The Protest Survival Kit
Most of us go to protests hoping that things will be peaceful, and indeed, many protests have had little exposure to police violence or to chemical/sonic weapons.
But just because you've had good experiences in the past does not mean you should not be prepared.
Perfectly peaceful actions are being met with increased police repression and the use of ever more sophisticated crowd control technologies.
Modern police tactics emphasize the use of "less-lethal" weapons rather than the direct application of force through truncheons and bullets. The most popular weapons are chemical agents like pepper spray and teargas. While promoted as being virtually harmless, these chemicals can actually be quite dangerous; with proper preparation, many of their effects can be avoided.
We have designed this protest survival kit with this in mind.
• Respirator Mask
Industrial grade filtration masks made for filtering out mists and particulates.
(Disposable Particulate Respirator, P95 Filter Class, Built In Exhalation Valve, Protects Against Oil Based Particulate, 95% Efficiency, Hypoallergenic Filter Media, Nose Clip, Full Face Flange Seal, Dual Adjustable Elastic Headstrap.)
• Safety Goggles
Lab grade goggles. Prevent eye damage from impact, dust, liquid, and chemical splashes.
Screened top and bottom indirect vents circulate air and reduce fogging.
Adjustable strap, fits over most prescription glasses.
Soft flexible vinyl with polycarbonate lens.
Protect your ears from hearing loss. Flashbang grenades are very powerful, emitting a bang with up to 180 decibels. Even short term exposure to sounds above 140dB can cause permanent hearing damage. In addition, many police departments, along with the military, now use LRAD and other sonic weapons.
• Pepper Spray Cleansing Wipe
Fiber towelette designed to break down and remove Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) and capsaicinoids.
First Aid Wipes are used as first aid after exposure to pepper spray and to clean objects that have been exposed to pepper spray. They are fast acting and stocked by law enforcement, paramedics, ambulances and emergency rooms.
Stay dry in unexpected weather.
Can also be worn to avoid getting pepper spray, paint, and other chemicals on skin and clothing.
• Cotton Hood
Disposable paint spray hoods are used to protect your face, head, and hair from paint, dust, and other airborne particles. Irritants and chemicals stick to skin and clothing. Using a disposable hood you can stay clean.
About the kit.
I watch all the videos and pictures of people protesting, and of police indiscriminately spraying kids, adults, and the elderly with dangerous chemicals. The militarization of the police is rampant. They have even started rolling out military-grade sonic weapons to counter peaceful protests.
So I wondered, why don't people show up prepared? What can I do about it? When I go to a protest, what would/should I bring along in case things turn ugly?
I did some research, came up with a list, and then visited a number of hardware stores; but none had the items I was looking for. I was even laughed at when I asked if they had a mask that will stop pepper spray. After some research I discovered the kind of masks that will work and went back to see if they sold them. The paint stores that did were asking $15+ per mask.
Other items were only sold in mega-jumbo sizes, and not available individually. Or when available were extremely overpriced. Earplugs for example were $40 for a 200 count box of individually wrapped packs, or $2.50 for a single pack. (That's $0.20 vs $2.50, and its the exact same packaging! Greedy!
None of the stores had all the items I needed either. This meant several trips across town. And then it hit me as to why nobody shows up prepared. Who has the time, energy, or money to spend this much time for just one kit?
So I contacted several people and companies that I work with and managed to get bulk deals on items. Buying 100+ masks at a time greatly reduces the per-piece price. The same with the goggles, earplugs, ponchos, etc. This allows me to make a general use Protest Survival Kit for a very reasonable price that can be afforded by most all.For $25 you get a complete kit that can keep you safe and prepared.
I feel that that is a very fair price. We sourced premium items that are well made and work. Overall each kit will cost a little over $15 to make. After all the payment, processing, and shipping fees are taken out, we'll be left with just a few bucks profit. That will go toward paying a livable wage to the people that have to assemble, package, and ship these kits.
After the protest, unused items have many uses around the house. As an example the goggles are great FOR SCIENCE!
(or for cutting onions).