Civic Garden Park
It was the part of the year where the heat became normalized to me. It was a searing 101° F outside as I set up the shade structure we were going to use as a home base. A medic was on her way with water and a fan. Another was bringing an extra cooler, ice, and electrolyte mix. I had brought a shade structure and a bag of medical supplies for quick deployment. It was as it always was – I wasn’t wishing I’d brought enough supplies. I was wishing I’d brought too many. A medic’s best days are the ones where they have to do nothing.
As I entered the park, I passed a few men with megaphones, condemning people to hell for the murder of babies and for having sex outside of marriage. As always, I had a flash of irritation that nearly led me to engage him in verbal debate, but years of experience stood with me, almost physically putting a wall between me and them. I knew that engaging them would have no positive effects. And that’s not why I was there. Not my role.
The group I was there to support stood atop the hill, multiple people giving speeches about their experiences, their needs, and their rights as people. It was not as large of a group as I’d expected, but it was also very last-minute, and very hot. But those who were in attendance were not there to play. They were angry with good reason. And I was there to ensure they could continue to express their anger, even in this heat.
More medics arrived in time. Soon we had multiple coolers of water, a box of electrolyte powder, three bags of medic supplies, and even an additional cooler donated by another attendee who felt we could make better use of it. I stuffed a couple of bottles of water into my backpack as I joined the march, keeping to the sides of the formation to watch for anyone who fell, stepped out, or otherwise might have gotten sick or injured during the event. But throughout the entire demonstration, not a single person did. I never had to hand out a bottle of water or wrap a swollen ankle. And for possibly the first time since I started working as a Street Medic, I got to really focus on the march itself – and the passion and intent of its attendees.
There were very few counter-protesters, mostly relegating themselves to before and after the march itself. The chants were well-organized and passionate, though my favorite had to be “Greg Abbot is a musty bitch.” It was just so… rhythmic. And the lyrics were so relatable.
All in all, the event was, from a medical standpoint, uneventful. And that’s the best outcome we could have hoped for. We gave out four cases of water to thirsty protesters, and aside from some park security personnel harassing unhoused people (we’ll get to that later, I promise you), the event seemed to be a success… at least as much of one as it could have been. The decision from the Supreme Court’s Injustices is a huge blow to human rights, and almost certainly a first step of many in dehumanizing the people Republicans don’t like. It’s going to take all of us to stand against it. Just know that Street Medics – Dallas will do everything we can to keep the fighters on their feet for every round of this battle.