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AIDS activists organizing to tell drug companies:
People before profits!

by PRANAV JANI | June 22, 2001 | Page 14

NEW YORK--Activists are organizing a march and rally for June 23 to highlight the global AIDS crisis.

The demonstration will be part of New York City's Gay Pride Week, which means it will be all the more prominent.

The coalition of groups planning the event--which includes African Services Committee, Health GAP Coalition, ACT UP New York and Jubilee USA Network--shows the links being made, particularly between AIDS activists and anti-corporate globalization protesters.

Activists from all over the world will address the demonstration to describe how AIDS is still on the rampage--especially in poor countries, where the vast majority of new cases are now to be found.

The protest will mark the 20th anniversary of the first report of an AIDS case from the Centers for Disease Control.

And it will take place a few days before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly's Special Session on HIV/AIDS, to be held at UN headquarters in New York City.

Organizers want the demonstration to put pressure on wealthy nations like the U.S.--as well as international bodies like the UN, World Bank and International Monetary Fund--to take immediate action to stop the global spread of AIDS.

Three words highlight their demands: dollars, debt and drugs:

--The U.S. and other advanced countries should spend more on international projects to stop AIDS.

--These same countries should cancel the debts of poor countries, which drain valuable resources and weaken their health care systems.

--These countries should ensure that those living with HIV and AIDS have full access to life-saving drugs.

Let's tell the politicians and the drug companies that we won't let their profit-making agenda destroy the lives of people around the world.

The march will begin at 11 a.m. in Washington Square Park and proceed to Bryant Park, at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, for a 1:30 p.m. rally. For more information, call 212-208-4533, or see www.stopglobalaidsnow.org.

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