Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Kramer calls for ‘ACT UP Army’

In a lengthy speech given March 13 in New York City, author Larry Kramer, a co-founder of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, both mourned what he called the demise of the radical protest group, and called for a revived version of it, an “ACT UP Army.” Days, later, a protest was formed.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of ACT UP. A commemorative march and exhibit are planned at Manhattan’s LGBT Community Center.

Days after Kramer’s speech (video here), a blog, Queer Justice League, was created by ACT UP members, which provides updates on ideas for – and information about – protests. Among the first was a demonstration at a Times Square military recruitment center today (March 15), to protest Gen. Peter Pace’s statements calling homosexuals “immoral.”

New York magazine reported that even former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey planned to join the protests, and he did, along with National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman.

Blogger Joe.My.God (who did the first interview with then-freshly outed gay porn performer/Marine Matt Sanchez), has photos from the protest. Rainbow flag creator (and former San Franciscan) Gilbert Baker also participated.

Locally, Gay Shame will have an “AIDS Eviction Realtors Die-In” on March 29 to protest Ellis Act evictions of PWAs. Although the Web site mentions “the newly formed ACT UP Bay Area,” this does not include ACT UP SF, according to activist Michael Petrelis, a former member of ACT UP New York. Petrelis said he will post updates on his blog, Petrelis Files.

With military officials, TV actors, Ann Coulter, and even Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor making anti-gay statements, perhaps critical mass has been reached.

(Full disclosure: As a former member of ACT UP New York, I’m wondering if there’ll be a draft.)

— Jim Provenzano, March 15, 2007 @ 1:10 pm PST
Filed under: News,Politics

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