Friday, March 4, 2011

Campaign member's piece on U.S.-Mideast-exported tear gas published by LA Times

Blowback: Weapons of Mideast oppression, 'Made in U.S.A.'

Patrick Connors, a member of Adalah-NY: The New York campaign for the Boycott of Israel, a New York City-based [US Campaign member] group advocating for Palestinian rights, takes on a Feb. 22 Los Angeles Times article.

March 3, 2011

The Times' Feb. 22 article, "Britain, Italy condemned for Libya ties," provides helpful insight into the uproar caused by British and Italian military aid to Libya. However, readers would be well served by further information on how, with our government's support, U.S. companies have provided military and crowd-control equipment that has propped up authoritarian governments throughout the Middle East.

Rather than seeing the U.S. as spreading freedom, Arabs who have taken to the streets have experienced "Made in U.S.A." tear gas used by repressive governments to kill and maim unarmed protesters and crush popular movements for justice.

For unarmed Arab protesters in Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Pennsylvania may seem to be the tear-gas capital of the world judging by the labels on the canisters fired at them. Combined Systems Inc. (CSI) is headquartered in Jamestown, Pa., and NonLethal Technologies Inc.'s home is in Homer City, Pa. The apparently defunct Federal Laboratories was based in Saltsburg, Pa.