ACTUP Capsule History 1987

March, 1987: Outraged by the government's mismanagement of the AIDS crisis, concerned individuals unite to form the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Our first demonstration takes place three weeks later on March 24th on Wall Street, the financial center of the world, to protest the profiteering of pharmaceutical companies (especially Burroughs Wellcome, manufacturer of AZT). Seventeen people are arrested. Shortly after the demonstration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces it will shorten its drug approval process by two years.

June 1, 1987: ACT UP joins other national activist groups in civil disobedience at the White House in Washington, DC. In a display of AIDS-phobia, the police wear rubber gloves while arresting protesters. Another demonstration is held at the Third International Conference on AIDS.

June 4, 1987: When Northwest Orient Airlines refuses passage to people with AIDS (PWAs), ACT UP erupts in protest at the airline's New York offices. Two suits are brought against Northwest. The policy is reversed.

June 21, 1987: ACT UP's four-day, round-the-clock protest at New York City's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, one of four AIDS Treatment Evaluation Units (ATEU's) in the City, demands more clinical trials of promising drugs other than AZT and more people with AIDS in the trials.

September 9, 1987: ACT UP protests the inadequacies of the newly-formed Presidential Commission on AIDS when it meets for the first time in Washington, DC. Several ACT UP members give testimony.