Man, tonight was just lots and lots of tear gas. They did so many small gassings, many of which were down the block from me and hardly affected me at all. The more I experience tear gas from even a small distance away, the more I realize that how incredibly fucked up I was on Tuesday night was because I was clearly sucking in a super-heavy dose. On Tuesday I remember 3 tear gas canisters around me, all very close, none farther than 5 meters away for sure, and I don’t think any of them were even 3 meters, but I was in shock from the flash bang, so I’m saying less than 5 meters just to be safe. But here’s the thing, I had my eyes mostly closed after that until I was just over a block away, but when I would open them for a moment to try to plan a safe path to walk with my eyes closed, I was still in a fog of tear gas for a good 3/4 of the way through the park. I had previously reported that they had kept the tear gas close to the courthouse on Tuesday night’s 1st offensive, but tonight I was upwind of the tear gas and could remain longer and watch more closely. The tear gas from a single canister just isn’t that dense 30 feet/ 8-9 meters away from the canister. It’s a very, very light mist . except sometimes when the wind moves the cloud more or less intact. It’s still only maybe a 3 meter diameter of intense smoke, but sometimes that 3 meter bunch moves more-or-less intact on the wind instead of being stretched and thinned.
All of this is to say, either the wind was exactly fucking wrong and keeping me in the cloud the whole time I was moving or, and more likely, they fired a HELL OF A LOT more tear gas on that first Tuesday night offensive than I realized at the time. (Being deaf from a flash-bang and keeping your eyes closed can make it hard to keep track of these things.) Tonight the tear gas got bad enough for me to have to walk away several times, but I was always good to go in less than 10 minutes, and usually less than 5. Just walk to the end of the block, take some fresh air in, and by the time you head back in the air is already3/4 clear and all you have to worry about is keeping your eyes clear of tears enough to be able to see – your breathing is irritated rather than inhibited by that point. I know I was one of the last or the last one to leave the gas cloud on Tuesday, because of my slow crutch-walking and stopping to try to retrieve my glasses (which I did not successfully do) after a flash-bang startled me and my sudden head motion flipped them off my face. Judging by what I could see being upwind for once, my severe symptoms clearly had something to do with a very large dose over a good couple minutes, maybe as many as 5.
But fuck that, my writing is so disjointed right now. i was going to introduce tonight’s first tear gas video and then take some time to get in a calm headspace before actually trying to write. But my headspace is so chaotic, I couldn’t even follow that plan.
So here it is, have a tear gas video, I’m going to have a shower, some scotch, and some cold pizza and then try to calm myself a bit before writing again:
Oh yeah, one more thing: You’ll notice that there were no warnings before the gas was fired. We got warnings the night Mayor Ted Wheeler was here. But no warning the nights before or the nights after. Why is that, do you think?