Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Your budget cuts are really rude, thats why we have to be so nude!": AIDS Activists Arrested in a Naked Protest in Speaker Boehner’s Longworth Office

ACT UP New York


Following a march of hundreds from the Democratic Party's National Headquarters to the Congressional Office Building, 7 AIDS activists took over the offices of Speaker of the House John Boehner and stripped naked demanding a meeting with the Congressmember. The activists from QUEEROCRACY, ACT UP NY and ACT UP Philadelphia painted slogans on their bodies instead of holding signs: “AIDS Cuts Kill” and “Fund PEPFAR, Fund Ryan White, Fund Global Fund, Fund Medicaid, Fund HOPWA.”

“Boehner, Boehner, Don’t be a Dick! Budget Cuts will Make Us Sick!” they screamed. 

Challenging the game like quality of the budget negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House, activists noted a little naked truth might not hurt the process.

from act up new york

“When you strip away the rhetoric of the fiscal cliff and the grand bargain, you see that these terms are a way to thinly veil draconian budget cuts that will leave millions around the world with absolutely nothing,” said Cassidy Gardner from QUEEROCRACY.

"The sequestration cuts will be devastating for HIV/AIDS programs and the millions of people whose lives depends upon these programs to survive, both domestically and globally," noted iconic AIDS activist Michael Tikili.  "When are government is discussing a blue print for an AIDS free generation it is hypocritical to negotiate ANY cuts to Medicaid, HOPWA, PEPFAR and any other programs that are directly linked to essential services. We are not afraid to bare all and call out our leaders when they are at fault."

On Thursday, Secretary Clinton is expected to announce a blueprint to end AIDS. The mandatory budget cuts will make this goal nearly impossible, resulting in at least 620,000 otherwise preventable deaths from HIV. The naked protest was timed to coincide with the World AIDS Day march of hundreds of AIDS activists marching from the Democratic National Committee to the offices of Congressional leaders to demand a stop to the sequestration budget cuts that will push the world backwards in the fight against AIDS. In May of 2011, the U.S. funded study, HPTN 052, proved that the AIDS pandemic could be stopped and we could see an AIDS free world in a generation if a small number of people were put on treatment around the world.

“The naked truth is that if President Obama and Congressional leaders like Speaker Boehner allow these budget cuts to lifesaving programs, global health programs will lose $689 million, while domestic AIDS programs will lose $538 million.”, said Eustacia Smith from ACT UP New York.

“Boehner and others in Congress think that they can gut lifesaving programs without any consequences. We are here to bare witness and expose the effect on their constituents.” said, Michael Tikili from QUEEROCRACY.

"End AIDS with a Robin Hood Tax, no more budget cuts on our backs," naked activists screamed.  "ACT UP fight back!"

""The police arrested the three women who were part of the action, even though they followed orders to re-clothe, waiting till after press left room," noted Julie Davids.

 They have been charged with indecent exposure. They are:

Cassidy Gardner - 23 yrs old, from NYC, Community Organizer for Queerocracy.

Megan Mulholland - 23 yrs old, from NYC, Community Organizer for Queerocracy

Jennifer Flynn - 40 yrs old, from Rhode Island, from Health GAP

 Link for a livestream recap.
ACT UP /NY paid for 2.5 buses to Washington DC. Here are some of the folks that joined.
ACT UP New York

ACT UP staged an earlier Naked Truth action during the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004.

""This time, nudity worked," noted Rachel Maddow on her show later that night.


The action took place on the anniversary of the assasination of Harvey Milk and George Moscone in San Francisco.

"My friend and mentor, Harvey Milk, was murdered on this day in 1978. Harvey fought for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He fought for working people, for renters, kids and seniors. He believed in coalitions and understood that our struggle was part of the larger struggle for peace and for social justice. He was a kind and funny man who loved his people and his city. Meeting him was the single most important event ofmy life," noted Cleve Jones.


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