My worry would be this: if some African-Americans start wearing  supposedly bullet-proof clothing, wouldn’t police simply start using armor -piercing bullets or aim for heads or the like? I think the cure has to involve changing police reactions and attitudes, partly by making sure police who shoot or harass African-Americans without very clear cause are suitably  and publicly punished. 



On Aug 7, 2015, at 8:14 PM, Romsted, Laurence <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Help!  I come from a linear causal world.  I went to some of the sites.  What are they talking about?  What will they make their bullet proof clothing from?


From: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Ben Allen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Friday, August 7, 2015 at 8:16 PM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Technology for the People - Improvised Armor inspired by #BlackLivesMatter

Very interesting. Not the most uplifting technology but important nonetheless:

At the 2015 Allied Media Conference opening ceremony, Patrisse Cullors asked “what would technology for black lives be,” while wearing a shirt designed by Foremost and Damon Turner with the words BULLETPROOF #BlackLivesMatter emblazoned across her chest in gold. Inspired by this idea, micha cárdenas, Patrisse Cullors and Chris Head are collaborating to develop UNSTOPPABLE, a set of materials and processes for producing DIY bulletproof clothing at low to no cost. UNSTOPPABLE is art as intervention. The artists have developed a set of instructions for making these garments for wide dissemination.

These clothes and prototypes will be the basis for a series of workshops, round tables and conversations about direct action approaches to ending the murder of black people, in particular black trans women, at universities and community centers around the US, and wherever there is interest in hosting these conversations.

The project name comes from the words of Sylvia Rivera, a trans latina leader of the movement for freedom for transgender people, and from the idea of that firearms’ capacity to cause harm is called stopping power. We are unstoppable.

Science fiction stories in films and games such as Hunger Games and The Last of Us, depict a future in which the police kill people en masse with immunity. These stories are our reality now. The police are killing black people with impunity. While a larger movement to change ideas and laws is of the utmost importance, UNSTOPPABLE is an intervention now to stop the bullets from killing black people. UNSTOPPABLE also responds to the apocalyptic state of the environment by recycling materials discarded by the auto industry, an abundant source of waste that can be reused to save lives.

Governments today kill both through direct acts of state violence, such as police killing black people, and through neglect, choosing not to prosecute the murders of trans women, or looking the other way when civilians and paramilitaries arm themselves and commit murder. In this state of necropolitics, where the government facilitates death for communities it deems unwanted, we must act to physically protect ourselves now, as we do not even know where the next bullet might come from.

Materials research support from Ryan Li Dhalstrom. Modeling by Edxie coming soon.

Ben Allen