band which has 23 channels. The cheaper units are preset to channel 9 or 11. The pigs broadcast on higher channels, usually channel 22. More expensive sets can operate on alternative channels. By removing the front of the set, you can adjust the transmitter and receiver to pick up and receive police communications. Don’t screw around with the inside though, unless you know what you are doing. Allied Radio, 100 N. Western Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60680, will send you a good free catalogue, as will most large electronic stores. Consider buying a number of sets and ask about group discounts. Practice a number of times before you actually use walkie-talkies in real action. Develop code names and words just like the pigs do. Once you get acquainted with this method of communications in the streets, you’ll never get cut off from the action. Watch out in close combat though. The pigs always try to smash any electronic gear.
A sign can be used to ward off blows. Staple it to a good strong pole that you can use as a weapon if need be. Chains make good belts, as do garrisons with the buckles sharpened. A tightly rolled-up magazine or newspaper also can be used as a defensive weapon. Someone in your group should carry a first aid kit. A Medical Emergency Aeronautic Kit, which costs about $5.00 has a perfect carrying bag for street action. Ideally you should visit the proposed site of the demonstration before it actually takes place. This way you’ll have an idea of the terrain and the type of containment the police will be using. Someone in your group should mimeograph a map of the immediate vicinity which each person should carry. Alternative actions and a rendezvous point should be worked out. Everyone should have two numbers written on their arm, a coordination center number and the number of a local lawyer or legal defense committee. You should not take your personal phone books to demonstrations. If you get busted, pigs can get mighty Nosy when it comes to phone books. Any sharp objects can be construed as weapons. Women should not wear earrings or other jewelry and should tie their hair up to tuck it under a helmet. Wear a belt that you can use as a tourniquet. False teeth and contact lenses should be left at home if possible. You can choke on false teeth if you receive a sharp blow while running. Contact lenses can complicate eye damage if gas or Mace is used. If it really looks heavy, you might want to pick up on a lightweight adjustable bullet-proof vest, available for $14.95 from Surplus Distributors, Inc., 6279 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, California 91401. Remember what the Boy Scouts say when they go camping: “Be Prepared”. When you go to demonstrations you should be prepared for a lot more than speeches. The pigs will be.
Ever since the Chicago pigs brutalized the demonstrators in August of 1968, young people have been read to vent their rage over Amerika’s inhumanity by using more daring tactics than basic demonstrations. There is a growing willingness to do battle with the pigs in the streets and at the same time to inflict property damage. It’s not exactly rioting and it’s not exactly guerrilla warfare; it has come to be called “Trashing.” Most trashing is of a primitive nature with the pigs having the weapon and strategy advantage. Most trashers rely on quick young legs and a nearby rock. By developing simple gang strategy and becoming acquainted with some rudimentary weapons and combat techniques, the odds can be shifted considerably. Remember, pigs have small brains and move slowly. All formations, signals, codes and other procedures they use have to be uniform and simplistic. The Army Plan for Containment and Control of Civil Disorders, published by the Government Printing Office, contains the basic thinking for all city, county and state storm troopers. A trip to the library and a look at any basic text in criminology will help considerably in gaining an understanding of how pigs act in the street. If you study up, you’ll find you can, with the aid of a bullhorn or properly adjusted walkie-talkie, fuck up many intricate pig formations. “Left flank-right turn!” said authoritatively into a bullhorn pointed in the right direction will yield all sorts of wild results. You should trash with a group using a buddy system to keep track of each other. If someone is caught by a pig, other should immediately rush to the rescue if it’s possible to do so without sustaining too many losses. If an arrest is made, someone from your gang should take responsibility for seeing to it that a lawyer and bail bread are taken care of. Never abandon a member of your gang. Avoid fighting in close quarters. You run less risk by throwing an object than by personally delivering the blow with a weapon you hold in your hand. We suppose this is what pigs refer to as “duty fighting.” All revolutionaries fight dirt in the eyes of the oppressors. The British accused the Minutemen of Lexington and Concord of fighting dirty by hiding behind trees. The U.S. Army accuses the Viet Cong of fighting dirty when they rub a pointed bamboo shoot in infected shit and use it as a land mine. Mayor Daley says the Yippies squirted hair spray and used golf balls with spikes in them against his innocent blue boys. No one ever accused the U.S. of being sneaky for using an airforce in Southeast Asia or the Illinois State Attorney’s office of fighting dirty when it murdered Fred Hampton and Mark Clark while they lay in bed. We say: all power to the dirty fighters!