Rise Up for Palestine
Sunday 5/23/21 – Rise Up For Palestine rally
Greetings, all! This is Geo, President of Street Medics Dallas, and I was “voluntold” to do the blog this week.🙂 So I will be happy to tell y’all about the Rise Up for Palestine rally.
The event was organized by several groups. The people we worked with the most were from American Muslims for Palestine, Rise Up for Justice, and Students for Justice in Palestine. Very nice people to work with. Medics from each group met online before the event, and it was decided that SMD would be in charge since we had the most protest experience. No pressure!
The event was different from any other that we had attended in the last year. Lots of red and green flags and face paint. Lots of children and families. Music playing, people shouting. People standing on decorated pickup trucks, waving flags and honking. If you didn’t know the grim reason they were getting together, you could have even called it joyful. You could feel the pride, and the love, and the determination.
Thankfully, it was a peaceful event. No counter-protestors showed up. No one got out of control. Lots and lots of police, but they were relatively polite and stayed in their place.
And thankfully, very little for us to do. We handed out water to keep people hydrated, and snacks to keep people fed. (The children were quick to point out which of our snacks had pork in them, and those were quietly put away.) One mobile team had to call an ambulance, but that was the only incident in the 3-hour event.
After the rally, I spoke with a Palestinian woman who grew up in Jerusalem, and still has family there. She hasn’t seen them in almost nine years. She teared up, talking about how her parents hadn’t even gotten to meet her children. She is not allowed in the country because of her activist activities here. “But how do they even know you’re an activist??” I asked. “They know,” she replied. “They have a partnership with the FBI, the CIA.” She told us how the American police send people to train with the Israeli army “on Palestinian people, by the way,” and bring back the techniques used against people like George Floyd. I knew that the U.S. and Israel always have had a cozy relationship, but hearing it from a Palestinian was so much more…real than what you hear on the news. It was a very eye-opening conversation. I thanked her for sharing her story.
I also need to thank all the volunteers who showed up to help. It was great to see and work with so many new faces! We hope to be working together again soon.
And finally, I need to thank Gear, Fox, and Yogapants, who were kind enough to stay with me while I waited for the parking attendant to come take the boot off my car. Kids, always remember to pay for parking when you’re downtown. Saving the world does not exempt you from following the rules. ::blush::