If you look at recent pictures of Ferguson, Missouri, it appears more like a war zone than an average American city. While police have toned down their heavy-handed, militaristic response to peaceful protesters, the violence has many drawing comparisons to the violence in occupied Palestine–including Palestinians, who have shared helpful hints on dealing with tear gas.
One can not help but gaze upon these photos from the Ferguson protests in support of African-American teen Michael Brown, who was murdered by the police on Saturday, without thinking of the violence and oppression in Palestine–particularly Gaza.
Palestinians, feeling a connection to Americans, who are just now beginning to feel the sting of oppression and brutal suppression tactics, decided to help protesters cope with chemical warfare.
The tactics that have recently been used against protesters are unsurprising. In 2011, St. Louis County Police Chief Timothy Fitch, along with other United States law enforcement officers, headed to Israel to learn to “fight terrorism.”
The St. Louis County Police Department has been relieved of duties in Ferguson–and since then, police have taken a more reasonable approach to the protests. Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, for instance, marched with protesters. “It means a lot to me that we break this cycle of violence,” Johnson said, promising a cessation of chemical warfare…at least, for now.
Tear gas is banned by the Geneva Convention in international warfare, but has been used heavily in Palestine, as well as Ferguson and other cities to quell dissent and stamp out protest.