UK Government Considers Using Nerve Gas For Crowd Control

Photo: Athens Indymedia (CC)

Photo: Athens Indymedia (CC)

Via the Independent:

Leading neuroscientists believe that the UK Government may be about to sanction the development of nerve agents for British police that would be banned in warfare under an international treaty on chemical weapons.

A high-level group of experts has asked the Government to clarify its position on whether it intends to develop “incapacitating chemical agents” for a range of domestic uses that go beyond the limited use of chemical irritants such as CS gas for riot control.

The Royal Society working group says the Government shifted its position to allow the development of more severe chemical agents, such as the type of potentially dangerous nerve gases used by Russian security forces to end hostage sieges.The experts were commissioned by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences, to investigate new developments in neuroscience that could be of use to the military. They concluded that the Government may be preparing to exploit a loophole in the Chemical Weapons Convention allowing the use of incapacitating chemical agents for domestic law enforcement. The 1993 convention bans the development, stockpiling and use of nerve agents and other toxic chemicals by the military but there is an exemption for certain chemical agents that could be used for “peaceful” domestic purposes such as policing and riot control.

The British Government has traditionally taken the view that only a relatively mild class of irritant chemical agents that affect the eyes and respiratory tissues, such as CS gas, are exempt from the treaty, and then only strictly for use in riot control.

But the Royal Society working group says the Government shifted its position to allow the development of more severe chemical agents, such as the type of potentially dangerous nerve gases used by Russian security forces to end hostage sieges…

[continues at the Independent]

17 Comments on "UK Government Considers Using Nerve Gas For Crowd Control"

  1. Could we be privileged to know who these “A high-level group of experts” are? A little transparency please.

  2. Pre-emptive move by the UK government.

    1) Don’t do anything to help your people in these unstable times, just carry on as things get worse.
    2) start stock piling your riot control gear so you’re ready for the uprising.

    If only governments had this kind of foresight for everything.

  3. It most likely is a feeding tax payer dollars to highly profitable dead end research. Quite simply you can not control the dose, young, old, informed, large and small. Add to that localised conditions altering spread, dispersal and concentration and what you are really attempting to do is legalise the public execution of say 25% of the accused people, with out anything at all resembling due process.
    Of course there is the other use for chemicals, interrogation, the truth serum that actually works, opens the mind without putting it to sleep and creating illusions, hmm, tough call that one ( perhaps allowed to use it for investigative purposes but not allowed to prosecute based on the information provide by it)

  4. I suppose this is the sort of thing you have to expect when you’ve allowed your government to effectively disarm you.

  5. Jin The Ninja | Feb 16, 2012 at 9:05 am |

    and science isn’t ideological……scoff

    •  Objectivity is a myth.

      • Jin The Ninja | Feb 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

        yes – i believe so.

        but many upon many discussions have been had on anarchist forums (libcom is what i’m particularly thinking of i can find you the specific post if you want) promoting this myth- which i find not subtley euro centric, and uncompromisingly atheist in nature.

  6. It appears governments everywhere are preparing for the inevitable: war against their own people.

    “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around…”

  7. Allanhawleyjacobs | Feb 16, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    Better hurry as athens style riots are on the way!

  8. Anarchy Pony | Feb 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

    Who else thinks it’s time to kill the Leviathans? To use Hobbes’ conceptual metaphor of the nation state.

    • Jin The Ninja | Feb 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |

      how many mythological weapons will we need to down the beast?

      i have access to Yama’s Hell Staff of Weighted Justice, but i am vague on the exact instructions of use…

  9. Next up: Nerve Staples for all the drones.

  10. Calypso_1 | Feb 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

    There are lines that should not be crossed.

  11. Calypso_1 | Feb 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |

    If they are actually talking about what the Russians used these are technically not ‘nerve’ agents, it was an aerosolized anesthetic opiod – that killed 129 ‘rescuees’. 
    Then there is BZ – that’s basically like taking a ride on Datura – fun stuff.

  12. Scary to think what governments will do when the masses become homeless and hungry.

  13. when they start throwing incapacitating chemical weapons
    we will start throwing incapacitating incendiary/explosive weapons back

  14. This is sickening yesterday I was reading the met have stocked up on rubber bullets for the Olympics next hing you know the ‘UK cops will be carrying guns as standard. How so people break the cycle of bad governments in a two party system? 

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