Monday, June 8, 2020

Tear Gas Versus Pepper Spray

Or pepper gas.

So, AG Barr and Pres. Trump (and also the commander of the US Park Police, I think) have been hotly denying that tear gas was used last Mondy in the attack by the Praetorian Guard on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square.  Various of them have also been claiming that as many as three warnings were issued to the crowd before they attacked and also have claimed that the protesters were throwing things at them and hus were violent rioters.  The latter claims have been denied by nearly all observers, including journalists, although it may have been that perfunctory warnings were issued very quietly so that almost nobody could hear them and that maybe one bottle got thrown.  Barr has also denied giving the order for this attack, laying it on the Park Police chief, and also denied that it had anything to do withTrump walking across the square a few minutes after the protesters were cleared to have his photo op at St. John's Church with an upside-down backwards Bible, after church personnel were forced off their own church grounds by the attack.  All of this has turned into a massive embarrassment as polls on this have turned sharply against Trump, and the National Guard from 11 states are now being removed from Washington, if not the still non-IDed Praetorian Guard Barr oversees himself.

Then we have the matter of tear gas, with proetestors clearly crying and coughing and exhibiting symptoms usually associated with being tear gassed as they fled the square, and with most of them claiming to have been "tear gassed."  This has been roundly denied by the three parties identified above.  Instead it has been admitted that "pepper balls" were thrown into the crowd, along with rubber bullets being used and flash-bang grenades.  While both Barr and Trump have both since claimed that these "pepper balls" are not "eye irritants," clearly they are, and a variety of expert sources have reported that they are.

I shall add here my own personal observation, perhaps not relevant due to the passage of time and a basic lack of substantial knowledge on my part.  However, half a century ago when I was involved in various protests while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, most of them anti-Vietnam War, but some on other mostly racial issues as well, such as after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., I accumulated along with others some experience with being on the receiving end of several different "gases."  In particular we at times thought that we were being tear gased while at other times it was claimed that we were being "pepper gased."  Now I do not know what the relation is, if any,between that long ago "pepper gas" and these "pepper balls" used last Monday in Washington, but back then we viewed that "pepper gas" as being more painful and unpleasant than what we identified as being mere "tear gas."  I can also attest that such was used as I had to clean "pepper" off my shower walls in the apartment I was in near campus after such an attack.

So, bottom line, if today's "pepper balls" are anything like the "pepper spray" used in Madison  way back then, then this stuff is actually worse than conventional tear gas and bragging about using it rather than "tear gas" may well be a farce that is not remotely funny.

Barkley Rosser


ken melvin said...

Hmmm. I was a student at Berkeley during Peoples' Park confrontation in 69. The occupiers would run off and on Campus. Along with other returning Vets, if I had had a weapon,... I might have taken a shot at the National Guard choppers. Then, too, the violence was on the part of the Alameda Sherriff's Deputies.

ilsm said...

What does the Xi, the Ayatollah or Merkel (her government worried that some US troops will move out of Germany) say about the "leader of the free world's" denied movement by a bunch of kids who think they own the church they recently tried to burn down?

In Spring 1970, some kids (maybe they were students but most of us needed to study) at RPI in Troy, NY "took over" the administration building across the street from my fraternity. That evening we had a USMC Major in discussing the Corps' platoon leader (commissioning without ROTC) program. When the Major was done with his presentation a few of us ROTC guys offered to escort him to his vehicle. He declined observing he would "get by"....... seemed to me he could take on the "kids".

As far as I recall no kids were hurt that night.

Tear gas is particularly bothering if you shaved the day you went into the "tent" for refresher training, donning the mask under stress.

pgl said...

TalkingPointsMemo provides a 12 minute video put together by reporters at the Washington Post which does an excellent job of showing what really happened:

This confirms what you wrote and undermines a lot of those lies coming from Team Trump.

pgl said...

" ilsm said...
What does the Xi, the Ayatollah or Merkel (her government worried that some US troops will move out of Germany) say about the "leader of the free world's" denied movement by a bunch of kids who think they own the church they recently tried to burn down?"

Your usual babbling here does not have a single thing to do with what happened at Lafayette Park. But leave it to you to excuse Trump's tin soldiers. I guess you have no clue what happened in 1970 at Kent State.

ilsm said...


Where did you get the idea I should pander to your sympathies?

Angela Merkel would quietly change her schedule rather than fall for the false flag as Trump did.

Those 'kids' don't have cause to restrict my movements much less our president's.

Disdain for the US, motherhood, the Nationals/MLB, and disdain for the rule of law has everything to do with what went down at St John's church........... and Lafayette Sq.

I know what went down at KSU, didn't the unabridged history come out from Joni Mitchell, sung by CSR and Y? I do have a perspective that conflicts with your ideology.

pgl said...

"Disdain for the US, motherhood, the Nationals/MLB, and disdain for the rule of law has everything to do with what went down at St John's church........... and Lafayette Sq."

WTF? Oh yea - the protesters were all Atlanta Braves fans. Good God ilsm - you Russian bot circuits have rusted!

ilsm said...


I ring the bell.......

Anonymous said...

Here is an excellent breakdown minute by minute for the clearing of Lafayette Square from the Washington Post. The use of the different line graphics reminded me of maps used to describe Gettysburg or other battles and the use of video shows the angle from which it was taken. It also shows that tear gas was used based on pictures of canisters and other types of crowd dispersal tools are highlighted.

Also, there was a helicopter that hovered low to discourage posters:

Fred C. Dobbs said...

Pentagon Ordered National Guard Helicopters’ Aggressive Response in DC

NYT - June 6

WASHINGTON — Top Pentagon officials ordered National Guard helicopters to use what they called “persistent presence” to disperse protests in the capital this week, according to military officials. The loosely worded order prompted a series of low-altitude maneuvers that human rights organizations quickly criticized as a show of force usually reserved for combat zones.

Ryan D. McCarthy, the Army secretary and one of the officials who authorized part of the planning for the helicopters’ mission Monday night, said on Friday that the Army had opened an investigation into the episode.

Two Army National Guard helicopters flew low over the protesters, with the downward blast from their rotor blades sending protesters scurrying for cover and ripping signs from the sides of buildings. The pilots of one of the helicopters have been grounded pending the outcome of the inquiry.

The high-profile episode, after days of protests in Washington — some of which turned violent — was a turning point in the military’s response to unrest in the city. After days of operating on the periphery of the crowds, National Guard forces suddenly became a focus of the controversy over the military’s role in urban law enforcement.

Military officials said that the National Guard’s aggressive approach to crowd control was prompted by a pointed threat from the Pentagon: If the Guard was unable to handle the situation, then active-duty military units, such as a rapid-reaction unit of the 82nd Airborne Division, would be sent into the city. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said...

<a href="'> Guard Pilots Grounded For Crowd Dispersal Investigation </a>

Two Army National Guard helicopter pilots have been grounded after they used a Lakota helicopter painted with medical markings to disperse crowds near the White House last Monday. The U.S. Army is investigating their actions and the grounding is normal practice. The aircraft flew as low as 100 feet above protesters in a maneuver designed to use rotor wash to disperse those below.

The maneuver and misleading markings on the helicopter were widely criticized but the pilots had the support of their commander in chief. ...

ilsm said...

DC National Guard soldiers coming up Covid 19 positive.

‘You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead’

"It takes a balanced mind to assemble a Japanese bicycle".

The missing minds........ said...


I am going to join pgl is giving you a hard time on your earlier claim that somehow the protesters in Lafayeete Square were against motherhood, the MLB/Nationals, or the rule of law. I am unaware of anybody there making any statements about any of those. They were peacefully and legally protestign police brutality against African Americans, especially George Floyd. Where on earth did you get this nonsense from?

ilsm said...


Your mileage varies on abstractions like legal and peaceable. I wonder if "restricting access" is violence. We have to ask Gandhi on that.

More "fallout" from National Guard 'activities' in DC:

Dr Fauci is a "little concerned".

You are correct if you assume I support keeping Fts Benning, and Bragg, Ft Lee (may be for Light horse Harry) so named, as well as Ft AP Hill.

pgl said...

That's your response to Barkley's question??? ilsm is clearly a Russian bot whose circuits have rusted out.

ilsm said...


I did not intend to ring your bell.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

(Wikipedia - Capsaicin)

Capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is an active component of chili peppers, which are plants belonging to the genus Capsicum. It is a chemical irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. ...

Pepper spray and pests

Capsaicinoids are also an active ingredient in riot control and personal defense pepper spray agents. When the spray comes in contact with skin, especially eyes or mucous membranes, it produces pain and breathing difficulty, discouraging protestors and assailants. ... said...


Are you completely losing it? I said nothing about any of the things you talked about in your response to me, as pgl noted. I said nothing about Fauci or Confederate generals.

As to "restricting access," I note there is a difference between that and violently attacking a bunch of peaceful proetesters to remove them. Again, none of them were saying anything that you claimed they were.

How out of it are you and why, ilsm?

ilsm said...


Losing nothing! Thanks for asking.

I added a few thoughts, I have. Current events, you know.

"Protesters" can exercise their 1st Amendment free speech right. As long as it don't restrict me (or the president) in my pursuit of happiness......

Why use the word "protesters"? I see the Layette Sq mob as "squatters" on someone else's property?

I associate "restricting access" to public property as "occupying by possession" which has no standing under a citizen's right to expression, or any other right I know. The occupation was not legal.

If someone "occupies" public property and I want to access I go to law enforcement. If the law does not achieve my right to access immediately by verbal demand, then the law acts to enforce my right.

A judge might order eviction, the federal officers might have asked a DC judge, however, given political conditions, run by "red phenoms", I doubt they would be assertive any more than the "red phenoms" in Seattle.

The "protesters" over stepped, the authority side reacted. Maybe they could have stumbled around the courts for weeks with judges of dubious regard for law. Lots of debate on CNN and Fox News!!

Too many people running around with chips on their shoulders, not limited to Trump and deplorables.

Hey, Professo[r, I am auditing this lecture. said...


I guess you are watching too much Fox, if not OANN. Just pure garbage on your part here.

Have you ever been on Lafayette Square? For decades it has been a place where protesters hang out protesting all kinds of things. Some of the people there have been showing up for decades, pushing their schticks. At this time with this big issue, a lot more people have been there. But they have every right to be there. They were not "occupying" it or preventing you or anybody else from going there and doing whatever you wanted.

Barr and the Park Police claimed they threw bottles and were otherwise unruly, but no witnesses support this. There was not grounds for this seriously violent attack by a group that included DC National Guard, Park Police, and a bunch of these unidentified secret police/Praetorian Guard.

You seem to be defending this with a lot of loose blather that rambles all over the place but that just makes you look seriously out of it.

ilsm said...


The only places in the District I went regularly, on the rare occasions I was in the "area", were the Vietnam Memorial, and I talk to Lincoln after reading the excerpt of the second inaugural.

How much do you 'hang out' at Layette Sq?

You went from the "protesters" are there "legally" to exercising "rights". Does doing it all the time establish precedent and ownership?

What are those rights? said...


You are continuing to be super unimpressive, indeed flagrantly ignorant on all this.

I have been on Lafayette Square many times. I have also been inside the White House, including downstairs and in its press briefing room and down the hall from the Oval Office (saw the door), although not inside.

Every time I have been on LS there have been protesters there of one sort or another, sometimes more sometimes fewer. They were exercising their rights as were those attacked so Trump could walk across to do his ridiculous photo op.

Let me remind you, since you seem not to have gotten it. Even with this large crowd there, none of these people were claiming "ownership," and they were not preventing anybody from walking across the square or stopping on it to have a picnic or stopping on it to protest something else. Indeed, I suspect there were some regulars there protesting other things like climate policy and foreign policy, and so on, people there every day also exercising their rights.

You simply do not have a leg to stand on here, and see my comments on a more recent post. It is now clear that both Barr and the Chief of the US Park Police have blatantly lied about what went down there that day. About the only thing they have said that is true is that apparently they did issue three verbal warnings, but those were done quickly and were so silent almost nobody could hear them. Ageements signed in 2015 make it clear warnings are supposed to be loud and clear and to be followed by an effort to peacefully and carefully move people off of wherever it is that they are being moved off of, with none of that remotely happening. They made three perfucnctory and barely audible warnings and then attacked full force because a few minutes earlier, just prior to his speech in the Rose Garden, Trump made it clear he wanted that photo op after his speech.

Oh, there had been plans to "expand the perimeter."But officials from various agencies have made it clear that in a meeting earlier that afternoon it was not clear that would necessarily happen at all, and if it did it would be later that evening, and there was zero discussion about any need to get protesters out of the square prior to curfew starting (with helping to enforce the curfew one of the several phony arguments initially put forward to justify this outrage).

No, ilsm, you have no leg to stand on. Did you lose one during your military experiences? If so, I am sorry, although that is not nearly as serious a problem as having nonexistent bone spurs on your foot.