QUEEROCRACY & Members of “The Naked Seven” Hold Press Conference on Steps of City Hall, Demanding City Council Speak Out Against HIV Criminalization
New York, NY: On December 1st, as part of World AIDS Day, QUEEROCRACY and many of the “The Naked Seven” will host a press conference on the steps of City Hall to demand that the New York City Council pass a resolution speaking out against the discriminatory practice of prosecuting people based on their HIV status. People living with HIV/AIDS, folks who have faced prosecution for their HIV status, and their advocates/allies will address the press on the issue of HIV related prosecutions within the United States and demand that the NYC Council support a resolution that directly confronts this injustice.
The U.S. and Canada lead the world in the number of HIV related prosecutions and in the United States alone there are thirty four states and two territories where HIV-specific laws and statutes are on the books. These laws and statutes have in many ways proven to be harmful to public health measures. Thirty-two states, including New York, have arrested or prosecuted HIV positive individuals for consensual sex, biting and spitting, often despite actual transmission or risk of transmission.
Even in states such as New York where there are not specific statutes on the books, HIV positive people continue to be prosecuted for their status under general criminal laws. David Plunkett, a man who was convicted in Herkimer County New York under an Assault With a Deadly Weapon charge-- the deadly weapon being his HIV status-- has issued a statement that will be released during the press conference.
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AIDS ACTIVISTS DRESSED IN ORANGE PRISON JUMPSUITS FLOOD SITE OF PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: DEMAND AN END TO HIV CRIMINALIZATION
For Immediate Release
Megan Mulholland, 917-825-6342,
Terri Smith-Caronia, 917-734-1808,
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(Hempstead, Long Island, New York) On Tuesday, October 16th over 200 activists, many dressed in orange prison jumpsuits, will travel from New York City to Hempstead, Long Island to highlight the discriminatory practice of criminalizing people based on their HIV status. Protesters seek to draw Presidential candidates’ attention to the issue and gain support for a Congressional Bill, REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act (H.R. 3053) introduced by Rep Barbara Lee in 2011. Activists will begin demonstrating at 4:00 PM
Sarah Nakano of QUEEROCRACY added, “Science proves that we can end AIDS if we get more people on treatment. Laws that specifically criminalize people living with HIV/AIDS are not only discriminatory but increase stigma. As a result, people are less likely to go and get tested. This is an issue regarding public health, not criminal justice."
Protesters will arrive at Hofstra University at 4 PM for the demonstration. Speakers include people who have been directly affected by HIV criminalization as well as
At 7am a large group of 1000 marched on Wall Street and Broadway in an effort to clog the financial district. While some smaller groups did civil disobedience, the larger groups made an effort to slow, not stop traffic with their numbers on the Financial Districts tiny sidewalks.
The core area of Wall St. was blocked with barricades and guarded by police all day. To anyone going to work in the area it was apparent that large protests were going on. The police and activist presence was continuous thru the day with marches going to one location then another.
At noon a large rally of at least one thousand discussed the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street Trades. Members of ACT UP/NY, National Nurses United and others were among the speakers.
At 1PM about 150-200 marched to Chase Bank and blocked the sidewalks on both sides of the street in a huge circular picket which seemed to infuriate the police. This was followed by threats of arrest, a tense stand-off, and unprovoked arrests of a few activists from Occupy. Activists carried a giant whale to symbolize the "whale" that cost investors billions of dollars after engaging in risky trades, the kind of trades that a Robin Hood Tax would help regulate.
The march continued to Knight Capital, another symbol of risky Wall Street trading, another example of risky Wall Street Trading. At days end more than 150 arrests were tallied from the coalition of environmental, and occupy groups that organized the protests.
The Robin Hood Tax coalition announced that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced the "Inclusive Prosperity Act", HR-6411 in Congress on Friday which could raise up to $350 billion in annual revenues that would be used to breath new life into Main Street communities accross America, as well as international health, sustainable prosperity and environmental prorams.
Media Advisory October 1, 2012
Contact: Carl Ginsburg 917 405-1060 http://www.RobinHoodTax.org
11 a.m. Tuesday, October 2
Robin Hood Campaign to Visit Rep. Charlie Rangel On National Day of Action for Tax on Wall Street
Members of organizations and unions campaigning for a Robin Hood tax -- nurses, Health GAP, ACT UP, VOCAL-NY, Healthcare for the 99%, QUEEROCRACY, Student Global AIDS Campaign -- and other community activists will mark the fourth anniversary of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in New York with a visit to the office of Rep. Charlie Rangel on Tuesday, October 2. The visit is part of a national day of action seeking pledges of support for a Robin Hood tax, a call for Wall Street banks and other financial giants to begin to pay back for the damage they caused to the economy and to heal Main Street communities.
In the visits, planned at offices of 18 Congress members in seven states, the Robin Hood tax campaign will urge Congress members to endorse H.R. 6411, the Inclusive Prosperity Act, introduced recently in Congress by Rep. Keith Ellison.
The visit is scheduled for October 2, 11 a.m., at Rep. Rangel’s campaign office: 163 West 125th Street, Suite 737, New York City.
H.R. 6411, a sales tax on Wall Street speculation, would generate up to $350 billion in revenue annually to be used to rebuild Main Street communities as well as to fund international health, sustainable prosperity and environmental programs.
TARP is the program passed at the height of the Wall Street meltdown, which resulted in hundreds of billions of tax dollars handed over to financial institutions deemed “too big to fail”. These very financial institutions that received the bailouts – some of the funds made their way into executive bonus packages -- have failed the American people, say the Robin Hood tax campaigners.
Actions will also be held at offices of Congress members in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Nevada.