The information provided here is intended to help you prepare in advance for the action and is not a substitute for first aid trainings, which are quite thorough. Here is a basic list of supplies to bring for your first aid kit, and to donate to the medical team. water (as much as you can carry. this is for you and your friends to drink, for irrigating eyes and wounds, for cooling off. it's worth its weight--bring lots) several pairs of vinyl gloves (protect against blood AND pepper spray, latex works but is a common allergen) change &/or card for telephone call paper, pen, duct tape, marker wound care supplies (Band-aids, steri-strips, 2x2 & 4x4 bandages, 1st aid tape, Bactroban or other antiseptic) ace bandage chemical weapons decontamination supplies (3 small bottles of canola oil, alcohol, and a solution of liquid antacid/water, 1:1 ratio--this in a spray bottle, lots of gauze sponges or clean rags, stored in several small plastic bags) small tampons (good for nose bleeds) tongue depressors (for splinting) clean shirt in plastic bag (to change into if you get heavily gassed) sun screen or rain gear, weather depending Emergen-C (or other powdered electrolyte mix) Rescue Remedy (good for shock, trauma) snacks tube of cake icing (or hard candy--good for raising blood sugar) aspirin, ibuprofen inhaler, epinephrine, benadryl (for those qualified to use them) What you bring and wear will largely determine how long you'll be able to stay there. If you pack your bag too heavy, that will also limit your mobility and increase your fatigue. WHAT TO WEAR comfortable, protective shoes that you can run in clothing which covers most of your skin to protect from sun and pepper spray exposure shatter-resistant eye protection ie: sunglasses, swim goggles, or gas mask gas mask or goggles paired with a respirator or bandanna to protect during chemical weapons deployment weather-related gear (i.e.: rain gear or sun hat) heavy-duty gloves if you plan to handle hot tear gas canisters fresh clothes in plastic bag (in case yours get contaminated) a cap or hat to protect you from the sun and from chemical weapons WHAT TO BRING lots of water in plastic bottle with squirt or spray top, to drink and to wash off your skin or eyes if needed energy snacks identification and/or emergency contact information. just enough money for pay-phone, food, transportation watch, paper, pen for accurate documentation of events, police brutality, injuries water- or alcohol-based sunscreen your inhaler, epipen, insulin or other medication if you require it several days of your prescription medication and doctor's note in case of arrest menstrual pads, if needed. Avoid using tampons--if you're arrested you may not have a chance to change it (tampons left in more than six hours increase your risk of developing toxic shock syndrome) ACTION FASHION FAUX PAS Don't put vaseline, mineral oil, oil-based sunscreen or moisturizers on skin as they can trap chemicals. Don't wear contact lenses, which can trap irritating chemicals underneath. Don't wear things which can easily be grabbed (i.e.: dangly earrings or other jewelry, ties, loose hair) Don't go to the demo alone if you can help it. It is best to go with an affinity group, or some friends who know you well. Don't forget to sleep, eat, and drink lots of water. No matter how well rested and prepared we are and how tight our plan of action is with our affinity group, we can never really predict what will happen in an action, how the police will (over)react to our demonstration, no matter how peaceful we may be. A little information can go a long way towards dispelling myths, fears and misinformation, so we want to share as widely as possible what we have learned about tear gas and pepper spray: PROTECTION AGAINST TEAR GAS AND PEPPER SPRAY, 101 The first thing to remember about exposure to these chemical weapons is that it is not the worst thing that could happen to you. The hype and fear surrounding them is enormous, but in reality, if you are careful and smart, you should survive it with little problem. This information is the result of conversations with experts, pepper spray trials done by the Black Cross Health Collective in Portland, Oregon, and our combined experiences of treating lots of people in various actions, including the WTO in Seattle, the IMF/WB in DC, and the actions against the electoral conventions in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Unfortunately, we have no direct experience with these chemical weapons in Europe, so please be aware that this information is based on research from around the world, but experience only from the US. What They Are: Tear gas (also called CS, CN, or CX) and pepper spray (OC) are chemical compounds that are weapons designed to be used by the military and police to disperse crowds and subdue individuals. They are mucous membrane (the inside of your mouth and nose, among other places, are lined with mucous membranes) and skin irritants. They are mixed with solvents, and delivered through the use of propellants. Some of these solvents are registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency as causing cancer, birth defects and genetic mutations. In Seattle, one batch of tear gas contained methylene chloride, a highly toxic solvent which can cause mental confusion, headache, tingling of the limbs, rapid heartbeat, visual and auditory hallucinations, menstruation cycle disruption, spontaneous abortion, and varying effects on lungs and the digestive system.