portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements united states

actions & protests | community building dnc rnc protests 2008

PORTLAND STREET MEDICS ARRESTED AT RNC

Folks belonging to pdx street medics have been arresting in the Minneapolis-St. Paul uprising. They need your aid!
Minneapolis-St. Paul RNC

A number of Street Medics
 http://portland-or.net/street-medics/
from Portland were arrested on Monday afternoon (Sep 1st) while tending to injured protesters. All of them belong to one affinity group which has been participating in the actions as a unit of Street Medics acting together.

About half were released by evening, while a few individuals among them are still being held. They have been singled out for "special procedures". Legal support and lawyers are trying to help out with their case as it seems to be a unique situation wherein the Street Medics might be charged with unusual (and outrageous) offenses.

If you have any funds to help with bail money and related expenses for the Street Medics, please email us at this address:
 street.medix@portland-or.net
Everything you give will go toward enabling us to continue doing much needed Movement work and providing essential community service.




Involvement at the Denver DNC:

Street Medics from Portland constituted about one third of the total numbers of Street Medics at Denver during the week of activities there. Added to Street Medics from Olympia and Seattle, WA, our Medics from the NW constituted about one half of all the Street Medics in Denver. At the end of the week some of us continued on to Minneapolis-St. Paul while others returned to Portland.

During the week of protests in Denver we treated hundreds of injured people and took into our care an unexpected number of activists with additional health concerns, both related and unrelated to the events, plus tended to people with various illnesses as well as some difficult cases with chronic conditions.

We treated injuries from pepper bullets, pepperspray, beatings, strangleholds, clubbing, cuts, scrapes, bruises, handcuff injuries, exhaustion, dehydration, heat illness, exposure to the elements, asthma attacks, psychological emergencies, and some serious medical emergencies.

None of us were hurt or arrested, though most of us experienced the direct threat of both, frequently. A few of us sustained minor injuries from pepperspray, pulled muscles, sprains, and suffered exhaustion. Some of our Street Medics were temporarily detained by Police during raids and events on the streets but all in all most of those tense situations were resolved well.

We will issue another communique when we have more information to share with you.

Many thanks for your love and support for our work, and also for your letters and phonecalls with concern and care - it's your support that enables us to continue.

Portland Street Medics
 http://portland-or.net/street-medics/

article reposted from  http://twincities.indymedia.org/2008/sep/portland-street-medics-arrested-rnc

Calls to the Ramsey County Jail and Sheriff and Mayor Coleman 02.Sep.2008 14:42

Laughing Horse laughing.horse.coop@gmail.com

UPDATE!! I just called the 651/266.3989 Information and Complaint line and a nice lady, Sue, took my complaint to Mayor Coleman (i told him to make a public statement retracting his words about the RNC Welcoming Committee and a public apology about the arrests and treatment of reporters) immediately and typed it up!! Thank you, Angie and Lisa!

EARLIER...
I've been trying to call the Ramsey County Jail since yesterday.
the number 651/266.9350 has a message saying it is no longer in service. Around noon, it was back in operation with a prompt system. The prompt system (i tried 3 of the choices) just gave recorded information, so on the final call I waited until an operator picked up. She told me the number had been down because they'd been inundated with calls and they weren't taking complaints. She told me to call:
651/266.8989
After waiting on hold for quite some time, I got April who was incredibly rude to me and hung up on me 7 (!) times. I had simply asked her where to direct complaints regarding the sheriff's office and jail treatment of the 300 arrestees. She told me on on a couple occasions that they weren't taking complaints, twice told me to look on the RNC website, once told me to call the jail even though I told her they told me to call her. Finally, an Amber of Department of Safety Inspection Complaint line picked up the phone and I recorded the conversation. She said sarcastically, "I love to hear that this is being recorded . That's great." and gave me an address when I asked her and transfered me to the supervisor, Lisa.
Department of Safety and Inspection
1600 White Bear Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55106

Lisa said the City of St. Paul Information&Complaint line was not affiliated with the jail and could not take those complaints. She told me I had to call the Sheriff/county jail. I told her it was actually the jail that had sent me to the Information & Complaint line and asked her why April at I&C directed me to the RNC webpage (there's nothing there) She said, "Because we have absolutely no information regarding the arrests...We're not affiliated with the jail...we have no agreements with anybody. Maybe the RNC knows." "So you don't know who at the RNC is fielding these complaints?" "No." She said the problem was that her office wasn't being given the right information and they've been inundated with calls and the jail has probably been, too. She gave me a completely different number:
651/266.9333
At this number I spoke with Angie, the most helpful person of all. She not only took my complaints, but said she would speak with the I&C line and the jail about finding a better way to field calls ($50 million dollars and the Twin Cities don't have a way to field calls!!)
She encouraged letter writing, gave me addresses and the St. Paul Police chief's number:
651/266.5588

I recommend that when you call these numbers, just list 2 or 3 succinct complaints and move on. If you have more complaints, more details and information that really should be documented (for the sake of the phone operators, they really can't write down your complaint as well as you'd like), send a letter 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

These are the complaints I had (written out in length here, so i can get a letter out):
--The county sheriff should not be working so closely with other departments and agencies (St. Paul, Minneapolis and other police departments, 100s of other agencies, FBI, Secret Service, ICE) since the 'cooperation' isn't working: in many cases, their services are being misdirected and escalated out of control. In the Eye-Witness raid, for example, the Sheriff was actually apologizing to the people in the house as they left, only to be followed by St. Paul Police (outside of their precinct) and more violent tactics. Combining community policing with federal surveillance and deadly weapons is undermining the dependability of Minnesotans' forces and resulting in the average person mistrusting the people who are suppose to be protecting them. This does not bode well for community integrity.
--The arrest of Amy Goodman is the epitome of how messed up this is!
--Many of the people have been detained for hours on end in in-house arrest, outside of houses and on the streets without arrest. Many who have been taken to jail have been held over night or even three days without being booked.
--The jail is still holding peoples' (arrestees or not) personal property. There is an emergency injunctive relief being filed by the National Lawyers Guild to stop the sheriff and jails from confiscating equipment and deleting data. It is unconstitutional based on the 1986 William Kunstler case.
--The search warrants aren't working. Violent raids and detentions have been conducted without warrants or with faulty warrants: wrong address, wrong items (unless it's jars and rags, which, apparently all houses have) and wrong persons

to the St. Paul police)
--peaceful street protesters are being swept up and pepper-sprayed in mass arrests and blockades, street medics and reporters are being brutalized and arrested, and many 'cooperating' agencies present are not wearing identification or badges
--mainstream reporters are being embedded in the police lines with gas masks. The police are there to protect everyone, not just selected journalists. This is clearly a breach of 1st amendment rights and an independent, objective media

(to Mayor Coleman)
--Publicly rescind the city's and denounce the media's portrayal and false labeling of "criminals" among the demonstrators. Minnesotans read these papers and watch these newscasts. Minnesotans are in the street, as well. Publicly denounce and stop the terrorizing of children at gun-point. Promise to never again conduct pre-emptive strikes, raids without warrants or with faulty warrants, or allow the tactic and information-sharing cluster-fuck (i didn't use that word) of federal and local agencies to take over normal operations that have worked since time immemorial. These actions aren't resulting in distracting or intimidating protesters: they are causing residents of the Twin Cities to deeply mistrust their mayor and police and want to protect the activists, medics, reporters, civil rights and legal organistations even more.



Best is to do both! call and write! keep those calls coming in to let them know the world is watching, but write those letters to ultimately hold them accountable!