Twitter user and Palestinian activist Rana Nazzal recently posted a 35-tweet thread of crowd control tools she says are used by Israeli police and soldiers in Palestine. This extensive list Nazzal and other Twitter users have compiled is being used by those attending events to protect themselves and includes strategies to “resist” against American officers working the riots in major cities around the country.
As of the writing of this piece, the thread has been retweeted 14,000 times and has received 23,800 likes.
She begins the thread by explaining the different types of pepper spray commonly used by police and includes images she claims are from the recent riots in Boston, Memphis, and Minneapolis.
Great detail is given on different types of pepper spray and where some officers tend to store them when not being used.
Moving along to stun grenades, aka flash-bang grenades – Nazzal describes how they’re normally activated and the different styles used, attaching photos that appear to be from an unnamed training guide. She notes in a subsequent tweet to be careful if you pick one up because some don’t activate when being released, adding an image of what Ed Felten claims is an unactivated stun grenade he says he located in DC.
Nazzal claims that (non-pellet) stun grenades are used to put you in shock and then goes on to describe how you would need to react if one is thrown in your general direction.
“When you see them released, turn around to protect face from any small shrapnel, close your eyes, & cup your ears (don’t close ears with one finger). Don’t hold your breath or you’ll feel intense pressure,” Nazzal states.
Nazzal also claims Israeli soldiers “sometimes use stun grenades to thin out a crowd & then go in & arrest people.” She claims the soldiers know that people who are familiar with stun grenades won’t run from them and to “keep that in mind because israel trains US police & they may be using same strategies.”
She quickly moves on to projectiles, posting images of rounds used by police, naming Combined Technologies & Nontlethal Technologies as companies that manufacture the projectiles. She lists rubber bullets, plastic batons, sponge batons, ballistic bags, impact rounds, saying that they can cause bruising, internal bleeding, or loss of the eyes, some she claims can be lethal.
The next tweet in the thread is allegedly a photo of a rubber bullet posted by Twitter user Celeste Castle who says LAPD shot what Nazzal says are “37mm cartridges that release 3 rubber batons at once” at crowds gathered at Beverly & Fairfax that we can safely assume were either asked to disperse and would not, or did not adhere to curfews imposed at 8 p.m. in LA on the 30th of May.
She begins to detail the different types of batons, saying they can break bones and claiming that Palestinian children have “lost eyes to it”, with a ten year old being killed by it in 2016. She includes no proof of either claim in the thread.
Nazzal also attaches photos from June 1st of what she claims is a Dallas police officer seen holding a yellow sponge baton gun, but notes often times these guns are black. She explains, “I believe the gun can always only hold 1 or 2 batons that are shot 1 at a time [but always feel free to correct -I’m not an expert & lowkey hate how much I know about this shit]”
Continuing with the sponge baton info, Nazzal says sponge batons are typically easy to identify because cops wear belts across their chests, providing a photo of Israeli police. Though she does note that sponge batons are “nonlethal”, that you should “Turn, bow, & use arms to protect [your] head/neck,” if police use this type of projectile to disperse large crowds.
She then moves to describing “long cylindrical batons” that she claims shoot
rounds “often made of metal & covered in plastic” she admits to never have seen before, linking a separate post by Twitter user @wildflowergabs, that shows images of rubber bullets along with the caption, “I had no idea what rubber bullets looked like but I didn’t think they looked like THIS”. The images are said to be from LA, but no verification of date, or location was included.
She fails to mention the fact that these are normally shot at the ground, not at civilians. Nazzal adds, “I think they’re shot from a 37/38/40mm launcher that looks like these,” posting two images of different guns.
Nazzal continues with her identification of projectiles saying since “so many different things can be inside these cylindrical shells,” no matter what is shot in your direction, “your response to these is the same: turn, bow, protect neck/head.”
“Take a bow away from shooters & protect ur neck/head with your arms but DO NOT CROUCH/GET DOWN. Theyre *supposed* to fire these at leg level & getting down could just expose ur head. Again, u usually have 1 sec to do this (unlike live ammo which hits by the time u hear the shot),” Nazzal adds, noting, “There is an added worry with weapons like these that shoot multiple rubber pellets/bullets from one canister: their trajectory is unpredictable. Unlike projectiles shot one at a time, these scatter.”
Nazzal continues: “I don’t know enough about US police weaponry but in Palestine, these small rubber bullets are actually fully steel with thin plastic & you can identify the gun by an extra long attachment on the barrel (these pics are of israeli weapons in Palestine). 15~ are shot at a time.”
A subsequent tweet reads, “This is the other type of rubber bullet we’re familiar with in Palestine. Cylindrical. The gun that fires them (pictured) shoots one at a time. They’re more forceful than the spherical ones in last tweet. idk – are people seeing these in the US?”
Nazzal once again stresses the best thing one can do is to take cover, otherwise to “bow away & protect your head w/hands.”
She then moves on to teargas saying, “they can be short or long cylindrical metal canisters – or spherical rubber balls. See pics. The short metal canisters are fired 3-6 at a time & scatter. The longer & spherical ones are usually fired one at a time”
She explains that air, not milk or water should be used if you find yourself in the midst of teargas, adding to not run in the gas because “you could make yourself pass out as you run.”
Nazzal then explains the difference between a red and blue text shell on different teargas canisters, posting a tweet from Nathan Baca that he says was “picked up on 17th near H minutes after federal law enforcement cleared streets Monday night.”
“the red gas shell here contains 5 smaller teargas canisters that spread out when shot, cover more ground & release gas 10-25 secs: The blue gas shell contains a single teargas grenade (pictured, no text) & lasts 20-40 secs”- Nazzal says
She describes exactly what to do in the case of teargas being deployed:
“They *should* fire teargas angled up so it arcs down (video from Montreal). In this case: watch them shoot, dodge/see where it lands so u don’t get hit, then A) move upwind if nearby or B) get down, cover face w/scarf, breathe slow into scarf til it passes”
“If they’re shooting teargas directly at face level or from short distances – as they do in Salt Lake in this video – this can literally kill you and is super fucked up & illegal. (this could be the green seat-shell OC gas mentioned a couple tweets back),” Nazzal says.
She states that identifying guns that “shoot teargas” to be “hard because from what I know the same gun can shoot a wide range of different projectiles,” and says to get “familiar with your local PD” to understand the different guns they may be carrying.
Nazzal says though she hasn’t seen round rubber teargas grenades in US, that “israeli army uses these,” stressing to be careful picking these up if you see them on the ground.
“FYI this is protester knowledge aka unless you’re the one buying & deploying the weapons you never 100% know what they’re going to do. Us sharing info is harm reduction not foolproof protection! Be careful & remember they often try new weapons, strategies & break their own laws.”
She then posts a photo she claims is from Canada RCMP of a “teargas launcher” that “can hold many types of diff projectiles”. Nazzal adds, “What u need to know: with these they won’t have to reload between shots, unlike single/double cartridge guns”. She then takes a break for a bit, only to come back and finish off the thread by further detailing different bean bag styles, the same day.
“BEAN BAGS Going back to explain this one because it’s been seen in San Jose, Austin, Spokane & Tampa. Fabric bag filled w/lead shot that emerges from a canister when fired. Can cause serious injury if it hits neck/face/stomach & has caused a few deaths,” Nazzal says.
“Beanbag gun is usually modified w/yellow, green, or orange markings. You have to figure out what your particular PD does. Like other “nonlethal” projectiles, either take cover or turn & bow away -protect head/neck & stomach! Use things as shields.” adding photos she claims are of “Palestinians doing it”.
This extensive thread includes other Twitter users sharing tips to use against officials who are handling large crowds in cities nationwide. Other users ask for even more info to be posted.
Mixed in to several replies in the thread that called Nazzal “comrade” and used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, many Twitter users thanked her, exclaiming “solidartity!” and commenting that they shared the information with American protesters:
Within the lengthy thread, you’ll also find a link to a 2016 article by the tax exempt 501-c 3 Unicorn Riot, a radical “social journalism” titled “Trump’s FEMA to Train Local Police for “Field Force” Crackdowns; Inauguration NSSE Nears” that includes documents and federal training manuals (Field Force Operations) used by FEMA and other local agencies to train officers in response to large crowds in the case of mass unrest, as we’re currently witnessing in our country.
Unicorn Riot has also been connected to other protests that have quickly turned violent that we’ve seen in the past including Occupy Wall Street and have covered the BLM/Antifa rioting of 2020.
“The 135-page guide has eight sections, covering “Mass Arrest“, “Team Tactics“, “Protester Tactics“, “Crowd Dynamics“, “Riot Control Equipment” and “Riot Control Agents and Less Lethal Munitions“. An appendix has lists of standardized riot control weapons, now commonly found in local police departments across the United States,” the article reads, adding “During campaign season, President-elect Donald Trump made it clear he wanted to execute policies involving millions of deportations, the cancellation of federal abortion rights, nationwide “stop and frisk” and many other proposals.”
The Unicorn Riot article continues by explaining the different types of protesters and how police respond accordingly.
“Under Additional Protester Tactics, on page 96, it’s written that “media passes that gain access” can be a source of “infiltration“.
Critical mass, unarrests, caltrops and the “ancient device” of the catapult, all get mentioned, along with “hazardous substances” in “large water guns“, caches of feces, and even mirrors (pg. 99-101),” the article continues.
The article includes gear worn by officers and tools used (at the time) for crowd control manuevers.
Unicorn Riot has streamed live on their YouTube channel from Minneapolis, Minnesota since George Floyd’s death last week, often glorifying rioters and looters rather than those who are peacefully protesting.
This type of information being openly available on Twitter, for those who wish to harm police officers and avoid tactics used in the dispersal of large crowds of “protesters” is alarming. You could even call it aiding and abetting, as Congressional candidate Laura Loomer recently did, calling for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to be raided “Roger Stone style” and charged:
“After censoring President Donald Trump’s tweets about violent riots, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey put #BlackLivesMatter as the header on the official Twitter Twitter account.
Jack Dorsey is aiding and abetting terrorist organizations by allowing for ANTIFA terrorists and Islamic terrorists to have access where they are promoting anarchy and lethal riots.
In the middle of a national emergency, he is also censoring the commander in chief who is posting about the army and national guard responding to the riots.
For this, Jack Dorsey should immediately have his home raided by the feds Roger Stone style and be charged with inciting acts of domestic terrorism in America.
It’s time for Jack Dorsey to be prosecuted for aiding and abetting terrorists and committing TREASON. #LockHimUp“ – Laura Loomer
Twitter is censoring, suspending, and often times banning Conservative users from the platform for posting facts or sharing information that has been proven, and in no way violent or a glorification of violence while this kind of information is perfectly fine to remain on the site and be viewed by thousands of young people who wish to do harm to our cities.
The peaceful protestors tend do go home around nightfall, when media leave because if they’re lucky, cameras have picked up their signs or interviewed them on camera. Their message has been recorded and hopefully featured later that night on the local news. That’s a peaceful protestor. There is no need to use any crowd control instruments against them, because if they were to be used, wouldn’t that remove the “peaceful” guise to “peaceful protestors”?
Instruments like the ones that are seen above are only used under the most dire circumstances, where crowds have gotten violent, out of control, or refuse to disperse after being asked numerous times. These tools are not used against peaceful protestors, which is why the photos shown above of the “aftermath” are all from the daytime, once the rioters have finally ran out of steam and have gone home to sleep the day away, until nightfall where they may repeat the process once again.
When the peaceful protestors begin to go home, they’re replaced with rioters and looters who came to destroy, set fire to, and steal from businesses, usually covered head to toe in black bloc, featured in this Vice clip from 2017 of “America’s Hard Left”, or at the very least, face masks. How convenient that COVID-19 has so many wearing medical masks as a prevention tool against catching the virus, now turned into the perfect cover for those who do not want to be identified.
Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez understands the difference, posting a guide on Instagram directing those attending different events to wear heat resistant gloves, and nondescript, solid colors of clothing that would cover any identifying tattoos. The graphic “Protesting Safely” also says to make sure to wrap up any long hair and not bring anything “you don’t want to be arrested with,” with an image of a knife and drugs:
Doesn’t really sound like something that would be necessary for people who are peacefully protesting.
Here are a few images of what that looks like from past events, where there were no instances of violence, or need for riot units to even be deployed.
That’s the main difference between peaceful protestors and rioters/looters. One group WANTS to be seen, NEEDS to get their message picked up by news media. The other relies on the darkness of night, large crowds, and masks to conceal their identity. One group legally exercise their First Amendment rights, the other group actively commits crimes.
In this Periscope, Ali Alexander describes in elaborate and precise detail the difference between those who peacefully protest and those who chose to vandalize businesses and public and private property, commit arson, and violence against officers and sometimes even each other.
“Everything you learn tonight you will not be able to unlearn,” Alexander states.