NSHC Statement in Response to the 11/4/2020 arrests
On the evening of Wednesday, November 4th, 2020, hundreds of people took to the streets of Minneapolis to march, demonstrate, and advocate together for causes that are central to the movement during these times. After years of right-wing reactionary politics, police murders, economic crises creating further houselessness and poverty, a climate crisis going untended to, and a pandemic killing our community members, people went out into the streets again. Upon taking to the I-94 freeway, over 600 people were immediately kettled by police, given no opportunity to disperse, and over the course of many hours, arrested.
As street medics and those with community care at the center of our work, North Star Health Collective responded to the calls for these demonstrations by organizing over a dozen medics to be present at the marches and rallies throughout the afternoon and evening to provide preventative care and medical support. While we are never surprised by the brutality and inexplicable force of the various police departments represented that evening, we consider the police actions to be violent, repressive, undemocratic, and downright despicable.
Eleven (11) North Star street medics were arrested in that kettle. They did what they were there to do: take care of people, spread calm, and support the community. North Star is grateful and humbled by the work of these medics and we will support them throughout whatever legal repercussions are to follow. We condemn not only the arrests of the hundreds of people that evening, but further highlight that it is completely deplorable to detain and arrest medics giving care. While deplorable, this is in line with local law enforcement’s recent trend in targeting street medics and other movement support infrastructure as a means to disempower the community. We saw this frequently during the early nights of the uprising after George Floyd was killed, when medics were targeted by police while in the streets providing care.
Despite the local and regional law enforcement’s pattern of harming medics, we will not be deterred. As our communities continue to resist, so shall we show up to provide care, support, and spread calm. Do no harm. Take no shit.