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Friday, March 23, 2012

  • "How to Survive a Plague": As ACT UP Turns 25, New Film Chronicles History of AIDS Activism in U.S.

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    This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of ACT UP — the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power — an international direct action advocacy group formed by a coalition of activists outraged over the government’s mismanagement of the AIDS crisis. We speak with ACT UP founding member Peter Staley, one of the longest AIDS survivors in the country; and David France, director of the new documentary "How to Survive a Plague," which tells a remarkable history of AIDS activism and how it changed the country. "I’m alive because of that activism," Staley says of the triple drug therapy he was able to take. "This was a major victory this movie tells about getting these therapies. But that was only the beginning of the battle. Now we have these treatments that can keep people alive, and there are still two to three million dying every year. There are more dying now than when we actually got the therapies to save people. So it’s a huge failure of leadership internationally. And it shows a failure of our own healthcare system." [includes rush transcript]

  • Exclusive: OWS Activist Cecily McMillan Describes Seizure, Bodily Injuries in Arrest by NYPD

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    Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan suffered a seizure when New York City police officers pulled her from the crowd and arrested her as hundreds attempted to re-occupy Zuccotti Park on Saturday to mark six months since the launch of the movement. In her first interview since her arrest, McMillan says she has decided to speak out because of an outpouring of public support. "I have received so many emails and twitters and messages and phone calls, and people [are] just really horrified about what happened to me." McMillan has a black eye, and her body is covered in bruises, at least one in the shape of a handprint. She says she was not allowed to contact an attorney while she was taken to the hospital and transferred to a jail cell along with some of the 72 other detained protesters. Facing charges of police assault and obstructing governmental administration, she was released Monday after a judge denied a request that her bail be set at $20,000. McMillan is Northeast regional organizer for Young Democratic Socialists of America and a graduate student at the New School for Social Research. We’re also joined by Meghan Maurus, McMillan’s attorney and mass defense coordinator at the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. [includes rush transcript]

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