Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

News :: [none]

rts: a medic's report

Reclaim the Streets - a medic's perspective
I just wanted to give a brief report-back of RTS from a medic's perspective.

Basically it was very difficult to treat people because the cops would pick people off from the grass or sidewalk, and move them into the middle of the street.

We are working on documenting injuries and photographs and videotapes and witness acounts, if you have any of this *please* contact the RTS Collective.

The police used pepper spray directly in people's eyes and ears and then gave them improper eyeflushes (mostly just hosing water in their faces), stick them in a cell really drenched, and then give them emergency blankets. We have one confirmed case of somebody's shoes being removed.

One person was strangled by his bandana while in custody. We have one person who was pepper-sprayed at point blank range who had contacts and asthma. This person was taken to the hospital and treated for chemical conjunctivitis and chemical-induced pnuemonia (and fluid swelling in her lungs). Another person was taken to the hospital for asthma and treated for a head wound. Other injuries range from cuts/scrapes/bruising from people being tackled by police, or having cops dig their knees into folks' back, etc.

The cops moved differently than I've ever seen them, flashing their pepper spray but not using it, pulling people off the sidewalk or from the park, throwing them into the middle of the street, tackling them and *then* using chemicals. The police appeared disoriented and confused and made eye contact with people a lot more than I usually see...

People were arrested for standing in the park, standing on the sidewalk and in some cases crossing the street. (One person got arrested for crossing the street to buy ice cream). They were charged with mob action and resisting an officer. (We were just going to march to the jail and go home but the cops were blocking off all the streets and in some cases we were surrounded).

The police used smoke bombs to disperse people (it worked for somepeople who assumed it was tear gas). They had tear gas cannisters and were threatening people with them, saying, "anybody want to get any of this?"

There was never any order to disperse.

we treated two people for dehydration, one of them we laid down on the ground and then were swarmed by police. we gave him water with emergen-c and kept taking his pulse to

make sure it went down and he held ice between his wrists and we gave him a wet cloth to put on his forehead... meanwhile the cops were reading him a form he had to sign for refusing treatment... he kept telling them he's

refusing treatment over and over again but they wouldn't go away for a while and kept talking about how much they *cared.*

meanwhle protesters were coming around the side asking what was going on and i basically just told them to leave because the cops were insisting on sending paramedics in and i wanted to secure the area instead of the cops

doing it... (since we're trying to reduce injuries, and all)

the cops kept giving us ice and telling me he needs water eventually they backed off. i think this special treatment was because he was a legal observer (though that didn't stop them from fucking with other legal observers).

the other person we treated for dehydration was the person who thought he drank water with something in it, but we recognized the symptoms of dehydration.

the rest of the during-action treatment was just handing out water, bandaids, minor stuff.

we had eyewitness accounts of somebody with a broken arm getting cuffed (from people i trust) but have been unable to track him. *please* let us know if you know who this was.

Also anybody who has video, photographs, eye witness accounta or personal accounts should contact the rts collective. Their contact info is rtstreets (at), and the voicemail is 630.536.2701 ex. 3858. Make sure to leave your contact info and ask for confirmation of receipt of your message, we know how things "disappear" around here.

If anybody needs medical aftercare, we have a network of free/reduced price practitioners. Please contact me at yael (at)




Account Login

Media Centers


This site made manifest by dadaIMC software