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Reflecting On ACT UP... Honestly

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Larry David Pasco

From the Hearland of America Larry David Pasco c/o Harm Reduction Institute 1434 North Delaware Street,Apt 205 Indianapolis,Indiana 46202 317-640-5463 e-mail If it were not for ACT-UP ,I as a Person living with AIDS for over 24yrs would not be alive ,also the Harm Reduction & Syringe Exchange movement was started by ACT-UP and The National AIDS BRIGADE,so my brithers and sisters who are Injectors really own our lifes to the earlier movement.

April 9, 2012

Allan Clear

In response to Jim Eigo: In terms of HIV prevention, you're forgetting ACT-UP's role in starting syringe exchange programs all over the US. Syringe exchange is the HIV prevention that both reversed and stopped the epidemic among drug users. It wouldn't have happened as quickly without ACT-UP. Allan

April 6, 2012

Sean Strub

Hey, Mark, it does now! Thanks for the reminder; when I wrote that I was thinking more about the past than I was the future. Here's a link to the facebook page for the action:

April 3, 2012

Mark Milano

Disappointing that this contains no mention of the 25th anniversary Wall St. action ACT UP is planning on April 25th to demand a Robin Hood Tax for AIDS.

April 3, 2012

Peter Staley

Great starter list, Jim. Sean is right -- mistakes were made, and any good movement should be willing to examine them, even publicly. I sat down with Larry recently to discuss the split, and he made a point similar to yours: why didn't we bring someone in to mediate the hard feelings between the two camps? I know TAG did this successfully when we had hit a rough patch (Tim Sweeney spent a weekend with our board and staff to help strategize our way out of the funk we were in, and it worked). Up until that point, I hadn't even realized services like that were available for organizations. But your suggestion might have worked too -- an internal committee to mitigate the strife. None of these ideas came to me at the time, and I don't remember anyone suggesting ideas like these. If something does come together to review and critique our history, I'd love to be a part of it.

April 3, 2012

jack weiser

Thank you, Sean!

March 30, 2012

Jim Eigo

Good post, Sean. A worthy 25th anniversary project would be for those of us who were active in ACT UP's early years to sit down and make a list of things we did wrong and things we failed to do. I think it would be a great appendix to the new film histories. I have always regretted that: 1) ACT UP did not get seriously involved in AIDS prevention; 2) ACT UP had no committee to try to mitigate the internal strife that was a product of doing hard work in a time of plague; and 3) that the effort to tackle universal healthcare that Peter Staley, Jay Lippner and I tried to get going (after we had already secured significant drug regulatory reform) never went beyond the planning stage.

March 30, 2012


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