Skills for Revolutionary Survival: 2. Basic Personal Protective Equipment

When anyone goes into a potentially dangerous situation, they should find out what personal protective equipment (PPE) is required to keep themselves safe. This is true for the worker at a chemical plant, the farmer handling fertilizer, the body shop technician painting a truck, and for you, who are on the front lines of this uprising in various capacities protesting and/or providing aid.

For people attending protests or other direct actions, there are some essential gear that you need to get now, and some secondary gear that can improve your chances when facing off against far-right terrorism.

The first line is to protect your vulnerable body parts against extremely common blunt impact weapons used by police & far-right collaborators. This includes a helmet, safety glasses/goggles, and hearing protection. We will review these in Part I.

The second line is to provide you with some protection from military attack by police/military/militias using lethal weapons. These will include ballistic helmets and body armor. We will review these in the next article, Advanced Personal Protective Equipment.

Part I: First Line PPE


Protecting your head is extremely important. No other part of your body is so vulnerable to extreme injury than can lead to death. Batons, bats, bricks, blunt impact munitions, vehicle attacks, even accidental falls can result in irreversible damage. This is why it is essential to gear up against head trauma.

The ideal helmet will be a ballistic helmet, which we will cover in depth in part II. Owing to their high cost, we will examine some less expensive options here for head protection. There’s a great Crimethinc article that goes in depth on the topic of helmets, so be sure to check it out here.

Motorcycle Helmet

A motorcycle helmet is designed to take multiple high speed impacts during a motorcycle accident, both blunt and focused. These come in a variety of forms and at a variety of price points. You will get more reliable protection from a new helmet, but a used helmet (that does not show abrasion from a crash) can also provide you with good protection (never use a used/out-of-date helmet for actual motorcycle protection). There are three types we would recommend: half helmets, 3/4 helmets, modular helmets.

Half helmets offer the least protection, only covering the upper half of the head. Strikes from the side or back will not be protected against. 3/4 helmets address that to a large degree, but leave your jaw, nose, and teeth exposed. If mainly facing blunt-impact munitions, pepper balls, paint balls, and flash bangs, a modular helmet would be the best option. It has all of the breath-ability of the 3/4 helmet, while allowing you to close the front to protect your face when projectiles start flying.

One of the things you also should consider when getting a helmet is whether it will actually protect you. DOT certification is not worth the ink its printed with since it is a ‘self-certified’ safety standard. For real safety, especially ballistic protection from the visor, be sure to get a helmet that meets ECE or Snell safety standards.

Bike/Climbing/Skate/Bump Helmets

These common helmets are the lowest tier of protection but not all are built the same. Lets examine these in order of least safe to most safe:

  • Bike and Climbing helmets are the lowest tier of safety. These vary greatly in quality and often are riddled with ventilation holes, holes that will allow projectiles in and will decrease impact resistance to things like batons. If you are looking to get a bike helmet and want it to pull double duty, avoid ventilation holes, look for rounded shapes that deflect impacts, and try to get a helmet with Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS).
  • Skate/Bump helmets are the next level up for protection. Each provides more robust protection for multiple impacts. Bump helmets offer accessory rails like tactical helmets meaning you can incorporate face shields and hearing protection into the helmet system.

Eye Protection

Eye loss is happening with greater frequency as police target protesters and reports with head-shots from blunt impact weapons. There are some ways to up your protection, mostly by wearing eye protection that meets both ANSI & MIL-PRF standards:

Civilian Standards
The Z87+ markings on safety glasses and goggles indicate eyewear is compliant with ANSI Z87.1 high impact and ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 industrial safety standards for eye protection. Safety eyewear meeting these criteria are used in a variety of industrial and personal applications.

Note that the Z87+ marking is used for all Plano, readers and magnifier safety glasses. The Z87-2+ marking is used for impact-rated prescription lenses. If you’re using Rx inserts with military eyewear, they must be impact rated and marked with Z87-2+.

Military Standards
The Military’s rigorous MIL-PRF 32432 Ballistic Fragmentation standard uses tests similar to those in the ANSI Z87.1 standard. However, the requirements are much more stringent.

There are two main Military Ballistic Standards used for testing, MIL-PRF-31013 (spectacles) and MIL-DTL-43511D (goggles). Eyewear passing these tests, along with additional criteria, may qualify to be listed on the APEL (Authorized Protective Eyewear List), which indicates the product is approved for individuals serving in the US Army.

Most military-grade eyewear will meet ANSI certifications. However, ANSI-certified safety glasses and goggles will not always be APEL certified. In fact, the majority of them are not.

The impact standards required for APEL certification are much higher than those for the ANSI standard. In fact, the MIL-PRF-31013 testing produces approximately 7 times more impact energy than the ANSI Z87.1 standard. Also, the military impact standards for goggles are even more rigorous.

The US Army also requires that ballistic eyewear is functional, reasonably comfortable, contains no bright colors or distracting designs, and is able to be disinfected. Also, they have requirements for optical clarity, protection from UV rays, fit, chemical resistance and environmental stability (no changes when exposed to a range of temperatures and humidity levels). -from

Glasses like these can be found at specialty stores like above or at local eye-wear dealers. Again, check the certifications to make sure you are buying legitimate eye protection. Also, test out the glasses by heavily working out. Get sweaty and hot. If your eye protection fogs, invest in anti-fog solution.

Styles can be very civilian looking, but goggles are a great option to wear over eyewear and help conceal identity a bit better.

Hearing Protection

Hearing loss is cumulative. Flash-bangs, fireworks, music, drums, yelling, car horns, sirens, LRADs, PA systems… these all are risks to your long term hearing. Hearing protection comes in two catagories; in-ear and over ear. Lets take a look at some options. For some information on standards check out these hearing protection information links at: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety or in the USA OSHA

In-Ear Hearing Protection

In ear protection is easy to buy in bulk and distribute at protests. They offer good protection, especially for the price. People unfamiliar with inserting them may need guidance, so make sure people who are unfamiliar are GTG.

Hearing protection bound by a string is the best because if an ear plug from one ear becomes dislodged, it will still be retained for reinsertion by the other ear. A box of 100 of these usually runs from $14-25 USD and are available at almost all construction stores and online retailers.

Over-Ear Hearing Protection

Over ear hearing protection can be divided into two categories, passive and active. Passive over-ear hearing protection, aka ear muffs, are designed to deaden all sound. These are usually inexpensive, though substantially more than ear plugs. These can be found at most stores that sell hardware or sporting goods. We recommend shooting ear muffs as they are designed to deal with ergonomic situations you may be faced with and generally will be more comfortable.

Active hearing protection is a very useful feature for headphones. What it does is allow you to hear normally (and sometime enhances your hearing), while blocking any noise over a dangerous decibel level. What does this mean for you? It means you can hear police talking down the street, you can hear the movement of feet near you, you can hear the voices of your comrades… you retain a high degree of situational awareness, all while protecting your hearing. The prices on electronic hearing protection varies from $60 USD to $750 USD. What makes these different? Mostly it comes down to battery life and interoperability with comms. Cheaper electronic hearing protecting might run out of battery in 2-3 hours, but even if the battery is dead, it is still hearing protection. Cheaper electronic hearing protecting won’t be protected against rain. If that’s a factor, spend more. We recommend the following for worry free electronic hearing protection that will protect your ears and maintain/enhance your situational awareness.

Peltor Sport Tactical 100 is a good budget option at $40-$75 USD. Automatic shutoff after two hours to conserve battery, runs on AAA, has an audio jack for two-way radio/cellphone.

3M PELTOR COMTAC III Hearing Defender is a upscale buy for those looking to have extremely good reliability and the ability to integrate with helmets. These are also designed to allow the shouldering of a firearm while wearing. They have 500hr battery life and are water/saltwater proof. $200-750 USD

MSA Sordin / Sordin Supreme are an alternatives to the COMTACs. Over 300 hours of battery life, uses AAA batteries, has battery save function and Low battery warning, and is waterproof (not saltwater). $130-350 USD

Skills for Revolutionary Survival: 1. Trauma Medical Gear

by Eepa

We have seen over the past few months of the Black-led uprising against police violence that we will all be met with extreme violence at the hands of police, national guard, military contractors, fascist militia members, and alt-right lone-wolfs. What is the one thing we can all collectively do to ensure that our casualties are given a fighting chance to live after being attacked? Carry medical gear for trauma treatment and learn basic trauma first aid.

Everyone reading this, if you can spare the money or can fundraise, get at least one Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK). These are kits designed to save lives during traumatic injuries (i.e. explosions, stabbings, vehicle strikes, shootings). These are not your typical first aid kits, replacing things like Tylenol with mass bleeding response items. Usually sold as tactical gear to military and police, the violence on the streets and the deaths of Black Lives Matter protesters at the hands of right-wing attackers has shown the immediate need for all of us to start carrying life saving gear.

In this piece, we will look at what gear a beginner should buy, who to buy from to avoid dangerous counterfiet medical gear, how to get training & practice, and the ways we can use this gear/training to keep each other alive.

I. Essential IFAK Items

1. Tourniquet

Tourniquets are a very important item for stopping massive hemorrhaging (bleeding) from wounds that have hit major arteries (the blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues of the body). A tourniquet is a device that is used to apply consistent pressure to a limb or extremity (arms & legs, hands & feet) in order to limit, but not entirely stop, the flow of blood to that limb or extremity.

Tourniquets come in a variety of forms. We will examine some of the recommended types, some that we would recommend staying clear from, and some that can be made out of improvised materials.

Recommended Tourniquets

COMBAT APPLICATION TOURNIQUET (CAT) - This tourniquet is battle tested and easy to use. This tourniquet was one of the first devices incorporating a windlass, a spinning rod that applies pressure to the wound. Over multiple generations, the CAT has been updated to correct issues seen in the field and improve performance.

SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES TOURNIQUET (SOF-T) AND SOFTT-WIDE - This tourniquet is a newer design than the CAT and incorporates some design differences designed to increase the ease of use for some users. There are two plastic D-rings used to retain the windlass after pressure has been applied. The SOF-T Wide helps apply presure over a larger surface area, helping ensure even distribution of forces.

Tourniquets to Avoid

SWAT-T, R.A.T.S, TK4, NATO TOURNIQUET, AND OTHER “BAND” DEVICES - These devices do not apply consistent pressure and have a tendency to loosen when evacuating a casualty. This can result in increased bleeding and potentially death. These are cheap but very ineffective/easy to mess up.

Improvised Tourniquets

Tourniquets can be improvised using fabrics that are at least 1.5 to 2 inches wide, combined with sticks. Wide materials are not only more comfortable, they cause less nerve damage & are also more effective. Example images:

You also can incorporate a last-ditch tourniquet into your clothing. A belt with a two-prong buckle and holes along the entire length of the belt can be employed as a last resort tourniquet.

2. Combat Bandage/Dressing

The Combat Bandage/Dressing (Emergency Bandage / Israeli Bandage) is an elasticized bandage with a sewn-in non-adhesive pad. They are similar to elastic ‘ace’ bandages used to treat sprain injuries, but have three unique features:

  • A sterile non-adherent dressing to allow removing the bandage without reopening a wound.
  • A pressure applicator placed over the wound to stop bleeding by applying pressure. It allows changing the direction of the bandage and wrapping it around the wound once in various directions. It also makes bandaging easier. It is especially useful for stopping bleeding in groin and head injuries.
  • A closure bar at the end of the bandage to secure the bandage and add pressure to a wound. It allows the bandage to clip neatly in place without slipping and can be used by a “sliding motion with one hand.”

These are inexpensive and should be carried in multiple. Do not substitute menstrual pads for combat dressings!

3. Chest Seals

Chest seals are used to treat penetrating wounds to the chest from stab wounds or gunshot wounds. Untreated, these types of sucking chest wounds can result in lung collapse or pneumothorax, a lethal condition. Chest seals act as one-way valves to ensure the chest cavity is protected from these conditions. Be sure to get quality chest seals like the HyFin Vent seals which maintain adherence to the chest, even with slippery blood present. Be sure to buy these in sets of two, one for entry wounds and the other for exit wounds. If you get shot two times, you will likely have four wounds.

4. Hemostatic Guaze

Hemostatic gauze is designed to induce rapid blood coagulation (also known as clotting, is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a blood clot, stopping/slowing bleeding). QuikClot was the OG of the hemostatic world, but advancements have been made, making citosan-based products like Celox and Chito-SAM preferred. QuikClot is best for if you are hours or days from medical care, Celox and Chito-SAM are better for when you are closer to hospital care. Buy the gauze, not the granules!

5. Permanent Marker

You need this to document. Write the time a tourniquet was applied on the tourniquet and on the body of the patient. If the person is conscious, write the contact number of their emergency contact on their body.

6. EMT Shears

EMT shears are very useful to cut away clothing from a wound so that medical aid can be applied. Shears are safe, knives are not especially under stress.

6. Carrying Bag

IFAKs need to be kept together and kept sanitary. Keep your items in their wrapper as secure them in a bag. The cheapest way to do this is with a zip-freezer bag, though these are prone to tearing. We recommend getting a quality nylon bag to hold your IFAK contents.

The cheapest way is with a surplus Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) Gunner Pouch, 200 Round. Originally these held ammunition for belt-fed machine-guns, but their size and sturdy construction make them ideal for IFAKs. These run $8-16 USD. Be sure to get a red cross / red crescent patch to mark these as first aid to others.

Dedicated IFAK bags are a nice upgrade because they retain items in specific locations, making it easy to get what you need without dumping the whole kit on the ground. Stress makes finding things harder; dedicated IFAK bags make finding things easier.

Make sure to mark all of your kits with the Red Cross / Black Cross / Red Crescent to signal to others that the bag contains life saving materials. You may not be conscious to tell them.

7. What about other medical gear?

Most IFAKs will come with some additional equipment like a nasopharyngeal airway or a decompression needle. While it is ok to have these in your kit, should a trained medic need them, you MUST NOT use these without training. If you don’t know if you are trained enough, you are not.

II. Where to buy?

We only recommend purchasing IFAKs and medical supplies from a reputable dealer like Chinook Medical, North American Rescue, Rescue Essentials, or The Tactical Medic. NEVER buy trauma first aid supplies from Ebay, Amazon, or fly-by-night websites. On websites like Amazon/Ebay/Walmart, there have been many reports of people buying quality NAR tourniquets, only to receive counterfeits. Counterfeit gear will get you killed! The windlasses will break, the materials will slip, they will fail under pressure, they will not seal correctly, etc. Here’s a video breakdown of this problem:

III. How to get Training & Practice

1. Self Teach

This is the baseline. If you carry the basic kit we described above, at minimum open your IFAK, make sure you know where everything is, and get extremely familiar with how to use each of the items. You can do this by watching videos. You can also buy training versions of Chest Seals, Tourniquets, Combat Bandages, & Hemostatic gauze that will let you open them up and practice using them for less money than a medically ready version. Go to the manufacturer or dealer for product-specific training videos. Here are some basic videos to get you started:

2. In-Person Training

There are a variety of programs, courses and schools that will get you up to speed with practical life saving skills utilizing the contents of your IFAK.

Stop the Bleed

Stop the Bleed is a program designed to give free courses to the public to increase public training to treat traumatic bleeding injuries. This is a very basic course that mainly covers bandaging and tourniquet use. To find a class visit:

Tactical Medic Training

Training to provide medical assistance in tactical situations requires more than just expertise on applying medical devices. In order to prepare for the dangerous conflicts we are experiencing today, we highly encourage sending members of your affinity group to recieve advanced tactical medic training. This training encompasses topics like:

  • Physiological and Psychological reactions to environmental stress
  • The importance of having the proper Combat Mindset
  • Basic Anatomy and Physiology of the life-sustaining system
  • H, A, B, C’s—Hemorrhage, Airway, Breathing and Circulation
  • Basic and Advanced Airway management -treating and monitoring tension pneumothorax, sucking chest wound and flail chest
  • Basic First Aid and Advanced wound care
  • Application of Bandages, Hemostatic Agents, and Tourniquets
  • Response to active shooter situations
  • Proper use of cover and cover vs. concealment
  • Casualty recovery in an Active Shooter situation
  • Mass casualty triage procedure
  • Emergency Medical Dialect/Lingo (911 protocol, Fire and EMS and First Responders)

Fair warning, most of these places are run by people who actively work with police and military. Get the training, but keep your politics to yourself. Cover up any political tattoos. The training is critical, so be aware you are going to be in groups hostile towards your world view. Play the part, get the training, then get out.

Places that offer this kind of training:

  • Dark Angel Medical
  • SOARescue
  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Independence Training

There are other training courses/locations out there. Be sure that the class is being taught by an experienced and certified medical professional.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Training

For the most useful set of skills you can provide to your entire community, nothing beats EMT training. These courses are offered nationwide and lead into a job path.


It’s up to all of us to help how we can. If you show up to a protest, try to have at least one basic IFAK with you. Someone else may need it or you might. Keep it strapped to your belt or to your wheelchair. The day someone needs it, is the day you need to have it. Even when not protesting, keep a small IFAK in your bag or in your vehicle. We can all do a part to keep our comrades safe!

EMERGENCY: Support Request from the Pataxó Indigenous Community

Novos Guerreiros, Brasil

We ask for attention and respect. We ask for action. We ask for dignity. OVERALL, WE ASK FOR HELP.

The PATAXÓ INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY of the village NOVOS GUERREIROS located in the indigenous territory of PONTA GRANDE, was surprised by a preliminary decision authorizing a repossession of land in an area of the village that is occupied by 24 Indigenous families. The Indigenous people were represented by Attorneys Pedro Dinis O’Dwyer and Fernando Zelada, in a hearing held by Federal Judge Pablo Baldivieso, on August 20th 2020, suffered a defeat that initially has a direct impact on 24 families, but which can eventually condemn the whole community and the inhumanity of not having a territory to live in and also exposure to COVID-19.

The judge determined:

”A repossession warrant is issued, and the requested squatters must be summoned to leave the place, in 05 (five) days, removing their belongings, including requesting police assistance, if necessary, taking into account in view of the peculiarities of the case in question. Once the reinstatement warrant is fulfilled, the period for contestation is open, within 15 (fifteen) days under the terms of art. 554, §1º, c / c art. 564, both from CPC / 2015: by a warrant, the occupants present at the location, who must be duly identified and qualified by the bailiff in charge of carrying out the due diligence, who must, if possible, identify the leader(s) of the Movement present there; by notice, the remaining occupants who are not found at the time of the due diligence. ”

If this preliminary decision is fulfilled, the weight of abandonment and death will fall on the Community’s shoulders. It is observed that FUNAI’s (Brazilian Indigenous People Foundation) role is to defend the interests of indigenous peoples, supporting them through resources and measures to avoid this horror that falls on the community. In addition to the flaws in the process (photo of the area with errors), the community has no voice through its legal representatives.

We appeal to society and to the Superiors of the Federal MP with the purpose of asking that they assume their role of fight in the defense of the interests of the indigenous people. And enforce what is determined by the Supreme Federal Court:

“The Supreme Federal Court (STF) decided to suspend, until the end of the coronavirus pandemic, all judicial processes and appeals for repossession and annulment of demarcation of indigenous territories in process in Brazil. The Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib) considered the fact a victory for the national indigenous mobilization. ”

For us, it is an important decision, because indigenous peoples are being very affected in this context of a pandemic. Many communities are facing and adopting preventive measures on their own ”, points out Eloy Terena, from Apib (Brazilian Indigenous People Association)’s legal sector.”

Source: (in portuguese) (in portuguese)

The measure of the Judge (Mr Pablo Baldivieso) is, in our view, inhuman, unjust and disproportionate. However, the MP’s disinterest is blatantly frightening. The silence in the audience, the lack of communication with the indigenous leaders, causes chaos and fear in the community.

We ask for attention and respect. We ask for action. We ask for dignity.


Sincerely, Novos Guerreiros Indigenous Village