Getting tear-gassed at a peaceful protest sucks

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Protest signs. // Photo by Mike Alexander

Getting tear-gassed sucks. That’s what happened to me at the protests last week.

You start to gauge where it’s coming from by which way the wind is blowing, and then the next thing you know your face is on fire and you have acid tears pouring from your eyes that you can’t keep open. All the while you’re running away from the violent automatons who really seem like they’d be happy to see you dead on the sidewalk.

These were non-violent protests. A first amendment right. And we were down there to exercise that right. I was witnessed to such bravery, beauty, and selflessness on behalf of the people in those crowds.

No one wanted a riot. No one wanted more violence or death. No one wanted to destroy property. We only wanted decency. We only want change in the racist, systematic, and violent practices that plague policing forces across America.

But when you get a mouthful of mace, or you see a cop destroying first aid supplies, or you see dozens of peaceful protesters attacked and then arrested, a survival instinct kicks in. You fight back.

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