Tim Bailey Political Funeral
[original Hi 8] [2 hours] [James Wentzy]
The following is a hand-out for Tim Bailey's Political Funeral:
"This is the body of Tim Bailey. He was a friend, a lover, a brother, and a son. He was also an AIDS activist -- a hero in the fight against the epidemic. We're giving him a hero's funeral. When he was alive, Tim told us he wanted his body thrown over the White House gates. Because he was enraged by the government's lethargy -- outright inhumanity -- in confronting the AIDS crisis. Because he wanted his death to help more Americans understand that while the government drags its heels, real people are dying. We told him we couldn't throw his body over the gates. Not because we didn't share his fury. But because we loved him too much to treat his mortal remains that way. During his last days he said, 'All right. Do something formal and aesthetic in front of the White House. I won't be there anyway. It'll be for you.' This procession, then, is for us. Not just those of us who knew and cared for Tim. For all of us; for everybody. Because we're all living with AIDS. Every man, woman, and child. Because when President Clinton fails to keep his promises, he murders all of us. He murders us when he delays appointing an AIDS czar for six months, and then settles on a candidate who's unlikely to be much more than a bureaucratic functionary. He murders us when he refuses to consider programs like the McClintock [AIDS Cure] Project, an all out assault on AIDS modeled an the Manhattan Project that won World War II. He murders us when he declines to speak out against the United States' Internment camp for Haitian political refugees at Guantanamo Bay, which incarcerated hundreds of people whose only crime was being infected with HIV. In our outrage and our despair, we're carrying the body of Tim Bailey along the same route traveled by the bodies of other slain heroes. After you've read this, we ask that you observe a moment of silence for Tim. A funny, smart, impassioned 35-year-old man who could have been your friend. Your son. Your brother. Your lover. Then, after you've observed a moment of silence, do whatever you can to tell this country's leaders that their indifference and inefficiency cannot and will not be tolerated. We are all dying of it. There's no more time." [end]
Also contains at the beginning of the tape, before the van/coffin arrives at the capital, the following interviews: Interview of Steve Michael (from ACT UP/DC) critiquing Clinton's first AIDS "Czar" Kristine Gebbie; and Bill Dobbs interview with New York Times reporter Jeffrey Schmalz.
[notes on Hi8
Van with coffin arrives/cops appear and stops funeral procession by refusing to let the coffin out of the Van. Police/Activist Stand-off ensues for hours. "Who's in charge here? What are you afraid of?" Coffin is moved out of the van against police approval and struggle with cops ensues with coffin jostling up in the air as cops force it back into the vehicle. Aftermath of police/coffin struggle; speeches and procession of vehicle containing Tim Bailey's corpse escorted out of town by police.