AIDS 2012 Update: We Can End AIDS March and Rally
By Candace Y.A. Montague
July 18, 2012
The second march of this conference will be the We Can End AIDS mobilization. On Tuesday, July 24th, not one but five separate marches will occur simultaneously and converge onto Lafayette Park in front of the White House. The theme is "Occupy the Roots of HIV". Organizers are calling for policy makers to use the resources and tools available to end the epidemic, not treat it. Fliers for the march describe the mobilization in this manner "We will take the streets exposing the flow of money that funds harmful policies and legislators. Powerful, non-violent, and creative activities will lead all the issue focused actions to a major convergence and action at the power center where the White House, Treasury Department and the National Chamber of Commerce sit at the intersection of the barriers to ending AIDS."
Lead organizer Jennifer Flynn Walker, from Health GAP, explained more about the march and its purpose in an interview.
I mentioned that we are bringing both people AND money. Well, obviously we don't have access to billions of dollars, but we are willing to put in what we can. Thousands of us will pull dollar bills from our pockets. Dollars that mean a lot to us. Maybe the difference if we eat a meal or not. We will tie a red ribbon to those dollars and toss them over the fence to the White House. We are giving our President a down payment on ending AIDS. We know that he will follow up with real leadership. We hope that other world leaders follow suit. In 30 years, we will all be able to stand tall and say, "There was a horrible disease that was spread by racism and homophobia. I did everything I could to end it. I educated, I prayed, I hoped, I marched, I gave my money even when I didn't have any and now it is no more." We will be heroes.
Be sure to check out DC Go Go band Living Proof Movement at the Plaza prior to the march on July 24th at 7th & Pennsylvania Avenue (right at the Archives Metro Station) from 11 am to 12 pm.
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Candace Y.A. Montague
Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.
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