AIDS HOOPLA
"Millennium March on Washington"
A National March for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Civil Rights
_
Washington DC 4/30/2000

 


here's a third-party email for this year's "Millennium March". . .

Dear [NAME DELETED]:

My name is Michael Crawford. I'm a Field Organizer working on the
Millennium March. I got your email address from
[NAME DELETED]. She
said that you were interested in the AIDS related demo that I am
organizing. The plan is very loose at this. But We know we want an AIDS
demo possibly on Saturday, April 29. We want a good old fashioned loud
demo pointing out the need for a better prevention strategy, better
research into effective treatments, and better access to the drugs and
healthcare.

We are also planning a pledge campaign called "Because I'm Worth It".
We will be asking people to take a pledge to commit to a future free of
HIV. It will be a fun, campy of encouraging to take action to end the
AIDS epidemic. I am particularly interested in a campaign that will
appeal to younger queer men. I'm hoping for t-shirts, posters, and
condoms all promoting the pledge campaign.

I would love to talk to you more about this. Maybe you could also come
to a meeting I'm organizing to plan this demo and pledge campaign.
Please give me a call at 202.467.8104.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Michael Crawford, Field Organizer
MMOW
http://www.mmow.org/
1000 16th St NW Suite 300
Washington DC 20036
202.467.8100
mcrawford@mmow.org

 

 

 

<<< March on Washington Hoopla of 1993


RECENT POSTINGS from AIDSACT

How dare they. "A good old fashioned loud demo," ...I think they
should talk to the people who have still been doing these things.

To the best of my knowledge, NO ACT UP chapter has been
contacted by the MMOW in any capacity.

Frankly, I personally would be more inclined to protest the
elitist, wasteful, contentious and non-diverse march itself,
rather than donate a protest to make it look like sponsoring
organizaiotns have been at all supportive of direct action
protest on HIV/AIDS in recent years.


I "went there". The MMoW official site which hasn't been up-dated in
months. And Yes, it is HRC and MCC. While I have nothing against MCC, I find it hardly representitive of a wide spectrum of the qweer community.

ANd the HRC is a nightmare. In the MMoW search I found early criticism of the undemocratic maaner in which the March was being organized. ANd interesting enough, I found no mention of HIV/AIDS. Hmmmm, I've known what it's like to be an after-thought before....it's kinda like the cutest guy in the bar, who I've been watching all night long and got too shy to say anything to, decides to come ask me home to fuck when the lights come home, he's too drunk to be any fun and I'm too sleepy to stay awake. Well, the problem with being an after thought in this case is Lizzie Birch ain't cute with the lights off, much less on. Despite often being pretty sex-negative, MCC does have some record on HIV support, which in many communities gives them some credance, but I still find it amazing that three months before this is supposed to come off, the HIV activist community is just finding out about "an old fashioned" protest (and finding out second-hand at that).


Looks pretty opportunistic to me. I don't like being used when suddenly
someone or some group thinks they can exploit a disease that is
increasingly less GLBT and definitely less middle class and white for
political points.

WHat are these people doing about HIV before or after this march?
And granted, MCC does have some pretty supportive programs, but most have been more about nurturing than about empowering HIV+ folk to be politically assertive.

WHo appointed them?
WHy are they qualified to select the issues from the many we have?
What can we do to expose their Bullshit?
I'll be there cherry blossom time.


I have a fucking newsflash for you - no one has a patent on AIDS activism. That's right - none of you. That said, many of you should consider opening your minds and shutting your mouths sometimes. If we were to create a list of every enemy of the AIDS community (if there is such a thing), I can pretty much guarantee that the organizers of the MMOW are not on it. Even if you completely hate their politics, they're still not on that list. So why would anyone want to organize a counter-demo? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. With ALL the enemies and ALL the issues which could be chosen to target, this seems reasonable to you?

Did it ever occur to anyone who is so upset about this to simply go to
the people who are organizing the MMOW and work with them? Educate them on the issues, the basics of activism, organizing for activism, etc? Perhaps convince them, instead of trying to fold activism into their march, to simply work WITH experienced community activists on an issue that's already being worked on - like names reporting or health gap. Or, if you really don't want to bother, just ignore them. Don't worry - they can't do ANYTHING to worsen the reputation of AIDS activism. It can't get any worse.


forwarded c/o AIDSACT... When I sent out the email seeking folks who were interested in organizing an AIDS action during March weekend it was not an attempt to exclude or to anger anyone. The idea was not put forth by March organizers. It was simply a naive gesture on my part to help create an event during the March weekend that specifically focused on HIV/AIDS issues. The email was an unformed idea that came from me because being a person with AIDS, I wanted to see AIDS addressed in the strongest possible way during March weekend. My intention was not to circumvent ACT UP or other AIDS activists. I do not have a master plan for an AIDS action. I was simply putting a call out to see who would be interested in developing a plan and organizing an AIDS action.

My intentions were good even if the execution was a little clumsy. I am aware the you are all working on other projects and actions but I feel that we have a great opportunity to organize an amazing and powerful event. I am interested in working with ACT UP and other AIDS activists to organize a march or demo. Cleve Jones, founder of the Names Project, had a conversation recently and he is interested in organizing something. He and I had talked about possibly having an AIDS March on the same day as the Millennium March but beginning from a different location possibly Dupont Circle and joining with the other march at the Ellipse. That would be very similar to what ACT_UP/NY did during the 25th anniversary of Stonewall. We can either work with this idea or scrap it and come up with something new.

From: Michael Crawford <mcrawford@mmow.org>

__see also:

ACT UP ACTION 25th anniversary of Stonewall

In honor to the brave queers at the STONEWALL RIOTS,
LISTEN to most-excellent audio documentary
(off-site)
by David Isay
"Remembering Stonewall"

 _

Julie is correct <<<read post on LEFT) this is a snotty slap in the face of people who have been active all along and especially the folks who have kept active groups grasssroots groups like ACTUP Philly and the other ACTUPs still alive, effective and current. I'm even offended on that point with what little we've been able to accomplish in the way of HIV+ people being politically active here in [midwest].

And here's the other one....a future free of HIV+ sounds like they can't
wait for those of us who are positive to die so they won't have to worry
about us anymore, pariah's that we are.


At first I was going to ignore this as I think the Millenium March in
general should be ignored.

But then I got to thinking: What kind of damage could MMOW do
by *hosting* (the proper term here) an AIDS action without AIDS
activists? It could be a PR disaster, and I don't mean for MMOW.

I think a few well-placed emails and phone calls telling them to
not even think about it could make them back off. They're very
afraid of us.


MMoW needs to be told not to even try it -- and needs
to get that message from someone to whom they will listen (I'm not sure who that is).

If they undertake it and produce a pathetic attempt (very probable), it will NOT be viewed by the mainstream media as what it is (people who have no clue/experience at doing AIDS demos trying to do one) but rather will be mis-represented as "further proof that AIDS activism is dead". We don't need that. They need to just give it up and focus, instead, on producing the March they've been producing all along -- one that (as far as I can tell) has very little if anything to do with HIV/AIDS. __

Just one woman's opinion....

 


What I would much much prefer, rather than a weak attempt for them to do an ACT UP-like action from people with little agenda, no campaign, and no constituency, would be for them to mainstream AIDS issues into their agenda for the main event, rather than being ghetto-ized into some side show.


You [read post to LEFT] make some really good points about how AIDS activists treat each other and especially less experienced activists. Your main point seems to be about *respect*. That everyone trying to fight AIDS deserves it. A major reason many of us AIDS activists who are also part of the queer communities are pissed off is because the MMOW folks have treated us with complete and utter disrespect.

From the beginning they [MMoW] have planned their march without the
involvement or input of anyone else, and have rebuffed all attempts at
real participation and constructive criticism. Their philosphy of activism
is driven by a top-down, corporate, "marketing" model that not only grates, but is antithetical to what grass-roots activism is all about. This is why some AIDS activists are reacting so strongly to the sudden revelation that MMOW wants to do some sort of AIDS demo. This is why people are responding with some rather silly (and very self destructive) ideas like a counter-demo. People are blowing off steam. Probably we will soon forget about the whole thing, or send a few well-pointed emails to Elizabeth Birch and the rest and be done with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question from the TEXAS TRIANGLE: "When you were at the '93 March, were you there with an organization?" Answer by MC: "Actually, I was there with ACT-UP, selling ACT-UP T-shirts, helping to prepare for ACT-UP demonstrations, and spreading the word about AIDS activism. That's how I initially got involved with queer activism."

see also website: For An Open Process
questioning if there should be a Millennium March


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