ACT UP ACCOMPLISHMENTS - 1987-2012
ACT UP, or AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, was founded in NYC in 1987 as a political action group in response to the AIDS crisis.
The group's first action, in spring 1987, was a march on Wall St. to protest the high cost and lack of availability of HIV treatment drugs.
Over its 25 year history, ACT UP has successfully protested the following organizations and governments for change (among many others):
- Wall St pharmaceutical companies: for profiteering from people with AIDS by charging astronomically high prices for AIDS medicine
- FDA (Food and Drug Administration): for its years-long drug approval process, resulting in the deaths of thousands due to lack of access to potentially life-saving drugs
- CDC (Center for Disease Control): for its narrow definition of AIDS, which did not include infections that affect women and injection drug users
- NIH (National Institutes of Health): for its lack of prioritizing diverse types of AIDS treatments and for underrepresenting women and people of color in clinical trials
- President Bush Sr: for spending a billion dollars a day on the Gulf War after claiming there was little money to increase AIDS spending
- President Clinton and VP Gore: for refusing to lift the ban on needle-exchange funding and for blocking generic production of AIDS drugs by poor countries and inadequate funding of global AIDS.
- The G8 (richest) countries: (thru ACT UP’s alliance with Health Global Access Project and others) for their unwillingness to fund universal global AIDS drug access to all who need it.
- Mayors Koch and Giuliani, Governor Cuomo Sr: for their inaction and neglect regarding the AIDS crisis and for cuts to local and state AIDS services
- Health insurance companies: for their refusal to insurance many people with HIV/AIDS and their discriminatory rates for people with HIV/AIDS.
- Catholic Church: for its opposition to safe sex education in schools and its ineffective demonization of sex, condoms and AIDS.
The local ACT UP group spawned affiliate groups across the USA and the world. Throughout its history, there have been over 140 chapters of ACT UP and thousands of members worldwide.
ACT UP CHRONOLOGY IN BRIEFJuly 3, 1981: The New York Times published the newspaper article titled "Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals" about the disease that would become known as AIDS.
March 10, 1987: Gay activist playwright Larry Kramer called for the formation of an AIDS activist group in a speech at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Manhattan.
JOIN ACT UP's 25th Anniversary Direct Action
ACT UP and OCCUPY
TAX WALL STREET!
Wed., April 25, 2012
Massive demonstration and march.
Starts at City Hall (Broadway and Murray Street)
Ends at Wall Street
ACT UP is calling for a small tax (0.05%) on Wall Street transactions and speculative trades in order to raise the money needed to end the global AIDS epidemic and provide universal healthcare in the US.
- THE SCIENCE: The scientific community and AIDS activists agree: we now know how to break the back of the epidemic. New evidence shows early HIV treatment can reduce sexual transmission of the virus by 96%.
The FST demonstration is linked to a global Robin Hood Tax campaign to fund
(An American Sign Language Interpreter will be provided at the Wed 11am Rally.)
On the next page You'll find two videos about the Robinhood tax. The first from ACT UP/NY, the second from the international movement for a Robinhood tax.
Broken Promises Kill
In 2005 world leaders promised to support and fund universal access to AIDS treatment by 2010 at the G8 summit in Scotland. The result would have been a dramatic reduction in the AIDS related death rate, (80-85% according to many researchers) as well as a dramatic reduction in HIV transmission. New advancements in treatment and prevention are bringing us closer than ever to being able to end the AIDS pandemic, however, instead of seizing these opportunities many leaders of rich countries are currently retreating from their commitment to global AIDS treatment and prevention. The result is that million of lives will be consumed by AIDS and millions more will become infected.
In June the UN will sponsor a High Level Meeting on AIDS where world leaders will meet to discuss their commitments to fight AIDS. UNAIDS states that 'Member States are expected to adopt a new Declaration that will reaffirm current commitments and commit to actions to guide and sustain the global AIDS response.' With this in mind, it is especially important that before the meeting occurs we put pressure on the governments that have broken their promises to fully fund global AIDS treatment and prevention.
Join us on Thursday, April 7th at noon for a Marathon Die-in Against Global AIDS where we will travel from consulate to consulate demanding that the US, British, Italian, Dutch, German, Norwegian, French and Swedish governments follow through with their promises to fight AIDS. At each consulate we will perform a symbolic die-in, by lying on the ground, to dramatize the many millions who have and will continue to die because of the callous indifference of countries using the financial crisis as an excuse to retreat from their commitments to AIDS treatment and prevention. We will begin promptly at noon at the Norwegian consulate on 50th St between 3rd and 2nd Avenue (closer to 3rd).
We intend to have a legal moving picket at each stop in addition to the die-in. No permits have been secured for the event or are sought. Groups organizing for the event include: ACT UP, Health Gap, Vocal and Queerocracy.
Assemble Thu. April 7th at noon
50th Street between 2nd & 3rd Ave
Take the 6 train to 51st St. stop.
(note: the April 8th demo was changed to April 7th)