Obama/Nutter: We insist, end the waiting lists!

Our action outside (and inside!) Obama's fundraiser got a lot of attention from the media. Besides a rowdy march from City Hall to the Bellevue (where Obama was fundraising), ACT UP Philadelphia had five people inside disrupting the President's speech. Why? Because Obama promised us that he would insure universal access to AIDS treatment. But he hasn't kept his promise - 8,000 are on waiting lists in the US, and another 9-10 million desperately need but cannot get life-saving treatment around the world. We can end AIDS, if Obama keeps his promise!

We also called attention to our Mayor's failure to address the growing crisis of housing for people with HIV. It's shameful that people with AIDS are warehoused in shelters or left to die on the streets, rather than get housing that can save their lives and reduce HIV rates in the city as a whole.

AP via Washington Post - "Once inside, Obama was interrupted by at least two activists holding up paper signs calling for more AIDs drugs for victims of the disease. “Obama: AIDs drugs 4 6 million people worldwide.” Obama watched impassively as other supporters drowned the activists out and snatched the signs from their hands. Obama has encountered AIDs protesters before, including a fundraiser in Miami earlier this month."

CNN - "But the crowd wasn't entirely supportive. At one point, the president was interrupted by a small gathering of protesters, critical of the president over the issue of AIDS."

ABC News - "His speech was punctuated twice by hecklers, including some AIDS activists who have now made it a practice to interrupt Obama’s campaign events."

Philly Inquirer -

Philly Inquirer Photos (flip over to photo 11 and 29)

Metro Philly

PoliticsPA - "The event was interrupted briefly by a handful of demonstrators from ACT UP Philadelphia, a group dedicated to fighting AIDS. “President Obama! We love you! But please keep your promise to spend $15 billion fighting AIDS,” one man yelled."

City Paper - "AIDS activists ACT UP Philly will be rallying against Obama, who is coming to Philly to fundraise, due to anticipated cuts in HIV/AIDS funding. (The group will also be protesting against Mayor Michael Nutter — who is expected to join Obama at a fundraiser at the Hyatt at the Bellevue — to demand funding for housing for people with AIDS.)"

Finally, some photos from the protest, by ACT UP member Kaytee Riek.