After the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, people responded with protests in all 50 states, and at least 40 other countries joined in. But amid all these actions, nobody can touch Minneapolis’s energy, where protesters laid siege to the city police’s Third Precinct and were the subjects of a racist threat from President Donald Trump. Facing law enforcement and the National Guard — neither of whom are hesitant to use weapons like tear gas, rubber bullets, and chemical irritants — Minneapolis protesters are at great physical risk. Both on-the-ground and in digital spaces, youth of color have been filling vital street-medic roles to keep their communities safe.
Anyone who has been to a protest knows it can get messy quick. When the state is the one tear-gassing you or blinding people with paintball bullets, calling 911 for medical assistance isn’t an option, and getting ambulances to people can be tricky anyway. Instead, protesters turn to street medics, a decentralized group that responds to medical emergencies as they arise.