FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 30th September 2015
ACT UP LONDON launches ‘We Are Still Angry’: a network committed to confrontational activism against cuts to HIV services
A sold-out event tonight will host the HIV direct action group ‘Aids Coalition To Unleash Power’ (ACT UP LONDON) who, along with a coalition of welfare groups, launch a fierce network of activists committed to creative and confrontational street activism against cuts to HIV services and the NHS. The event will include a screening of the film ‘United in Anger’, followed by discussion with leading speakers on HIV policy and welfare programmes.
‘United in Anger: A History of ACT UP’ is an inspiring documentary about the birth and life of the AIDS activist movement in the 1980s and ‘90s from the perspective of those fighting the epidemic on the ground. Utilising oral histories of members of ACT UP, as well as rare archival footage, the film depicts the efforts of ACT UP as it battles corporate greed, social indifference, and government neglect.
Speakers include (1) Bisi Alimi is an internationally renowned researcher, television pundit, campaigner and community builder with expertise in sexual health and human and LGBT rights; (2) Silvia Petretti is Deputy Chief Executive Officer for ‘Positively UK’, a leading provider of peer support to people living with HIV’. Silvia is a woman living with HIV and an advocate for the human rights of people living with HIV; (3) Michelle Ross – Michelle is Co-founder of cliniQ – a team of friendly and open health & well-being professionals and trans* community members who are dedicated to enhancing the lives of trans* people, their partners and friends; (4) Representative from STOP AIDS – With 80 organisational members behind them, STOP AIDS raises a united voice to rally and maintain the UK’s leadership in the global response to HIV.
In 2015 ACT UP exists to challenge the ‘Second Silence’ – the compounding problems of the rise in HIV transmission, the cuts to support services and the general belief that HIV was resolved in the 1990s. It’s time to take forward the mantle of hope in radical social change; organise and fight. Discrimination is alive and well today as the Conservatives threaten HIV services as part of the ‘austerity agenda’. This year we are building a range of fierce campaigns to put an end to the ‘second silence’. These include (1) HIV, women and self-determination (2) Supporting and welcoming HIV+ migrants (3) HIV education in schools (4) Fighting the cuts to HIV prevention, education and support services (5) Challenging the price of HIV / AIDS drugs globally and within the UK, including a demand for free PrEP for all.
“On behalf of ACT UP New York’s alumni, we’re thrilled to see the UK acting-up again.” Peter Staley, legendary HIV and gay rights activist.
“The current HIV epidemic and growing cuts to HIV prevention and support services right across the UK are a huge concern. We will continue to fight against them with in historic ACT UP style until justice prevails.” Florence Goddard, ACT UP LONDON activist.
ACT UPs recent actions include dropping half a tonne of horse shit on UKIP’s London office with a message to ‘stop spreading filth’ in response to Nigel Farage’s statement that only ‘People who do not have HIV’ should be allowed to migrate to Britain. UKIP were subsequently evicted. Recently as part of a broader coalition ACT UP marched on Nigel Farage’s pub where we co-hosted the ‘Beyond UKIP Cabaret’, conducting HIV anti-stigma classes in the pub.
Notes to Editors:
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) is an international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS (PWAs) and the AIDS pandemic to bring about legislation, medical research and treatment and policies to ultimately bring an end to the disease by mitigating loss of health and lives.
ACTUP London is a revitalised chapter of the non-partisan international movement, founded in 1987, united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. ACT UP London is a diverse group of individuals united in anger. We are committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic. We are committed to fighting to end all inequalities and injustices that perpetuate it. We are part of the global ACT UP network.
Living with HIV just got harder- benefits system, budget cuts, HIV and unemployment – http://www.newstatesman.com/rowenna-davis/2012/12/living-hiv-just-got-harder.
A new report published by Public Health England (PHE) (18 November 2014), shows that there are now nearly 110,000 people living with HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) in the UK. Around a quarter of these (26,100) are unaware of their infection and at risk of passing on the virus to others through unprotected sex. Encouragingly, the proportion of people diagnosed with a late stage of HIV infection fell from 57% in 2004 to 42% in 2013. The report shows around 6% of gay and bisexual men are now living with HIV, rising to 13% in London – with 3,250 newly diagnosed in 2013, an all-time annual high.
PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a prevention pill for people who are at high risk of getting HIV. It has recently been proven to reduce HIV infection rates for men who have sex with men in the UK by at least 86%.
Dan Glass / Phone 07717811747