The Nation



Protection gear evolves

AS POLICE continue to use tear gas against protesters, an increasingly innovative array of handmade protective gear has begun to appear at clash sites.

Far from being deterred from their attempts to storm Government House and the Metropolitan Police Bureau, the demonstrators have devised all manner of inventions to withstand the irritant effects of the tear gas.

Many demonstrators are opting for a basic approach, using wet pieces of cloth to cover their faces at the first sign of smoke or water spray. Others simply cover their heads with plastic bags when they detect gas. But others are better equipped, using gas masks and other types of air-filter-equipped face masks to withstand the measures.

Police first began hurling tear gas at about 11.25am on Sunday in a bid to prevent anti-government demonstrators from removing concrete barriers erected by authorities at the Chamai Maruchet Bridge. By yesterday, the demonstrators had begun to don better protective gear to defy the police operation.

Some are using plastic bags rigged with straws to allow them to breathe. A doctor reportedly went up on to the anti-government protest stage to explain how this simple design could protect demonstrators on the frontlines from the worst effects of tear gas.

Facebook user Kritsana Song-pracha posted details of an easy and low-cost protection method. "You can create [a mask] with a 5-litre plastic water bottle. Cut the bottle to fit your face," he advised.

Another user by the name of Nam Nam Nam posted a clip showing demonstrators how to render tear-gas rounds ineffective by simply picking up a canister fired by police and dropping it into a bottle or a bucket of water.

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