portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

actions & protests

VIDEO-All Hail the Street Medics!

There is not enough to be said about the role played by the street medics in the Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) protest that took place last week in Olympia, Washington. Activists were demonstrating against the use of their publicly owned port for the conveyance of military equipment. Police turned violent.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVASp4CGh94 Many protesters were injured and traumitized.
 http://youtube.com/watch?v=is9fA4ZlObo

Thank you, PMR 17.Nov.2007 06:38

--

Wow! This is so beautiful. Those people are so courageous. I'll be heading up there to help every chance I get. Thank you, PMR.

Actually... 18.Nov.2007 12:05

A Portland Medic

It was a great video and I really appreicate the efforts of this videographer to properly record what goes on on the streets. And I really appreciate her taking steps to protect the identities of those wearing masks, who had to remove them to be treated.

But, contrary to what the other poster said, this isn't a great video to watch to learn about street medic protocols. I do not mean to point fingers or say the Oly medics aren't as good as the Portland medics; that kind of division gets us nowhere as a movement. I commend and thank them for being out there in the rain, wind and cold for almost two weeks, supporting people and making them feel cared for.

What I do want to say is that the Portland Medics use a protocol developed by the Black Cross almost 10 years ago in their infamous "Pepper Spray Trials." They did scientific tests, pepper-spraying willing subjects and treating them in different ways. The treatments we use came out of those trials.

The first rule of medicking is "do no harm," and the medics in the video are probably not doing any harm. But, there are far more effective ways to clear eyes of pepper spray, and I personally would never recommend rubbing Maalox into skin being burned by pepper spray (I discourage people from touching pepper-sprayed skin without gloves on, as they are then contaminating their hands; I FLUSH skin to remove the pepper spray), and I'm not sure what was happening with the cotton pads over the eyes. Again, I don't believe it would do any harm, but the protocol I use of heavily flushing the eyes with LAW would probably do more good, and faster, than covering them with anything.

The Portland Medics collective is planning two trainings coming up- a six-hour training in Jan/Feb and a 20-hour training later in the spring. We encourage all to come and get trained.