Here in New York, protesters from ACT UP, Africa Action, Global Access Project and other groups rallied outside a Democratic fundraiser last night featuring President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Police arrested eight protesters after they chained themselves together and disrupted traffic. The groups accused Obama of reneging on his campaign pledge to spend at least $50 billion by 2013 for the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Since taking office, Obama has shifted funding away from international AIDS programs at a time when the number of people infected with HIV continues to grow by a million a year. The United Nations now estimates there is a global shortfall of about $17 billion for controlling the epidemic.
Jennifer Flynn of Global Access Project: “We are here today to protest in front of this $15,000-per-person dinner hosted by President Obama to the fact that he’s gone — he’s broken his promise to fully fund the fight against global AIDS. In both of his budgets that he’s issued, he has consistently cut funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.”