October 9, 2011

Stop The Machine- Day 3

So we went to the Air and Space museum to do a silly little demonstration. We were going to do a banner drop at the drone exhibit, a display of military fetishism that our tax dolars pay for.

I had gotten ahead of the march with my camera to video tape us entering the lobby. What happened instead was just insane.

The security guards rushed the entrance like linebackers, shoving people out the doors, flailing their arsm, pushing people in the face, and then pepper-sprayed the crowd, including women like Linda Wiener, 54, of Portland Oregon, from no more than a few inches away from their faces. In the ensuing chaos, the guards sprayed a few of their own. One security guard, seen in the video above, was choking on the pepper spray, and remarked, "God, that stuff is nasty."

Yeah, no shit.

I was pushed out of the lobby into the still-hanging cloud of pepper spray. The air was impossible to breathe. If you've ever put a 9volt battery to your tongue, that's what it felt like, but in your eyes, your nose, and your mouth and lungs. I ran outside of the cloud of spray, took a deep breath of air, and ran back into the crowd of people being flushed and treated by our first aid team.

I had no idea things were going to go like this. I figured we might be denied entry, but to be maced? Really? They shut down the museum for the rest of the day. That wasn't our intent. Our intent was to do a silly little banner drop and die-in. Pure theater.

Instead, our theatrical demonstration against unlawful use of force, was met by an unlawful use of force. Ironic.

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