24 November 2003

Africa Action Co-Sponsors Mobilization Condemning Bush Administration’s Failures on HIV/AIDS

press release

Washington, DC — Activities planned in cities and campuses across the U.S. for World AIDS Day

Ahead of World AIDS Day, December 1, Africa Action today joined allied organizations and activists for a major mobilization in Washington, DC, to condemn the Bush Administration’s inaction on the HIV/AIDS crisis, domestically and globally. Protestors from around the country, many of them people living with HIV/AIDS, marched on the White House to denounce the Administration’s policies on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care.

Africa Action’s Executive Director, Salih Booker, said today: 'We are here at the White House to protest the broken promises and betrayals of the Bush Administration. The President promised action against HIV/AIDS in Africa and here in the U.S., but he lied. His Administration is blocking greater funding for HIV/AIDS, and its restrictive policies on prevention and treatment are undermining an effective response to this crisis.'

Booker continued, 'AIDS is the greatest threat to human security in the world today. It is devastating the African continent, and it is on the increase here in the U.S., especially in communities of color. But President Bush prefers to ignore those most affected by this crisis, spending $4 billion a month in Iraq while rejecting the $3 billion a year he promised for HIV/AIDS in Africa.'

Today’s mobilization was co-sponsored by ACT Up Philadelphia, ACT UP New York, Africa Action, Housing Works, Student Global AIDS Campaign, African Services Committee, Health GAP and others.

Today, Africa Action also re-released a set of talking points on the AIDS policies of the Bush Administration, entitled 'Broken Promises and Betrayals.' The talking points include quotes from the President promising leadership in the war on AIDS, and the facts about the reality of his Administration’s policies. They are available at: http://www.africaaction.org/action/brokenprom0309.htm

On December 1, World AIDS Day, Africa Action will join with local activists in 5 cities and on more than 20 college campuses across the U.S. in a range of activities to keep the pressure on President Bush to fulfill the $15 billion promise he made to Africa in his State of the Union address in January 2003.

These activities will include:

* Students on more than a dozen campuses across the country will take part in a Day of Silence, organized in partnership with Africa Action.

* Students on more than 20 campuses will take part in World AIDS Day activities and will collect thousands of Africa Action postcards, demanding that President Bush keep his promise to fight AIDS in Africa.

* Local activists in the Bay Area will stage a protest at the Federal Building, calling for action to fight AIDS.

* Activists in Houston will hold a press conference to announce support from civic leaders and local groups for an Africa’s Right to Health Resolution.

* Events in Boston, Detroit and Washington, DC will draw attention to the links between the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa, and the HIV/AIDS crisis in the U.S., which is disproportionately concentrated in communities of color.

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