Using your voice shouldn’t mean losing your vision. We are angry and saddened that people protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis are suffering serious eye injuries from law enforcement’s non-lethal rubber bullets.
The Academy is calling for an immediate end to law enforcement’s use of rubber bullets against protesters. We previously had condemned the use of those non-lethal weapons, a statement that drew an outpouring of support from our member ophthalmologists, who asked us to do even more.
We can and will do more, and we want you to join us in that effort.
We’re starting to collect data on injuries from rubber bullets to better make our case.
We’re launching a #NoRubberBullets #NotOneMoreEye social media campaign to bring more attention to this issue.
What you can do:
- Join the campaign by liking and sharing our posts. You can find us at @aao_ophth on Twitter, @aaoeye on Instagram, on Facebook and on LinkedIn.
- Do your own social posts. (See the suggested posts below.)
- Send letters to the editor or op-ed pieces to your local and regional newspapers. (See suggested language below.)
- Develop your own messaging in whatever channels you think will reach the right people.
We’ve developed a toolkit to help you with your messaging. Join us in this fight.
Suggested Social Media Post
Take a photo of yourself (with or without colleagues) in white coat or scrubs, holding up signs that say #NotOneMoreEye or #NoRubberBullets. The signs can be handwritten or printed from a computer.
Or use one of these images:
For Facebook or Twitter
Post the photo with text such as:
In recent days, Americans engaged in peaceful protests have been blinded by rubber bullets and other projectiles fired at the face. While classified as non-lethal, they are not non-blinding. Join me in condemning the use of rubber bullets to disperse crowds of protesters. Using your voice shouldn’t mean losing your vision. #NotOneMoreEye #NoRubberBullets #ThisIsOurLane
Shortened for Twitter: Americans engaged in protests are being blinded by rubber bullets. While classified non-lethal, they are not non-blinding. Join me in condemning their use. Using your voice shouldn’t mean losing your vision. #NotOneMoreEye #NoRubberBullets #ThisIsOurLane
Suggested Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed
In the past week, Americans engaged in peaceful protests have been blinded by the use of rubber bullets fired at the face.
While classified as non-lethal, they are not non-blinding. These life-altering eye injuries are a common result of urban warfare, rioting and crowd dispersion. We have seen it around the world, and we now see it in our community.
Following numerous serious injuries in the past two weeks, the American Academy of Ophthalmology calls on domestic law enforcement officials to immediately end the use of rubber bullets and other projectiles to control or disperse crowds of protesters. The Academy asks physicians, public health officials and the public to condemn this practice.
[information on local situation / injuries / personal experience treating patients] Therefore, [name of society or organization] calls on law enforcement to end the use of rubber bullets and other projectiles to control or disperse crowds of protesters.
Americans have the right to speak and congregate publicly and should be able to exercise that right without the fear of blindness. People should not have to choose between using their voice and losing their vision.