Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Did you know you can use a cloth soaked in lemon juice to neutralize the effects of tear gas? That, some decent goggles, and lots of padding make you immune to the current crowd-control arsenal (ie, tear gas and rubber bullets.)

Crowd control's going to get a lot more hightech, though. The ADS - Active Denial System - uses microwaves to boil the water directly underneath the skin, giving the device it's moniker, the 'pain ray'. Basically, if you get hit by it, your one and only instinct is to get away as fast as you physically can.

There's lots of other devices coming down the pike, ranging from the darkly humorous (super-slippery 'black ice' that make movement impossible, focused infrasonic beams that make you shit your pants) to the creepy (all sorts of nasty psychotropics that, awesome as they might be in a club environment, would probably suck and suck hard if you're trying to protest against, oh, say, a criminal regime that's usurped power in what used to be a free country.)

And then there's the current favorite, the taser, great against college students asking difficult questions or unarmed women who don't ask 'how high?' when the police say 'jump'.

Now, the justification for the development of virtually all of these devices is to help out with peacekeeping efforts in benighted foreign countries, but basically, these are all riot control weapons. And they're going to make rioting - hell, peaceful protesting - a whole hell of a lot hairier.

Not impossible, though. Countermeasures can always be developed. Take the ADS, the crown jewel in the new crop of crowd control technology. All you'd have to do to block the microwaves is carry a metal shield of some sort (say, a trash can lid); wear thick clothing; or wrap yourself in a foil emergency blanket. If you felt like getting really fancy, you could sew the emergency blanket into your clothing as an additional layer. The tinfoil hat brigade could take on a whole new meaning.

Actually, the emergency blanket technique might well work against tasers, too. Emergency blankets consist of a layer a plastic sandwiched between two very thin sheets of aluminum; the taser's leads would certainly come into contact with the aluminum upon breaking the through the clothing, at which point I'd expect that they'd short out, leaving one very confused cop holding in his hand one very useless little plastic box. Well, he'd probably just commence to beat the shit out of you with his maglite but hey, at least it's something.

The police state being built by the new world order is going to rely on the highest of technologies. That's an arena that the people can't compete in, largely because it's just too expensive. But if you can't do cutting edge, then you go the other way, and fight high tech with low. Bandannas soaked with lemon juice; swimming goggles; and clothing lined with space blankets. There are always countermeasures.

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