Tear gas, policing, and the counter-revolution:
January 25 marked one year since the beginning of the Egyptian revolution. One year after the fall of the Mubarak regime, the Egyptian people are still in the streets, calling for an end to the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that took power after they nonviolently toppled their dictator. What can people in the U.S. do? Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. military aid after Israel and U.S. corporations manufacture tear gas that is shipped to repressive regimes all over the world, including in Egypt, and used against people trying change the world to reflect the needs and visions of the people who live in it.
Tear gas made in the U.S. by Combined Systems Inc. based in Jamestown, PA, has been shipped to Egypt (among other countries) and used against Egyptian protesters, resulting in many protester deaths and injuries. CSI is also the company responsible for the death of Palestinian activist Mustafa Tamimi, who was killed after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister fired at close range by an Israeli soldier in the West Bank.
War Resisters League in coordination with the Global Justice Working Group of Occupy Wall Street, Adalah-NY, and others has been working to build partnerships with groups who are organizing against U.S. support for the manufacture, sale, and purchase of tear gas, as well as U.S.-based groups focused on the militarization of the police here at home.
For more information about U.S. support for the use and manufacture of tear gas, check out this report by written by members of Adalah-NY and reposted to the WRL blog.