CAM’s all-new mailing list

Chicago Action Medical has a new mailing list! Join to receive updates about trainings that we are holding or supporting, upcoming actions that we know about, and health and wellness tips.

You can sign up at this link.

Police Infiltrator Expelled from Chicago Action Medical

Click here to read our press release.

A Chicago police officer using the name “Danny Edwards” was exposed today by independent journalists after infiltrating Chicago Action Medical (CAM) for the last year. CAM is a collective that has provided first aid and urgent care since 2002 at progressive protests and demonstrations. CAM took the lead in organizing protester medical support for the 2012 NATO protests.

“Danny Edwards” attended a 20-hour street medic training organized by CAM in March 2012. From March through May 2012 he attended many protests as a street medic in the lead up to and during the NATO protests. After that he occasionally emailed CAM members on and off of our email list soliciting information about upcoming protests. To our knowledge he did not provide any medical care as a street medic. After he was positively identified as a police infiltrator, CAM removed him from our email list and we are now notifying other medics and activists of  “Danny’s” identity and our process.

"Danny" at the 2013 May Day march

Members of CAM raised concerns with each other about “Danny Edwards.”

About the undercover officer

In early May 2012 a few members of CAM raised concerns with each other about “Danny Edwards.” Most alarmingly, a Chicago activist informed us that “Danny” had contacted him looking for information about unpublicized NATO protests. On other occasions “Danny” broke away from his street medic buddy to join black bloc sections of the NATO protests. In trainings and in practice, CAM stresses the importance staying with a buddy throughout an action. When “Danny” repeatedly broke these generally accepted guidelines, CAM members reminded him of our standards and asked him to remove his CAM insignia.

As “Danny” continued to act in ways counter to CAM standards, concerned CAM members continued to offer him guidance, but also monitored his activity more closely and tried to prevent him from close contact with less experienced group members. We also reminded protest organizers about CAM’s open membership, and that only public information should be shared with the collective. We did not share our growing but unconfirmed suspicion with the broader group, because we believe a culture of concern keeps us safer than a culture of fear.

We expected “Danny” to disappear after the NATO protests, and were surprised when he privately approached CAM members this spring asking for information about planned protests organized by groups including the Chicago Teachers Union. At this point we became aware of publicly available court records stemming from the NATO 3 trial naming “Danny” as a Chicago police officer. Independent journalists followed up with a thorough investigation, during which they photographed “Danny” at a protest and met him at his home.

CAM believes that the CPD infiltrated CAM to attempt to gain information about protest groups. We do not have special access to information, but we do have a bond of trust with protest communities. The CPD may have believed that they could exploit that trust to map social networks, entrap someone, or sow fear and distrust.

CAM’s position on infiltrators

CAM stands against political infiltrators and informants. It is unconscionable that our society allows the expenditure of vast sums of money to fund these predators who undermine democracy. We applaud journalists, popular movements, and representatives who work to expose and change this sad state of affairs. We especially condemn the recent pattern of FBI and other law enforcement entrapment of impressionable, isolated, or inexperienced social and environmental justice activists. We stand in solidarity with members of the Muslim community who have experienced even greater targeting and persecution.

Especially close to us are the cases of the NATO 5. Undercover Chicago police officers targeted and entrapped Brent Betterly, Brian Jacob Church, Jared Chase, Mark Neiweem and Sebastian Senakiewicz a year ago. All are still incarcerated. Please join us in observing the International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5, this May 16–21. (https://nato5support.wordpress.com/international-week-of-solidarity-with-the-nato-5/)

We strongly caution radical and protest groups against making unconfirmed accusations that members are informants or infiltrators. Infiltrators are a real threat to our movements, but we believe that a greater threat is succumbing to the paralyzing fear of working under police surveillance. CAM has no plans to change our membership structure. We have a wide membership of varying experience levels, united by a common 20-hour training, enthusiasm for the work, and adherence to group expectations such as patient confidentiality and having a buddy while marked as a medic.

There is absolutely a role in social movements for small closed groups of mutual trust. Unfortunately, small closed groups do little to protect the people on the margins of our movements who are frequently targeted. While we are always mindful of police surveillance, for us the lesson is to be loud, upfront, and transparent about who we are and what we are doing. Build connections across different segments of our movements. Reach out and support those new to or on the fringes of our movements. These are our strategies, and they have served us well for eleven years.

For more information you can read the full article by Chris Geovanis and Steve Horn at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/16488-undercover-police-officer-connected-to-nato-5-case-still-spying-on-protest-in-chicago.

If you have any questions about CAM or undercover Chicago police officer “Danny Edwards”, or have had interactions with “Danny” you are concerned about, contact us at chicagoactionmedical@riseup.net.

Street Medic Training in Durango, CO!

We are pleased to announce that Grace Keller, CAM member, will be co-training along with members of FLAME and MASM at a street medic training at Wild Roots Feral Futures in June. You can sign up for the training using the form below — please make sure you can attend the full 20 hours before committing!

This year’s WRFF is the 5th Annual Direct Action, Eco-Defense, & Rewilding Encampment in the Wild Rockies of Southwest Colorado and will be held on June 15-23, 2013. More info: http://feralfutures.blogspot.com/

Punk Rock Karaoke!

Join us this Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 21:00 to 02:00 (9 pm to 2 am) at the LiveWire Lounge at 3394 N Milwaukee Ave for PUNK ROCK KARAOKE, a benefit for Chicago Action Medical. Sing your favorite songs, meet friends, and make fools out of yourselves! (Don’t worry, we’ll be on hand to treat those burns.)

Mark your calendars and RSVP on our Facebook Event Page!

This event is 21+

Suggested donation: $5.

About Punk Rock Karaoke:

Punk Rock Karaoke Chicago brings you one-of-a-kind punk rock songs for you to sing (or scream!) along to. We’re a DIY, fund-raising event that benefits a different community group each time. Come out, have a great time, and support the cause!!

Community Care Night! Feb. 1

On Feb. 1, join us for another evening of health and wellness resources for activists, protesters, communities in resistance and anyone needing care.

Drop in to receive sensitive, trauma- informed, solidarity wellness care. No appointment needed. Donations gladly accepted.

Services offered: NADA ear acupuncture treatments, massage, reiki, speak with a nurse or meet with a counselor.

Future events: First Fridays — March 1st, April 5th

Organized by the Healing Justice Network, Sage Community Health Collective and Chicago Action Medical

Where: Sage Community Health Collective, 2514 W. Armitage, #205. This office shares a building with 2520 W. Armitage; 2514 W. Armitage is the back entrance. Although the address is on Armitage, the entrance is in the back of the building on Bingham, close to the alley (our building is long and triangular).
When: The first Friday of every month (Feb. 1), 5-8pm

Sage Community Health Collective can be accessed from the Blue line or the Armitage, Milwaukee or Western bus routes.

Community Care Night Herbal Consults: What to expect

Herbal medicine is an approach to health and healing that looks at ways to support the entire person, not just treat a disease or symptom. To achieve this, an herbalist typically does a comprehensive intake and provides recommendations that include diet, lifestyle change, supplements and herbal remedies. These combined strategies can support your body’s natural ability to heal.

Herbal consults in a community setting, like the Community Care Nights, are only able to provide a brief review of your health concerns and provide suggestions for the immediate problem. Chronic or more complicated issues will benefit from a more in-depth intake and follow-up. Please talk to the herbalist about what approach is right for you.

Some herbal remedies are available at on-site. Donations are appreciated for any herbal remedies provided.

Know Your Rights! For Queer & Trans People

Check out a legal guide and a resource list for queer and trans people from the National Lawyers Guild – designed specifically for this weekend’s actions!

Know Your Rights legal guide

Contacts resource list

Check out our Wellness Center May 14-21

We are organizing first aid and wellness support for the thousands of protesters expected to take part in actions against the NATO summit May 14-21. Our Wellness Center, located on the third floor of GracePlace (637 S. Dearborn), will provide advanced first aid and holistic care. For questions about the Wellness Center call Chicago Action Medical at 872-216-6226.

We expect the hours will be:

Monday May 14 – 10am-6pm
Tuesday May 15- 10am-10pm
Wednesday May 16- 10am-10pm
Thursday May 17 – 10am-10pm
Friday May 18- 9am-10pm
Saturday May 19- 9am-10pm
Sunday May 20- 9am-10pm
Monday May 21-10am- 10pm

If you are interested in volunteering, please write to natowellnesscenter@gmail.com stating when you can come, as well as what your medical or holistic care background is. We ask that volunteers sign up for at least 2 hours at a time. Orientation and ongoing training will be provided during your shift(s).