A Black Lives Matter activist who was part of the Ferguson riots posted a visual guide to urban riot wear in both English and Arabic on Twitter.
— BrownBlaze (@brownblaze) March 5, 2016
The tweet is significant because it was posted by Ashley Yates, who uses the handle @BrownBlaze on Twitter. Yates is a prominent protest organizer in the Black Lives Matter movement who is an advocate for violence. The Guardian quoted her in 2014 during her involvement with the Ferguson protest:
“If they can’t serve justice in this, the people have every right to go out and express their rage in a manner that is equal to what we have suffered,” said Ashley Yates, a co-founder of Millennial Activists United, who was arrested last week while protesting in Ferguson.
Yates learned organizing when she was the political chair of the Legion of Black Collegians at the University of Missouri Columbia; the group who was behind last year’s campus uprising there. Yates was not with the group at the time of that protest, however.
Under the title “Necessary Clothing and Accessories” the guide makes suggestions including:
- Sweatshirt or leather jacket with a hood. This helps shield your face from teargas.
- Spray paint so that if the authorities attack us, we can spray paint the visors of their helmets and the windshields of their armored trucks, blocking their vision and hindering their movement.
- Protective glasses. (Can be bought at any metalworking or paint shop.)
- The lid of the pot. You can use this shield when the state security beats you or shoots rubber bullets.
- Scarf to protect your mouth and lungs from teargas.
- Thick rubber gloves in order to protect your hands from the heat of teargas containers.
- Shoes that make it easy to run and move quickly.
The document also suggests bringing a flower, saying:
A rose so we can show that we can do as we ought to and join together in the most peaceful way possible.
The tweet from @BrownBlaze came shortly after she’d retweeted an article from Jason Leopold discussing Cleveland’s plans to buy riot gear in anticipation of the Republican National Convention.
Cleveland seeking to buy riot gear for Republican National Convention https://t.co/sVdg4YacXL
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) March 5, 2016
Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors promised to “shut down” the Republican National Convention, which will be held this summer. On MSNBC last year, Cullors said:
…many folks have asked why would you go after the Democratic party? They’re on our side. What about the Republican party? And trust and believe that any opportunity we have to shut down a Republican convention, we will. We will make sure that our voices are made loud and clear.
It is unclear why the instructions were posted in Arabic.