Were it not for the stoic immovability of the protestors in this picture, the image would resemble even more stunningly an exterminator dispassionately spraying a nest of roaches ... only, roaches know what to expect, which is why they scatter in all directions when approached with chemicals designed to harm them.
Who, among these young protestors, could rightly have expected to be doused -- directly in the eyes -- with a purportedly "non-lethal" chemical weapon, simply for sitting there?
Older protestors were more likely able to anticipate what was coming the moment they saw their paramilitary gear-laden "public servants," towing their projectile-less and therefore not-so-bad sounding "Sound Canons" (mind you, which can crush your eardrums and make them bleed) behind them.
And many old-timers already knew through direct experience that in the United States the freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association, and freedom of speech -- all of which establish the right to protest -- have little more than sentimental value in our history books (many of which, at this rate, will soon be burned).
After all, we are in the
post-911, post-PATRIOT Act era. What's a little pepper spray,
considering the crimes against humanity perpetuated of late by our once
great nation-state, on self (citizens) and other ( resource-rich
countries), in the name of universal freedom, security and democracy?