ACTUP Capsule History 1988

January 15, 1988: ACT UP NY's Women's Caucus organizes first ACT UP action focused on women and HIV. Five hundred people protest an article telling heterosexual women that unprotected vaginal intercourse with an HIV+ man is safe. A documentary about the action, "Doctors, Liars, and Women: AIDS Activists Say NO to Cosmo," produced by two Women's Caucus members, is later shown around the country, winning awards and placed in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

March 24, 1988: To celebrate our first anniversary, ACT UP returns to Wall Street. More than 100 activists are arrested; ACT UP receives major media coverage and issues central to the AIDS crisis are reported. The concept of "AIDS activism" gains credibility.

May 1-9, 1988: ACT UP branches around the country mount nine days of protests focusing on specific, unattended aspects of the epidemic such as IV drug use, homophobia, people of color, women, testing programs, prison programs and children with AIDS. More than 50 cities participate.

June 23, 1988: ACT UP meets homeless people at a "Talk-In" at a Tent City in City Hall Park, built to protest the city's policy on the homeless. ACT UP gives out information on AIDS and distributes condoms; the homeless share their experiences in the shelters and in the streets.

October 11, 1988: ACT UP, joined by the national ACT NOW coalition, closes down the FDA outside of Washington, DC. More than 1,000 activists stage a series of demonstrations which result in almost 180 arrests. The event receives international press coverage. A historical event, shutting down the FDA represents to a vast audience the lethargy of this dysfunctional bureaucracy, which is in charge of testing and approving possible AIDS treatments.

November 25, 1988: Trump Tower Thanksgiving Action - ACT UP protests a lack of housing for PWA's while city gives tax breaks to wealthy developers. Numerous affinity group actions and arrests are made.