Yesterday, April 25th, ACT UP & Occupy Wall Street held a massive demonstration and march on Wall Street. The march called for a tax on speculative financial trading (FST or “Robin Hood Tax“) that would create $530 billion in revenue and generate the funds necessary to end the global AIDS crisis. The march began at City Hall at 11am and snaked its way through the financial districted ending at Wall Street around 2pm. Along the way, protesters shouted new takes on the classic ACT UP chants “How many people have to die? Act Up, fight back, and Occupy!”
Yesterday’s march marked the 25th anniversary of ACT UP. ”AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power” was effectively formed in March 1987 at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York as an international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS and the AIDS pandemic. On March 24th, 1987 ACT UP held their first protests at City Hall in New York City. Protesters marched on Wall Street, crying out against the profiteering of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of human life. Seventeen people were arrested. The demonstration effectively pressured the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to announces it would shorten its drug approval process by two years.
Can’t get enough of civil disobedience? Watch these ACT UP protesters braving arrest for the fight against AIDS: