What We Are Doing / What We Need

July 7, 2008

As we all know, the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul/Minneapolis is a mere two months away. With the support and hard work of a national network, we in the Twin Cities have accomplished a lot since the convention was announced. Miracles have happened this past year and a half, and collectively we have built an incredible infrastructure, but now it is crunch time and there are still holes to fill. We at Northstar – side by side with our allies providing for legal, food, communication, and other logistical needs – intend to be the caulk of this resistance and the community it comes out of, but we can’t do it alone. The revolution will not be hospitalized.

We will fill the gaps between hospitals, EMTs, grassroots groups, and everyday folks — both the protestors and those affected adversely by the RNC. We will supplement care and give aid to those often disregarded by mainstream organizations. Supporting trans individuals is a primary concern of ours, as is ensuring that appropriate mental health and sexuality care happens. In achieving these goals, it is imperative for us not to strain local resources; instead, we want to use the conventions and protests to strengthen the alternative health network – building the capacities of existing groups, creating new ones, and drawing attention to current wrongs in the system.

More concretely, we have undertaken the following tasks:
•    Creating an infrastructure for the medically skilled or interested to plug into. We want to know what you can provide and provide what you need.
•    Setting up a trauma clinic, wellness center, and quiet space for use around the time of the RNC. We are close to securing one or two spaces near downtown Saint Paul, and we will provide or give support to other spaces in the region.
•    Providing street medics and the equipment they need, in coordination with legal observers and videographers.
•    Facilitating health care and first aid trainings, both in the communities affected by the RNC and for activist groups, with the goal of readying street medics.


Don’t think that you need to be a doctor to be useful, or that you can’t be empowered to help yourself. There are all sorts of ways folks can plug in – more than are listed here:
•    Medics to come, provide care, and share their experience.
•    Funds. We hate to say it but it’s true. Space, equipment, communication, transportation, and preparing for legal defenses all cost money, and there’s only so much we can get for free. Pool resources, host benefits, and outreach to potential donators – hospitals, doctors, suppliers, student groups, health advocacy organizations, or other protesters.
•    Medical supplies. Free or really cheap is awesome, but we’ll take advice or other help too. A solid comm system is crucial, as well.
•    A designated person with medical skills in every affinity group. You and those around you will be safer and more autonomous, and it spreads the burden of our collective safety.
•    People to set up and provide trainings, both elsewhere and here. The benefits of this one are so far ranging; regardless of the event, spreading your knowledge is one of the best things you can do.
•    Self-education. Know what to expect and how to deal with whatever may come up – from dehydration to chemical weapons.

Planning on being a part of the medical support? Let us know by RSVPing to our email address below! Include whatever you know (or what you don’t): where you’re from, your plans and goals, how many people, dates, what skills and equipment you have, what you need from us, or anything else that may be useful.

See you in September (… or August … or July),
The Northstar Health Collective



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