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Update - Portland Street Medics Arrested at the RNC

author: Portland Street Medics
Sep 03, 2008 13:25

Update from the streets, first aid stations and clinics at the protests

Update - Portland Street Medics Arrested at the Republican National Convention
Weds, Sep. 3rd, 2008

In between explosions of concussion grenades and teargas clouds in Minneapolis-St. Paul, volunteer Street Medics from all over the country who have assembled there are continuing to provide much needed first aid and medical care to injured and frightened people everywhere in the city where lawful and peaceful assemblies, passersby, journalists and bystanders are getting attacked indiscriminately and without provocation by Police, National Guard and teams of unidentified Federal Agencies without badges or numbers.

Two raw, unedited video items that were just published provide an excellent documentation of the level of unprovoked and indiscriminate violence targeted against peaceful non-violent assemblies, against Street Medics, against legal observers and journalists:

o- Rubber bullets fired directly into a small crowd of peaceful people; Street Medics attacked:

o- Independent journalist caught in the middle of panic and mayhem during an attack with concussion grenades and teargas against a peaceful march:

Starting at dawn on Tuesday, Portland Street Medics who were arrested while treating injured people at the RNC were being released one by one by the illegitimate authorities who had seized them. One of our colleagues is still in jail and has not yet been charged with anything. All of the arrests of Portland Street Medics are entirely illegal.

We have confirmed information that additional unidentified Street Medics have been seen in jail by other people, but no details about who they are or why they are being held.

The Portland Street Medics who were released are well, except for tiredness. We are not able to communicate with the one of our members who is still in jail to ascertain wellness - our colleague is being held in a situation where legal observers have repeatedly confirmed that people are being denied access to medical care and targeted with selective abuse. {Please see the statement from our lawyers below, titled "Over 300 Protesters, Bystanders, Medics and Media Arrested: Update from Coldsnap Legal Collective".}

All of the arrested Street Medics' personal items, money, medical supplies and tools were confiscated and are still not being released by Police despite repeated requests, even though the items in question are not relevant to any legal proceedings (they are not being held as evidence, nor are they proscribed materials). Seizure of these materials is an illegal tactic to prevent our members from providing first aid and medical care to the people who are now in the streets and parks in Minneapolis-St. Paul. This is in direct violation of the US Constitution which in the Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. {Please see the Constitutional reference from the Cornell Law School below.}

We are still in need of funds for bail, and for replacing lost medical supplies and tools for our volunteers. If you are able to give, please consider donating through this page (every little bit counts!):
or, please write to us about making alternative donation arrangements here:

Some details
The Portland Street Medics who were arrested include a long-time Queer liberation and radical performance artist; two trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), one of whom is also a Wilderness First Responder; and a Nurse Practitioner in training, who is also an Herbalist with more than fifteen years clinical experience.

It's plainly obvious to everyone that our members, sworn to the primary directive of all healthcare workers to "First, Do No Harm", should have never been arrested and must be allowed and supported to return to their duties immediately without any interference whatsoever.

Contacting the authorities
...has proven to be very difficult. As one of our supporters reports here,
phonecalls to the Ramsey County Jail, the Sheriff, and Mayor Coleman, are being redirected through a maze of sometimes incompetent, sometimes purposefully dysfunctional routes and individuals who are making the process of leaving messages and official complaints nearly impossible.

Still, we are asking people to please call these (new) numbers and to politely ask that:
o- all Street Medics be released immediately and allowed to resume duties;
o- all people who were arrested and are not being charged, to be released immediately;
o- all personal items and medical supplies and tools that were confiscated from Street Medics to be returned immediately so that our teams can provide much needed care for injured and ill people in the streets and first aid stations all over Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Please call these numbers:
St. Paul Police chief:

Help line:

Please send letters to:
St. Paul Police Department
Chief John Harrington
367 Grove Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101

Ramsey County Jail
Sheriff Bob Fletcher
425 Grove Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101

Please keep distributing and re-publishing our updates

We really are grateful for all of your letters and phonecalls of support. Without your love and care, none of our work would have been possible.

Portland Street Medics

Resources and Related Materials

"Over 300 Protesters, Bystanders, Medics and Media Arrested: Update from Coldsnap Legal Collective"

" US Constitution - Amendment IV:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Our previous Communique:


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