Tag Archives: pepper spray

The African Spring: Senegal by Dominic Nahr

They’re using a new type of tear gas in Senegal. It chokes you, blinds you, but it also burns and stings, like it’s been mixed with pepper spray. It’s a sensation with which more and more Senegalese are becoming familiar as presidential elections were held this past weekend. Among them is Africa’s most famous living musician, Youssou N’Dour, who tried to run for the presidency, was barred from doing so by the regime of President Abdoulaye Wade and is now helping lead a protest movement aimed at unseating Wade and restoring democracy in Senegal. The stakes are high, for two reasons. Senegal has a long and proud democratic tradition and is something of a weathervane for West Africa. And the opposition movement is hoping to unite the spark of reform and political

Dominic Nahr—Magnum for TIME

consciousness not just in Senegal, but across Africa, to finally bring to close the unhappy era of the continent’s Big Men.

Will they succeed? Almost everyone thinks Wade will win the election, not least, Western diplomats and opposition campaigners say, because the fix is in: they claimed to have evidence of hundreds of thousands of voting cards that have not been distributed to opposition supporters and the names of hundreds of thousands of fictitious voters appearing on the electoral role. But N’Dour and other opposition leaders claim they are in the fight for the long haul. “This is about patriotic civil duty,” N’Dour tells TIME. “More than that, what we are doing here is a model for a new Africa, one where power is returned to the people. I respect music, I do, I love it. But for the time being, my music is on hold. Senegal and its future are far more important. They’re my priority.”

Read more: “Youssou N’Dour’s Protest Song”

Alex Perry is TIME’s Africa bureau chief. 

Dominic Nahr, a TIME contract photographer, photographed the Arab Spring in Egypt. Nahr is represented by Magnum.

The African Spring: Senegal by Dominic Nahr

They’re using a new type of tear gas in Senegal. It chokes you, blinds you, but it also burns and stings, like it’s been mixed with pepper spray. It’s a sensation with which more and more Senegalese are becoming familiar as presidential elections were held this past weekend. Among them is Africa’s most famous living musician, Youssou N’Dour, who tried to run for the presidency, was barred from doing so by the regime of President Abdoulaye Wade and is now helping lead a protest movement aimed at unseating Wade and restoring democracy in Senegal. The stakes are high, for two reasons. Senegal has a long and proud democratic tradition and is something of a weathervane for West Africa. And the opposition movement is hoping to unite the spark of reform and political

Dominic Nahr—Magnum for TIME

consciousness not just in Senegal, but across Africa, to finally bring to close the unhappy era of the continent’s Big Men.

Will they succeed? Almost everyone thinks Wade will win the election, not least, Western diplomats and opposition campaigners say, because the fix is in: they claimed to have evidence of hundreds of thousands of voting cards that have not been distributed to opposition supporters and the names of hundreds of thousands of fictitious voters appearing on the electoral role. But N’Dour and other opposition leaders claim they are in the fight for the long haul. “This is about patriotic civil duty,” N’Dour tells TIME. “More than that, what we are doing here is a model for a new Africa, one where power is returned to the people. I respect music, I do, I love it. But for the time being, my music is on hold. Senegal and its future are far more important. They’re my priority.”

Read more: “Youssou N’Dour’s Protest Song”

Alex Perry is TIME’s Africa bureau chief. 

Dominic Nahr, a TIME contract photographer, photographed the Arab Spring in Egypt. Nahr is represented by Magnum.

TIME Picks the Best Viral Photos of 2011

Spontaneous snapshots. Intimate moments. Unexpected exposures. There was no one formula for this year’s most viral photographs. Most were based on news events, such as the death of longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi—but these photos ended up becoming the news themselves. They shocked us. They awed us. They inspired us to feel. But the most powerful feeling was the impulse to share.

The best viral images of 2011 are those we found flooding our email inboxes and Twitter feeds this year. One thing weaves the images together: each photographer netted a once-in-a-lifetime picture. From Royal Wedding mania and a bloodied despot to an utterly unexpected leopard on the loose, photographers both professional and amateur brought us the scenes of unpredictability and chaos that gripped our world over the past 12 months. As shocking as the subject matter is the simplicity of some images. A few came from mobile phones. Most were snapped without a thought of—or time to handle—composition or lighting. One was even taken by a man who would be dead minutes later.

Given that the Internet is a notoriously fickle beast, it’s impossible to predict which photos will score a hit. Here, LightBox looks back on the photos we couldn’t help but share. —Nick Carbone

Pictures of the Week, November 18–25

From renewed riots in Egypt and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s capture to the pepper spray outrage at University of California-Davis and the Kabaddi World Cup, TIME’s photo department presents the best images of the week.

See last week’s Pictures of the Week.

The Prevalence of Pepper Spray in Protests

Nothing disperses a crowd like a shot of chili pepper to the eye. Pepper spray—scientifically known as oleoresin capsicum spray—is banned in war but has made its presence known during the Occupy Wall Street protests as one of the most-used methods of crowd control. Its status as a less-than-lethal weapon gives police the right to use pepper spray as a tactic to tame rowdy protesters, but are they using it properly? A number of incidents have called attention to the liberal usage of the spray against protesters appearing both defenseless and peaceful. But a quick burst of the orange is enough to bring even the hardiest protester to his or her knees: the active ingredient, capsaicin, inflames eyes, penetrates skin, and irritates mucous membranes. And the symptoms can last for days. Here, TIME looks at the prevalence of pepper spray in recent protests.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone

The Prevalence of Pepper Spray in Protests

Nothing disperses a crowd like a shot of chili pepper to the eye. Pepper spray—scientifically known as oleoresin capsicum spray—is banned in war but has made its presence known during the Occupy Wall Street protests as one of the most-used methods of crowd control. Its status as a less-than-lethal weapon gives police the right to use pepper spray as a tactic to tame rowdy protesters, but are they using it properly? A number of incidents have called attention to the liberal usage of the spray against protesters appearing both defenseless and peaceful. Indeed, a quick burst of orange is enough to bring even the hardiest protester to his or her knees: the active ingredient, capsaicin, inflames eyes, penetrates skin, and irritates mucous membranes. And the symptoms can last for days.

The use of pepper spray has proven to be harmful to more than just those hit with it. At the University of California, Davis on Nov. 18, police doused dozens of seated non-violent protesters with pepper spray. Numerous cameras in the crowd filmed the incident, inciting an online outrage. The UC Davis police chief has been put on administrative leave along with two officers seen in the video thoroughly pepper-spraying the protesters. An apology from the university’s chancellor has done little to quell the Internet’s fury. Images of the cop casually pepper-spraying protesters have gone viral, with the likeness of the lieutenant spliced into other historical situations, can of pepper spray in hand. All humor aside, the university is taking the situation seriously, launching an investigation into the police department’s use of the force. Here, TIME looks at the prevalence of pepper spray in other recent protests.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone