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Protests in the U.S.

I am posting this here for everyone to know, I have been, and will continue to be going out to the protests in Minneapolis. I am there capturing footage with a press pass, but that has not stopped me from being gassed and hit with riot control grenades, nor has it stopped the Minnesota State Police from pointing M16's and M4's at me with lethal ammunition and threatening to shoot me.

If I do not come back, know that I love you all, and what is happening right now is very real.

I will try and check in from time to time, but it is not my highest priority. Stay safe.

Remember to record everything and put it online. The media sucks but the internet is a powerful tool. Like we say in Red... walk safe, chum.
Going to protest in DC today.
By the way, I went through severe protests in 2014 in Caracas, here's some advice I can give after swallowing a little bit of teargas:

* Vinegar is great to counter teargas but may irritate, do not breath through your mouth ever if you're being teargassed. Even if it hurts. DO NOT breath through your mouth.

* Ditch the makeup, purses, bags, etc, wear comfortable clothes and a backpack (less easy to lose in a scramble). If possible don't wear contact lenses. If you have long hair use a ponytail.

* Wear sunscreen. You don't want teargas combined with sunburn, you'll see the devil in person.

* If you've been struck by teargas and your face burns, DON'T TOUCH IT, it will spread the effect. Prepare a solution of Maalox or something similar and water.

* Other good counter measures for teargas is toothpaste, but it can burn the skin if left on for too long. It's effective to use on your upper lip and ears but nothing more. I didn't try this other myself but I saw people sucking on slices of lime to counter the nausea and vomiting induced by tear gas.

And most importantly, keep calm, never run without a reason as it can cause a stampede or panic, and if you swallow gas and begin to feel extremely anxious, don't panic, it's normal to asphyxiate. Breathe by your nose.

I'm still alive.

Last night during a peaceful protest, the police attacked a completely non-violent crowd in front of the 5th precinct on Nicolette and 31st in downtown Minneapolis. During the attack, I was filming the advancing line from off to the side with another news crew.

After identifying myself as press, I was shot four times with 40mm rounds. As I continued to identify myself as press I was then maced and arrested.

I spent an hour with improperly used flex cuffs laying on broken glass on an asphalt street. Beside me were two 22 year old women who had suffered the same treatment. During this time, I pleaded with the officer detaining us to use my water bottle to rinse out the eyes of the two women, and was met with a response of "That's not my job."

Only after anther news crew showed up and began filming did a call come through the the officer's phone to cut us loose. I rinsed the eyes of the women and retreated to my vehicle to evacuate.

This morning I still lack feeling in my right thumb from the damage done by the flex cuffs.

Glad you made it out in one piece. Seeing the Minneapolis police go after non-violent, compliant press simply for being there is some deeply junior foolishness. I'm sorry that happened to you and to the people you were there with.

More than ever, we need fair coverage of this situation. The rest of the world is watching closely to see whether that police department is working to fix its rep or not, and the response to the protests sure isn't helping its case.

I'm so sorry that happened to you @RedSteelButterfly.

While I was handing out water to anyone who needed any, I saw someone grab a temporary wooden roadside stop sign and tilt it over and lower it onto the street. Efforts to tell him to stop were ignored. That was the first sign something wasn't right. After a while it was discovered that undercover cops (or related malicious provocateurs) were planted among the protestors, wearing white armbands.

Everyone was protesting peacefully until the cops started advancing on people and using potentially lethal violence.

I lost my face mask in the crowd during one of those advances. I didn't feel safe enough without it and I don't have extras, so I got out of there. (Also ordered more masks.)

I got home safely, and I understand how I was not prepared enough to help anyone aside from providing water. I'll redouble my effort.

I'll be protesting locally on Monday.

Here are some links to videos around the US:

Article & videos of spotted provocateurs: https://www.justsecurity.org/70497/far-right-infiltrators-and-agitators-in-george-floyd-protests-indicators-of-white-supremacists/

Additional provocateur video: https://mobile.twitter.com/jordansntpierre/status/1266851069000183808

This impassioned plea 😢: https://mobile.twitter.com/g0ldie_teee/status/1266929382708465665

What police could be doing: https://mobile.twitter.com/Jason_Tartick/status/1266969749516320770

What real protestors did: https://mobile.twitter.com/iamturtle/status/1266999445062705153

In the UK, not any protests here (that I know of)

Stay safe, wear heavy clothes, put a sheet or two of cardboard under your clothes to lessen the sting of less-than-lethals, a construction helmet, swim goggles, construction goggles over those, and a mask. If you've got any heavy boots, wear them.

So far, every conflict I'm aware of has been started by the filth gassing peaceful protests, so I don't personally give a shit if you start torching their cars, but don't escelate it yourself. They're already doing a good enough job of that.

I was unable to go out today but I donated to my local bail fund.

Richmond Police Department fired on the peaceful protest before curfew.

Video of the attack: https://www.reddit.com/r/rva/comments/guw61h/rpd_tear_gasses_and_disperses_peace_protest_at/

RPD's response: https://mobile.twitter.com/RichmondPolice/status/1267609063224938499

Hundreds of protesters kettled in Richmond right now:

https://mobile.twitter.com/KBurnellEvans/status/1267640911892287489

Similar situation is happening up at DC. Cell signal jamming being used in both locations. Military copters overhead. Reports of the same happening elsewhere in the US.

Progress:

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/501021-virginia-governor-to-announce-removal-of-robert-e-lee-statue-in-richmond?amp

https://www.complex.com/life/2020/06/derek-chauvin-charge-upgraded-second-degree-murder-other-cops-charges?utm_campaign=complexmag&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

Not progress:

https://vpm.org/news/articles/13954/video-richmond-police-spit-at-or-near-detained-protester

https://mobile.twitter.com/SaintMaxwell__/status/1267649003254136832

https://mobile.twitter.com/ladyhaja/status/1267726477275148288

https://mobile.twitter.com/transtilinski/status/1267471883361976320

I'm alive. I don't have words to talk about what I've seen right now, but things seem to be calm for now.
I'm glad you're alive.

I went out yesterday. Richmond police appear to have stood down, but haven't taken any steps to remediate their crimes. They know how complicit they are. We still have demands. They still have protestors locked up. The cops who spit on a detainee haven't been fired. The police who shot at us during a peaceful, legal protest before curfew haven't been fired. Chemical weapons haven't been banned. They're still improperly aiming rubber bullets.

Things are only marginally better.

Cincinnati cops groped a woman to have cause to beat her:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Alexander2Turnt/status/1268918128643198976

Buffalo cops put an old guy in critical condition for returning one of their helmets. The two officers responsible were suspended without pay. The other 57 quit the emergency response team (but not their jobs) in order to show solidarity... ...with the two cops that got suspended. 🙄

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/501378-57-buffalo-officers-resign-from-emergency-response-team-in-response-to

Philadelphia cops are still instigating so they can beat down protestors:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Peopledelphia/status/1267588991655784448

Some cities are finally banning chokeholds, including Minneapolis. They're still legal in a lot of places, and are even used against teenagers:

https://mobile.twitter.com/KudokoManny/status/1268784554753622018

We are nowhere near done.

It really gives me heart to know there are folks on the front lines of this campaign for change. Keep up the reporting, you're showing what the fight is for.
Thank you Johnny! ♥️✊🏿♥️