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What AIDS Activists Can Teach Us About The Covid Pandemic

While health advocacy organizations have urged the federal government to learn from the HIV/AIDS crisis to more effectively respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, both within America and abroad, many HIV/AIDS organizers argue that the government has now failed twice in its responsibility to the nation’s — and the world’s — most vulnerable people.

HIV Prison Activists Are Leading A Freedom Movement

When AIDS hit prisons and jails in the 1980s, incarcerated people organized. They developed peer education programs to counter stigma and slow transmission, established buddy programs to provide mutual support, led hunger and medication strikes to challenge medical neglect, and worked with outside supporters to file class-action lawsuits and to win compassionate release. The Prisoner Education Project on AIDS and AIDS Counseling and Education in New York state prisons, and similar projects in federal lockup became the best known among hundreds of efforts behind bars. Rusti Miller-Hill, a formerly incarcerated woman living with HIV, said of her emergence as an HIV activist in jail: “I needed to live, and that was my way of fighting.”

Trump Admin Fires White House HIV Council Members

President Donald Trump’s Administration has terminated all members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). GPB has learned that members of the council were notified yesterday in writing about the decision and were advised their dismissals were effective immediately. The firings came with no warning.  As many as 12 people may have been let go. “It is a dangerous thing when the administration is eliminating people whose views are based in science and community experience,” HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal in an interview with GPB. News of the terminations comes after the Trump administration prohibited officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.

Newsletter: Billionaires Fear Revolt As People Power Grows

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Last week there was a populist revolt from across the political spectrum. Congress received tens of thousands of phone calls every day from people who are clear which side they are on: they want people and planet before profits; they want an open, transparent democracy not a secretive oligarchy. The campaign to stop Fast Track for corporate trade agreements like the TPP is a clarifying moment. It is democracy vs. oligarchs making decisions for us. It is transparency vs. secret law. It is the people vs. big business. It is a mobilized people vs. big money. These are the issues that unite people into a movement of movements. These are conflicts that let us know who is on the side of the people.
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