New York and San Francisco
By Melanie Nathan, January 29, 2015.
The AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP) and other HIV activist organizations will converge to protest the neglect of the AIDS crisis by mainstream LGBT organizations at the annual self-congratulatory gala held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City by Human Rights Campaign (HRC). San Francisco activists will also be protesting in the Castro in solidarity and support of ACT UP as well as highlighting several other concerns about HRC.
According to ACT UP, HRC has been absent on HIV in major ways. Even as HIV advocates go hat in hand begging for programs like PreP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), HRC throws galas for thousands of dollars a plate and is nowhere to be found in New York City on critical issues such as LGBT homelessness.
ACT UP New York demands:
That HRC immediately appoint a liaison dedicated specifically to work on HIV—not a Fellow that works temporarily. HRC should work with grassroots organizers on the ground. While the party is going on at the Waldorf, countless homeless LGBT youth are in life-threatening need on the streets of New York.We demand that HRC work to repeal the outdated CDC policy regarding federal funding for explicit and comprehensive sex education materials. Buried in Jesse Helms’ basement since 1992, his homophobic and HIV-phobic legacy continues to impede effective HIV prevention efforts. Speaking about the ban, ACT UP member Andy Velez said: “The Human Rights Campaign’s absence on a core issue like HIV prevention policies is more glaring evidence of their failure to demonstrate bold leadership.”A whopping thirty-three pages, buried somewhere on the HRC website, is devoted to HIV. By contrast, four hundred thirty-six are dedicated to marriage. It seems weddings are more important than the fag dying in Louisiana because he can’t get meds. Right here, there are more than a hundred thousand New Yorkers living with HIV and thousands more getting it every year, all relying on the same scant resources.
People need to rethink giving money to a dinosaur that is failing to mobilize its infrastructure sufficiently at a local level to help our communities. HRC sucks in millions every year in membership fees to the gay non-profit industrial complex (Gay Inc.) and pats itself on the back while ironically paying lip service to the words “it gets better.”
We challenge HRC to rate itself on what it is doing for HIV.
The San Francisco Action is highlighting the following issues:
– No concern for needs of poor and low income LGBT people
– No agenda promoting construction of affordable housing, a living wage and access to higher education
– No action response to the national outcry against police killing Black, Brown & Transgender people.
– No global gay plan that respects the work of local LGBT folks and group’s working on international issues
– No incorporation of progressive and economic justice concerns in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index
In San Francisco, activists will be at HRC’s store at 575 Castro Street on Jan. 31 from noon till 1:00 pm. Light brunch nibbles will be available.
There will be a speak out at Harvey Milk’s old camera shop from the queer 99% about social and economic justice, with a special focus on fully embracing the Black Lives Matter movement.
Among the endorsers and organizers of the West Coast action are Veronika Fimbres, African-American trans leader; Tommi Avicolli Mecca, housing rights advocate; Melanie Nathan, global LGBT organizer; and Michael Petrelis, HIV positive activist.
For more information on the SF action contact Melanie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
#BADBADHRC @actupny @Melanienathan1