Justice Frontline Aid dedicates time, skills to protecting protesters

A group of local volunteers have come together to create an organization they say is necessary to keep protests going throughout the cities. 

“My community is burning. My community is mourning. Let’s step into that,” said Deshann Sanchez.

So these volunteers didn’t walk – they ran – to fill needs they noticed were not being met during the first nights of riots. 

“Everything is on fire. There is so much going on. There is no one here to help anybody. They weren’t sending ambulances in and people were getting hurt,” said Matt Allen.

So, they took it upon themselves. What started on a whim with a nurse and a couple of willing passersby has now grown into a group of roughly 30 people - all with different skill sets – but one goal. 

“These people who came in with their medical background, came in with their mental health background, it was so helpful for us because it allowed us to get out of our scary mode. It was like, this is too wild for a random hip hop artist to deal with, and it put us in position of strength to really help the people we needed to help,” Allen said. 

Allen says the name of the organization, happened, much like the group itself, on a whim. But he said it is so much more than just a name.

“We wanted to be the people that could help aid the fight for justice on the frontline,” said Allen. 

The group not only provides first aid at protests around the cities but also collects donations, at Modist Brewery, for those in need. They say their next step is working on becoming a local nonprofit. 

“We have a lot we can work with, and people who are committed to this, let’s keep doing this. The conversation of, what are those things that we are seeing, that are missing, and how can we fill in those gaps?” Sanchez said.

Justice Frontline Aid meets in Minneapolis on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, click here.