Saw a “praise unto medics” tweet and nary mashed that RT button on it before remembering a story.
I was on the metro with my mate (both in medic uniform) hopping between two locations for a big action. A few other protesters in my car were doing the same. It was a rough day with a lot of pepper, broken glass, and flying stones. We had a lot to do and weren’t the only medics out there patching people up.
One of the protesters asked us if were professional EMS on foot-service for the day. We said no, just volunteering to help the movement.
“Oh wow. Thanks for donating you time” (and similar thanks).
I cut them off on the thanks because medics really aren’t that different or special. I asked them if they were volunteering their time too. “Well when you put it like that.”
And I do. Because there are many things that make a protest successful and many people donate their time.
Organizers volunteer their time. Designers for posters. People paint banners. Mutual aid orgs make snacks. Legal observers. And of course the “regular” protesters who who up and put their bodies on the line.
Our skills are medicine, so we show up and provide medicine. We could just as easily have chosen to cook or make propaganda instead. Sure, medics have to train a bit more and it’s a less common skill, but part of why we get thanks is our visibility.
Another part is the directness of our help. You are bleeding, we use our hands to stop the bleeding. Hard to see is the effect of a good call to arms on crowd size. Or that one AG pulled a stunt that drew police away so another had less resistance when doing their thing.
I don’t feel particularly special as a medic, and I don’t feel like I need to have gratitude heaped on me. I do what I do because I can and it helps. Other people help in other ways. 🏴
@hakan_geijer Always appreciate your insight. 🏴
I medic in the scene of a primarily liberal town (for better and for frustrating) and notice medic praise as a form of virtue signaling. It's frustrating but also insightful of how little is known about the complexity of organizing/action, as the thanking is unaccompanied by recognition for other roles and is used to try and elevate our role from others.
@menziesii I can see that. I think it’s also partly the myth that doctors are selfless for helping others (but a shit load donor for money and are assholes)
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