DIVA TV Program Synopsis
Day of Desperation
Early morning protests took place downtown Manhattan with AIDS activists protested the Government's involvement in the Gulf War to the exclusion of vital interests at home. That afternoon--5:00 RUSH HOUR--Grand Central Station was filled with demonstrators protesting under the banners: "Money For AIDS, Not For War" and "One AIDS Death Every 8 Minutes".
The night before, AIDS activists disrupted the CBS News Evening News with Dan Rather (by jumping on-camera as the news began: "Fight AIDS, not Arabs; AIDS is news!") and the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. (Robin MacNeil: "There's been a demonstration in our studio; it was a group of non-violent demonstrators from ACT UP who complained that we and the media are spending too much time and attention on the war in the Middle East which they say will never kill as many people as are dying of AIDS and I told them that this program has spent a lot of time on the AIDS matter and will be covering it more in the future."_Asked by a reporter: "Don't you think this is an immature and silly way to get your point across to the country?" We responded: "No, we think spending hundreds of billions of dollars bombing people in another continent is a silly and immature way to get a point across."
Jon Greenberg Funeral
FLYER for Day of Desperation (1/23/91)
The AIDS Crisis is Just Beginning.
1,175 people died of AIDS last week and you murdered them.
President Bush and Congress murdered them. Within a matter of months the U.S. Government is able to house, feed and provide health care for half a million people in the middle of the desert. But here at home, the Federal Government continues to routinely deny these same basic necessities to people living with AIDS. We wonder--as we fight a war for oil in the Persian Gulf--whether President Bush and Congress are conscious of the desperate state of the AIDS crisis in this country. We are. Through 10 years of this plague and 10 years of Republican administrations, there remains no leadership. After over-whelmingly (and with much fanfare) passing the C.A.R.E. Act (aka the Ryan White Act), Congress and President Bush failed to appropriate the funds necessary to implement this disaster relief. Why is it that when a hurricane or earthquake hits--and causes mostly property damage and relatively few deaths---federal dollars pour in? When a disease devastates whole communities and kills more than 110,000 men, women and children--more than twice the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War--our leaders remain silent. And you remain silent. Silence = Death.
Governor Cuomo murdered them. In order to cope with New York State's fiscal problems, Governor Cuomo is attempting to balance his budget with people's lives. What happened to his five-year AIDS plan? New York's AIDS budget received few cuts, but it is simply not keeping pace with the epidemic. Budgets must be balanced, but not at the cost of thousands of New Yorkers lives. Cuomo has never declared New York State a disaster area. He has never personally gone to Washington to lobby for federal AIDS-relief funding. Mario Cuomo is governor of the AIDS capital of the world. His "family of New York" is dying. Where is the leadership New York needs to weather this storm? President Cuomo???
Mayor Dinkins murdered them. During his successful campaign for mayor, David Dinkins made many promises concerning people living with AIDS. Dinkins has broken all of these promises, except one: Against the advice of every major authority on I.V. drug use and its connection to AIDS, Dinkins and his inept health commissioner, Woody Myers, scrapped the city's needle-exchange program. They ignore the evidence that needle exchange not only stops the spread of AIDS in the I.V.drug-using communities, but also acts as a bridge into treatment programs. I.V. drug users, their sexual partners and their children have the highest rate of new HIV infection. The cause is clear. The fix is cheap: Clean needles save lives. Dinkins' policy is genocidal.
Did you murder them too? As 1 in 25 New Yorkers is infected with HIV...As more than 10,000 people with AIDS are homeless...As our children become infected...As the Catholic Church continues to interfere in public-health policy...As promising new treatments remain unavailable...As we continue to die... Will you continue to do nothing?
2003 UPDATE (SADLY)
WELCOME TO AMERICA The only Industrialized Country in the World
Without National Healthcare.
Money for AIDS, Not for War!
As the U.S. spends tens of billions of dollars on a pre-emptive war in the Persian Gulf, we demand that this money be spent on the real national and global priority: HEALTHCARE!
AIDS is the greatest global threat to human security that exists today. It is more deadly than terrorism or alleged weapons in Iraq. AIDS has already cost 25 million lives worldwide. In Africa and Asia, whole communities are being wiped out and the future of entire continents are at risk. Around the world, and in our own country and our own cities, HIV infection rates continue to rise at alarming rates, particularly among communities of color.
AIDS is a clear and present danger to all of humanity. That Healthcare and Human Rights are not top priorities of the U.S. government highlights the biogtry and hypocracy of the United States. This year, while the U.S. focuses on manufactered threats in Iraq and paranoid terrorist attacks at home, it is certain that AIDS will kill more than 3 million people...THREE MILLION DEATHS...THIS YEAR!
AIDS is an urgent wake-up call to a deeper crisis in the state of the world. The huge global inequalities that fuel this pandemic are de-stabilizing and they are deadly. Only racism has allowed the loss of so many lives to AIDS. Fighting a war against AIDS is the most important positive step toward building a stable future for everyone.
The U.S. thinks of itself as the most powerful country on earth, and it has a clear choice to make. It can provide Healthcare to it's citizens and choose to provide leadership for a global effort to defeat the plague of AIDS and save millions of lives. Or it can choose to act arrogantly and unilaterally, dictating regime changes and re-drawing maps to serve its own narrowly defined interests.
A war on AIDS can be won. This must be the real priority. This is why we demand: Money for AIDS, Not for War!
People are so easily suckered.. jameswagner.com
Molly Ivins reminds us in The Progressive this month that, in spite of his other failings, Hermann Goering was no fool.
While under arrest in Nuremburg in 1946 the Nazi leader told an interviewer, "Why of course the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?" He went on to insist that it was up to the leaders of every country and every form of government to drag the people along. Goering would have none of the interviewer's naive objection that in democracies people have a say in the matter through their elected representatives.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Ivins recognizes how conflicted many Americans are now that "ghastly conflict" in Iraq is underway, but she offers encouragement to those who persevere in protesting the deadly policies of the regime in Washington.
Speak up, speak out, but never let anyone else define what you think--including the President. It is never "My country, right or wrong." As the Radical Republican Senator Carl Schurz of Missouri once put it, "Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to put right."
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