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San Francisco | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Castro Die-In Demands Housing for All
by Liz Highleyman ( liz [at] black-rose.com )
Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
About 50 activists demonstrated under sunny skies in the Castro on March 29, commemorating the 20th anniversary of ACT UP and demanding housing and healthcare for all.
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Protesters gathered at noon at Castro and 18th Streets -- the heart of a neighborhood dubbed the “AIDS Eviction Capital of the World” due to rising real estate values and a wave of speculation that has driven out people with AIDS, youth, seniors, and others with low or fixed incomes.

Organized by Gay Shame, longtime activist Michael Petrelis, and the newly formed ACT UP/Bay Area, the action drew mostly young people, with a smattering of older activists from the original ACT UP era of the late 1980s/early 1990s and even back to the early days of the gay liberation movement in the 1970s.

“The legacy of evictions is part of the cultural history of the Castro,” said Mary Mortgage of Gay Shame. “There’s been a huge cultural erasure. We’re holding real estate companies accountable for making profits off the eviction of protected tenants.”

One such company, Coldwell Banker at 2355 Market, became the scene of a die-in after protesters march up Castro Street chanting, “ACT UP! Fight Back! Fight AIDS!”

Veteran activist Tommi Avicolli Mecca echoed the theme of eviction as part of the neighborhood’s history, recalling that gay pioneer Harvey Milk himself was pushed out of his Castro Street camera store and apartment after rents tripled in the late 1970s. After a lull during the worst years of the AIDS crisis, gentrification intensified once again with the dot-com boom in the late 1990s.

“The real estate industry has raped and pillaged the Castro for decades,” Mecca said. “We need a moratorium on market-rate housing in the Castro. Realtors do not own San Francisco. We own San Francisco!”

About 20 activists died-in on the sidewalk outside Coldwell Banker, as others outlined their bodies in chalk; the protest ended with no arrests.

“We need money for AIDS, housing, and healthcare, not for war,” said Petrelis, calling for a new wave of activism. “We need to get off our computers and get back into the streets again.”

Across the country, a coalition including ACT UP/New York and Housing Works also held a commemorative march demanding universal health care, drug price controls, and improved city services for people with AIDS. Various reports put the turnout at between 500 and 1000, and about 25 activists were arrested after die-in in front of the golden bull statue on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, were ACT UP held its first-ever demonstration in March 1987.

Among the protesters was Larry Kramer, who 20 years ago inspired the formation of ACT UP with a speech at the New York LGBT Center. Speaking there again this past March 13, he recalled the group’s history and called for a new “ACT UP Army” to fight gay oppression.

“We don’t say fuck you, fuck you, fuck you anymore. At least so anyone can hear,” he lamented. “Well the evil things that made me angry then still make me angry now. I keep asking around, doesn’t anything make you angry, too? Doesn’t anything make anyone angry?”

[Gay Shame will hold a follow-up meeting at 5:30 pm on Saturday, April 31 at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia Street in San Francisco.]
§Mary Mortgage of Gay Shame
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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§AIDS Eviction Capital
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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§Michael Petrelis
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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§Die-In on Market Street
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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§Tommi Avicolli Mecca
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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§Coldwell Banker
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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§Die-In on Market Street
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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§Aftermath of Die-In
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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§ACT UP = 20
by Liz Highleyman Friday Mar 30th, 2007 12:11 AM
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

Why stop at healthcare and housing? If we can't eat, who needs housing. And, of course, without duds, we will be exposed to elements, and die ... you silly people.
by Is Malnutrition EVER misdiagnosed as AIDS?
Tuesday Jul 10th, 2007 11:22 AM
Where are the AIDS dissidents from ACT-UP SF? Did the majority of PHARMA/AIDS toting gay community drown out the voices of AIDS dissidents??

Instead of spending time disputing the link between HIV and AIDS (requires a virtual degree in microbiology for most), another arguement AIDS dissidents could use is to investigate the MISDIAGNOSIS of AIDS in people who exhibit immuno-deficiency symptoms that is actually caused by non-sexually transmitted "illnesses" such as malnutrition, malaria and unsanitary water in Africa..

http://www.actupsf.com/

Of course all three of these above causes of immune deficiency are poverty and ecologically based and cannot be fixed by any PHARMA product!!

Are we discussing deaths from AIDS or deaths from poverty induced MALNUTRITION? Another question could be "Has ANYONE in Africa EVER been misdiagnosed with HIV/AIDS when their illness was actually caused by MALNUTRITION??" (Then substitute and/or add unsanitary water, malaria, etc..) Of course the multifactorial effects of malnutrition, unsanitary water AND malaria combined is even more a guarantee of immune system malfunction. There are very few people who would answer "NO" to this question if they have any awareness of the physical health problems faced by people who are unable to obtain a healthy diet, sanitary water, etc..

Follow up; IF people in Africa are indeed misdiagnosed with AIDS when they suffer malnutrition, THEN how is PHARMA influencing their government's HIV/AIDS testing program and distribution of PHARMA products to use as test trials for later sales in the US??

Here in the US the gay community is not subjected to the same poverty induced problems as in Africa, though at times malnutrition and poverty are also components in the US gay community. Here the fast and easy access to PHARMA AIDS products such as AZT ensures that the AZT drug itself will be capable of causing significant damage to their system. AZT is a chemotherapy based product that is essentially cytotoxic, as in kills human cells. Compound that with the real depression faced by individuals upon hearing the diagnosis of this life ending disease, and a progressive worsening of the human immune system will follow. Not too mention the "party til you die" atmosphere found in the lively Castro, hub of the gay urban community..

Sadly enough, the so-called "liberal" defenders of the gay community & their allies are the last ones in line to challenge the PHARMA AIDS establishment under their claims of "human rights" and "pharma pills for the sick" when the supposed "cure" for AIDS presented by PHARMA is actually a major component in people's deaths! Instead they defend the PHARMA AIDS establishment at the expense of their friends in the gay community. The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions..

This mimics the response by the so-called "liberal" community to water fluoridation (see; Arcata rejects defluoridation), another so-called health benefit for all where toxic fertilzer/aluminum waste byproduct fluoride compounds are added to our water supply so that the lower income people will get less cavities??

http://fluoridealert.org/

OH, and did we ever mention that refined sugar and refined flour products can BOTH weaken the human immune system AND contribute to cavities? Better not talk too much about that refined sugar or the Anti-Castro (Fidel, not SF) Cubans from Miami (aka Miami Mafia) will be hot on your tail ,as they profit immensely from their slave (Haitians/Jamaicans) plantations of sugarcane in South FL!!

What exactly are all those Africans doing working sunup til sundown on the corporate coffee, tobacco and sugar plantations (sprayed with mucho pesticides!) when they would naturally (ie., pre-colonialism) be growing a diversity of drought tolerant AND nutritionally vital native food plants instead? Can PHARMA solve that or is that a direct result of wealthy western nations corporate induced consumption patterns??

This from Food First;

"Within Southern Africa--where, for example, tobacco production has expanded by 50 percent per year over the past three years in communal, small-scale, and resettlement areas(25)--the most desirable land is continually used for export agriculture, and food production is sacrificed to boost agricultural production. After each year's harvest the soil is often left unprotected, accelerating erosion.(26) And small farmers are pushed ever farther into marginal land. This marginalization is not trivial: it affects the African majority, who remain wage laborers and small-scale farmers without savings or capital to devote to expansion."

article cont's @;
http://www.foodfirst.org/pubs/backgrdrs/2002/f02v8n4.html

AIDS dissidents are paranoid? Who are you kidding?