Nur-D arrested at St. Paul protest while providing volunteer first aid


Nur-D Courtesy of the artist

The people of the Twin Cities surely slept more soundly last night knowing that Matt Allen, aka local rapper Nur-D, was behind bars instead of… uh, working a medic tent at a peaceful protest.

Allen was among dozens arrested for curfew violations Monday night while gathered at the Capitol grounds in St. Paul to protest the police killing of George Floyd. Ryan Hayes, a DJ who performs with Allen and has partnered with him on volunteer efforts during the protests, was also arrested. As law enforcement scooped him away from his first-aid duties, Allen streamed the arrest live on Facebook.

Allen and Hayes have been deeply involved with the protests over the past week, forming a medical support group they call the Justice Frontline Aid Crew and partnering with Modist Brewing for a donation delivery effort.

In case you needed a reminder of why protests need medics, Allen has been unflinching in documenting the violence of the police against protesters on social media.

Allen also contributed to a Rolling Stone piece, which we mentioned here yesterday, along with fellow Minnesota musicians Dua Saleh, Finding Novyon, and Michael Bland. Here’s how he characterized the first night of protests on the Third Precinct on Tuesday night.

"Police officers handled that particular show of peace with the most apathy that they possibly could have. When it moved into vandalism and the police responded with violence, it escalated the tension that a lot of people were already feeling."

Nur-D, for anyone not tuned in to local music, is among the most beloved young performers in the Twin Cities right now. He won City Pages’ Picked to Click poll of best new artists last year and headlined First Avenue’s Best New Bands night in January. To quote his Twitter handle, Nur-D rocks.

Allen and Hayes were released from custody this morning. There’s a Facebook fundraiser with proceeds to go toward their bail, legal fees, and the Justice Frontline Aid Crew.