On last November, activists from Act Up New York, Act Up Philadelphia and Health Global Access Project took their clothes off in the Republican president of the US House of Representatives’ office, John Boehner, to protest against cuts in programs and services dedicated to people suffering from the HIV in the US. This symbolic action was aimed at attracting attention on the dangers of these cuts and at speaking the naked truth about their dramatic consequences : 350 000 HIV-positive people may be deprived of treatments and 62 000 of them may die, unable to treat themselves.
Activists were demanded to get dressed twice, what they began to do. The three women of the group were nonetheless arrested and taken to the police station. The website http://www.indiegogo.com/TheNakedSeven called for donation to contribute to their defense expenses as well as their travel expenses necessary for them to attend the court.
Act Up Paris express their full support to the American activists. Civil disobedience becomes necessary given the choices made by political leaders who never give the priority to public health and rights. Nakedness only bothers prudish hypocrites, who would rather cover breasts which they cannot behold, but who willingly agree to let thousands of people die. Political leaders focus on the repression of activists who condemn decisions bearing disastrous consequences, rather than fighting the AIDS efficiently and providing the necessary care to HIV-positive people.
Last September, several activists of the Act Up Paris’ branch were arrested and kept for 48h by the police of Bâle (Switzerland) for protesting against the pharmaceutical company Novartis, and sentenced to heavy fines. In Cameroon, several community leaders are prosecuted for demonstrating, in 2010, before the National Assembly in order to remind the Congressmen of the promises made on the public health matter. These judicial proceedings require money and time that we, the activists and the ill, in France, in the US or anywhere in the world, would rather see used to fight the HIV. In other countries, militant activity translates into immediate imprisonment or physical violence. To fight the activists is playing into the AIDS’ hands.
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