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  • Rob Will

What is Constant: Oppression, Torture, and Harassment

Updated: Jul 15, 2021


Monday, Midday

My eyes flash open for a split second and then involuntarily slam shut. Screams, screams — what have I woken up to? Am I still asleep, trapped in some insane dream? Heart pounding, chest convulsing, all of my nerves trapped in a chaotic vortex. I sit up and the world tilts. Spinning. Spinning. Chest heaving. I can't breathe, can't get up. A searing pain in my lungs, head throbbing — little sledgehammer blows to my mind, beating, beating with the rhythm of my pulse. "What's going on?" Disorganized thoughts. It's eerily quiet… Yes, yes, of course, CS tear gas. I think I can get up now. Half stumbling I reach the door. J is in the day room sitting down, a wet shirt wrapped around his face, shoulders slumped over, chin on his chest. Coughs echo across the silence. I have partial vision now.

When a CS tear gas assault weapon is first deployed there is usually so much adrenaline in the air that people scream and yell, but when the CS starts to attack the body, full or partial paralysis sets in. Speaking is impossible. Seeing is impossible. Breathing is impossible. Thinking is impossible. "What's going on?” J just shakes his head pointing towards E dayroom. He still can't speak, he's about 15 feet closer to the gas than I am. Two officers are walking up the run, their heads look like two huge deformed bright red tomatoes jerking back and forth, coughing and hacking from the gas.

"They just hit X with the 37mm in E dayroom,” one says between fits of coughing. X just got gassed again — the same person who was gassed two days ago. They hit him with the 37mm crowd dispersal assault cannon. A regular military assault rifle round (that of an AK-47 or an M-16) is about 8mm wide so you can imagine how huge the 37 mm round is. X isn't a political person but he is engaging in a form of protest. Sometimes guys will just get fed up with the constant oppression, constant torture, and constant harassment and do things like occupying dayrooms and get gassed. Dizziness again...

They use the military style OC & CS gas assault weapons designed to be deployed against whole crowds on singular individuals but the gas attacks us all. Coughing again…more dizziness…I need to lay down…



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