Abby Martin and Manuel Rapalo highlight a few of the most disturbing crowd control gadgets used by militarized police on protesters across the country.
Tag Archives | Crowd Control
Assuming you made it through May Day without injuries, Vice UK has a preview of the most common weapons coming soon to a riot near you:
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We spoke to buddies of ours in Germany, Egypt and Israel/Palestine to get the lowdown on the weapons that British police may soon be using to pour cold water on your righteous and burning fury.
The backbone in every self-respecting riot control arsenal, tear gas, makes you cry like a baby and stops you from breathing effectively so that you think you’re going to die. Advertised as non-lethal, Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman from the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, claims otherwise: “Vulnerable people, like the elderly, children and people with respiratory problems, can be hurt and killed by tear gas.”
[Regarding rubber bullets], “Calling them rubber bullets is quite ridiculous,” says Sarit. “They’re not made of rubber, they’re metal covered with rubber or plastic.
In order to gain stronger public perception of new crowd control technology, the US miltary has been showcasing a new weapon dubbed the "pain ray" [as informally called the "heat ray," technically known as an Active Denial System]. The system cost more than $120 million developing the technology and was deployed in Afghanistan two years ago.
David Hambling writes in New Scientist:
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The US army is planning to field “rubber bullets” for machine guns. Military officials claim the ammunition will allow them to more effectively quell violent protests without loss of life, but human rights campaigners are alarmed by the new weapon.
The final design for the XM1044 round has not been selected, according to an order placed on the Federal Business Opportunities website last month, but the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate has been working on a ring aerofoil projectile for some years. The round is a hollow plastic cylinder 40 millimetres across, looking something like a short toilet-paper roll. In flight its shape generates lift, giving it a longer range.
The army’s existing crowd-control rounds are single shots fired from handheld grenade launchers with a range of about 50 metres — the XM1044 would double this range. It would be supplied in belts for the Mk19 grenade launcher, a truck-mounted weapon that can fire almost six rounds per second.