A long overdue update

May 24, 2009

Between taking personal time, working on other projects, and going through school, we haven’t been very active over the last months. However, here are a few updates we have:

  • Of the 14+ medics arrested from September 1st to 4th, no one has been found guilty of their charges. One medic was acquitted of several misdemeanors by jury trial. Another was found guilty of unlawful assembly, only to have the conviction overturned and case dismissed due to poor jury instructions. Information from TC Indymedia. Several other medics have received letters formally declining prosecution.
  • We have a referral list of healers who are compatible with radicals and offer affordable/negotiable fees. Email northstarhealth@gmail.com if you would like a copy.
  • Medics and supplies are available to provide support for events and protests. Email us if you would like us around.

Images of Less Lethal Weapons

September 4, 2008

This is what the police are shooting at people out there. These specimens were collected around 9:00 PM on September 2nd from St. Peter Street, between 7th and 6th. They were shot from near Mickey’s diner after the Poor People’s March on Tuesday.

Fragment of foam-tipped bullet. This is orange; I have seen blue and green ones as well. Not sure what the difference is.

Foam-tipped bullet (top).

Metal baton round, which are fired out of a grenade launcher at a high velocity. They are filled with irritating “pepper powder,” which is ejected on impact.

Wooden baton round, also fired from a grenade launcher. These have a tendency to splinter on impact.

Fragmented flash-bang grenade. The unexploded unit is likely something similar to this.

Additionally, I have personally seen paintball-like marker projectiles and (obviously) lots of pepper spray. I have also heard numerous reports of tear gas, but none of those (to my knowledge, which is by no means complete) have been 100% confirmed.

If you see any less-lethals laying on the streets, please collect & document them (but, please, only if it is safe to do so). It is imperative to share any information we have on police conduct, and in the event of a lawsuit, physical examples of their weapons will be very useful.

Word up smart alec. Welcome to the RNC Street Medic & Wellness Center Webpage! Friends, here’s latest updates from the hottest street medics in Minnesota! YEY!

Here’s what we know:

Concerns about health care in jail

9:00 Am Weds Morning: People who are in jail still not getting all their medications. We know of at least two people with doctors notes & meds on hand, but who haven’t received their medication. We are working to contact health providers at jail, perhaps visiting the jail with our lawyer & docs to see what can be done. While it is important to let the Jail know that the community is watching, jail health staff are overworked.

Also we have no information about health from detained women or juveniles. We are concerned that we haven’t heard from them, because we worry phone access has been withheld.

Susan Gaertner is Ramsey County Attorney prosecutes all felonies. She is Democrat & interested in running for Governor. Call her to talk about your concerns (612) 978-8625 or (651) 266-3222 RCA@co.ramsey.mn.us

Ramsey County Jail Phone: (651) 292-3698 or (651) 266-9350
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (651) 266-8510
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher (651) 266-9333
County Chief Judge Gearin (651) 266-8266)

Ask politely that RNC protesters & community members in Jail be allowed visitors as is standard at other times. Families deserve to know their loved ones are healthy & OK.

1:00 Pm Tues Afternoon: Our amazing M.D. talked to the nurse at the Ramsey County Jail where hundred or so community members are being held. North Star was concerned after hearing that some folks didn’t receive appropriate health care while in jail. The conversation seemed rather productive and reassuring. At this point we think that repeatedly calling the nurse at the jail is not useful.

If, by chance, we were led astray and you hear that your best friend is in jail without meds or without appropriate medical attention, please let us know. Because of privacy laws, the only way to know that person X is taking medication Y is from person X directly. While we think everyone has what they need, things change.

Need to report denial of health care in jail during RNC? Call our activist law collective friends at Cold Snap Legal Hotline, (651) 356-8635

Arrests of 14 + Medics

Yes, yes it’s true. Medics can be arrested. North Star has had at least 14 street medics arrested. When I tell my sister who is a teacher at public schools in the Twin Cities that medics were arrested she asked, “Why? What were the medics doing?” Umm, medics were providing medical care to RNC protesters in the streets of Downtown St Paul. They were arrested. Providing health care on street. Arrested. Health on Street. Arrest. Health on Street. Arrest. Should I perhaps repeat this sequence 14 times? More? Does it make sense? No.

Many street medics have been released. Some charged with felony conspiracy. Some charged with misdemeanors. Reportedly charges were randomly distributed. Who knows…maybe the police are attempting a randomized control trial– “Duh… what happens when we charge street medics with felony vs. misdemeanor during 2008 RNC? Dur… I dunno lets see if we can get funding for a randomized control trial, mk? We do have 50 miiiiillion dollars to spend!”

Some medics are participating in solidarity by deciding to stay in jail until everyone is released. Sounds like super fun time all around!

Other news

Our Wellness Space is nice. Come check it out & get a free massage. For reals.

Now go think about happy things! Like flowers and puppies and kittens and rainbows! <—my attempt at psychological first aid.

Love Always,

Your Pal North Star

Shout out to NOLA

September 1, 2008

Taking care of the streets at the RNC brings together health care activists and providers from across the country. We were fortunate to have knoweldge and experience with medics from the Common Ground Health Clinic

We stand with the medics and community of New Orleans (and across the Carribbean and the Americas–Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica)

The North Star Health Collective’s First Aid & Wellness Center will open on Monday, September 1st at 9am!!! The Health Center will be open Monday (Sept 1st) – Friday (September 5th), from 9am – 9pm (hours extended if needed).

The Health Center is located at 639 Jackson St in St. Paul. It is located directly across the street from Regions Hospital in the offices behind the church. Our entrance is accessible through the parking lot on the south side of the building. For informational purposes, this is within Sector 6.

For more information or to volunteer, please call 1-800-71-YOGURT.


A quick note to let y’all know that North Star Health Collective & our Wellness Space are safe.

North Star Health Collective will provide free healthcare for protesters, participants alike at Republican National Convention. As planned, starting 1st of September we intend to open our Wellness Space near Regions Hospital in downtown St Paul.

Unfortunately, over the past few days at least four local houses have been raided by police, six community members arrested, one community center raided, three cars impounded.

We condemn pre-emptive arrests of RNC activists and use of police forces to scare and intimidate people.

We also condemn police repression that many in our community disproportionately face everyday on the basis of the color of their skin, or size of their wallet.

This weekend, police have been using the same warrant to search for a variety of items in community spaces including soap flakes, rags, cans, screws, nails. We want the Public and Police department to know that we have soap, cotton balls, band aids, and antiseptic ointment here in case they were looking for something more useful.

Our doors are open to all. If you would like to volunteer or have donations, please contact northstarhealth@gmail.com

May Our Streets Stay Safe,

North Star

Informational meetings for all medics in town. Please come to these.

Thursday 8/28, 3pm – Orientation for Street Medics
Friday 8/29, 1pm
Saturday 8/30, 6pm
Sunday 8/31, 6pm

All meetings are at 639 Jackson St., on the northern edge of downtown St. Paul (across the street from Regions Hospital).

Additionally , we have a last-minute 3-day Street Medic Training: The minimal amount of training recommended for anyone running in the street. Bring a lunch and notebook.

Friday, August 29: 1 – 5 PM
Saturday, August 30: 9 AM – 5 PM
Sunday, August 31: 9 AM – 5 PM

Located at our First Aid and Wellness Center (639 Jackson St.)

Our First Aid & Wellness Center is located at 639 Jackson St., on the northern edge of St. Paul and across the street from Regions Hospital.

Open September 1 – 5, 9 AM – 9 PM (hours extended as necessary)
24 Hour Hotline: 1-800-719-6437 (71-YOGURT)

We also have a first-aid station at the Convergence Center (627 Smith Ave). This functions as an alternative place to receive aid or get in touch when the Jackson St. center is not open.

Other useful health-related phone numbers:
Radical Sexual Abuse/Assault Hotline: 651-434-2265
Twin Cities Crisis Connection: 866-379-6363
Sexual Offense Services: 651-643-3006

Looking for information on how to prepare yourself for the protests? Have a look at Staying Safer in the Streets (pdf format).


August 16, 2008

We are a small group of people preparing to respond to an enormous event. As you might imagine, we are feeling very strapped for resources right now. We would appreciate any help you could give in the following ways.


Donations can be made with paypal via northstarhealth(at)gmail(dot)com.

Please make some donations

We can also accept checks made out to “Northstar Health Collective” via snail mail. Contact us for an address.

Donations over $50 are tax-deductible.

Additionally, we have nifty shirts which you can order here!


We’ll take just about anything you can throw our way – first aid supplies (enormous quantities of basic, disposable supplies like gloves & gauze are needed), herbal supplies, or equipment / furniture for the wellness center and clinic.

Click here for a wishlist

Email northstarhealth(a)gmail(dot)com with questions or to tell us you have something, or send items to the address listed above.


We need a lot of bodies to staff the wellness space & clinic, run in the streets, and provide logistical support. When the convention draws closer we will have a meeting (or several) to facilitate people plugging in, but in the mean time educate yourself through trainings and get involved by coming to meetings. Let us know what you have to offer.