Thursday, March 29, 2007

ACT UP protest: Same old BS, twenty years later

NOTE: Images Copyright © 2007 Ands Duque and Rex Wockner

About 400 t0 500 people showed up on a magnificently sunny day to act up once again on what was planned as the 20th year anniversary action of the organization ACT UP.

Larry Kramer, who was among the people who jump started the direct action group twenty years ago addressed reporters at the rally's start (YouTube video here). Clients from organizations such as Housing Works, African Services Committee, the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project, the New York City AIDS Housing Network, People of Color in Crisis and GMHC joined the crowd. There was also a large contingent from ACT UP Philadelphia.

The well-behaved crowd shouted slogans such as "No more bullshit, health care for all," "Health care for people, not for profit" and "Same old bullshit, 20 years later."

Marchers made their way from the Federal Building down to City Hall with a stop at Trinity Church (just off the World Trade Center site) through the narrow building canyons in front of the New York Stock Exchange ending up at the big bull statue at Bowling Green, long a symbol of Wall Street.

Organizers threw plastic body bags in front of the statute, two ACT UP'ers also mounted the bull and flew a banner that read "ACT UP: Health care for all."

After addressing the crowd and reporters, a group of 20 to 25 activists crossed the police barriers surrounding the Bowling Green park and laid down on the street in a "die-in." They were arrested for disrupting traffic and are currently in custody.

When it was all said and done the bull was left standing alone with a pair of condoms adorning its horns.

Additional stuff:
Future meetings: According to a message left tonight on my voice mail by Andrew Velez, ACT UP will mark its anniversary with a $20 celebration/fundraiser on Saturday, March 31 at 8 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street.

There will also be a follow-up organizing meeting on Thursday, April 12th at 7:30PM - also at the LGBT Community Center - for the first ever meeting of the Queer Justice League (although the name of the group is subject to change). Questions should be directed at


UPDATE: The official press release puts participation at "nearly a thousand" and arrests at 27. It also has a full list of co-sponsors.

1 comment:

Tom said...

It's good to see the passion back that we used to see back in the 80's.

I am glad you weren't arrested Andreas.