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The 11th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial
And Mobilization, Los Angeles May 22, 1994

Summer '94

Welcome to the world of AIDS! I'm Mary Lucey and I'm HIV infected.

We gather here tonight to collectively grieve over our individual losses. This is the eleventh year of an international expression of sorrow and rage. We are saturated day and night with the awareness of the plague and it's toll. The toll on the gay community can clearly be described as genocide! AIDS continues to take it's toll on women who have been dying in isolation since the beginning of the epidemic. As women, we come here tonight to bury our lovers, our husbands, our mothers, our sisters, our children, & our babies!

We are infuriated as we bury the first generation of People with AIDS: Our leaders, our activists, and our heroes. With them, we bury the hope that there would be a cure by now.

We want to remember all those who have died of AIDS: The women with AIDS who died fighting for disability benefits. Benefits that they never qualified for. We will remember the women with AIDS who marched to the Centers for Disease Control so that our illnesses could be treated. We will not forget our sisters with AIDS in institutions and prisons fighting for compassion and dying alone in their cells! And we will NOT rest in peace, until there's a cure.

The theme for the candlelight vigil in Washington D.C. is "Coming out of Darkness" (Well, It's about time!). President Clinton will display candles in the White House windows as they did during the Bush administration. It's the same fucking government with a different face.

The same government who knowingly infected 10 thousand hemophiliacs, is the same government that deliberately neglects the oppressed, the poor, and the sick. The same society that views substance addiction as a crime, when in fact it is a health issue, will always be the same society that sanctions the suffering of millions because a disease is linked to sex and drug use.

While President Clinton slowly comes out of the dark, we continue to be outraged over the fact that nearly 300,000 Americans have died in a plague which should not be occurring at all!

Special Thanks to Pomona Women's Center,
CRI-HELP, & Tarzana Treatment Center
For Helping To Make This Event A Huge Success!

We come together tonight to mobilize the AIDS community. If we are truly going to unite ALL people affected by AIDS, then we must cross over the lines of homophobia, addictaphobia, race, gender, economics, and HIV status. We cannot afford to become complacent about AIDS. It is our obligation!! It is our responsibility!! to continue the struggle, for ourselves and future generations destined to live with HIV and die of AIDS.

We have all been the subjects of hateful and ignorant acts of discrimination that fuel our anger, our rage, and our demand for a cure! We do not have the luxury of picking and choosing the subjects of our outrage! The rebellious spirit needs to be supported!! Only then, can we overcome the wounds of oppression and neglect.

Women with HIV and AIDS have learned from our gay brothers. They have taught us how to support and nurture each other, that we might some how cope with this most devastating and hideous disease. They have taught us how to live with vigor, determination, and purpose. And they have taught us how to die with dignity. But most importantly they have shown us how to Fight Back! We expect our fucking government to respond to our urgent need for action on a scale that only government can. Instead, we get a fucking postage stamp and a White House AIDS assistant who's an idiot!! While President Clinton lights a candle, our grief turns to rage and dares us to fight for the living. Our commitment is strong, but our strength means nothing if we act alone. We must take a united stance in demanding a cure for AIDS.

Every year, for the past ten years, the world has come together for this event. This is the first year that our community has clearly demonstrated a visible link between drug addiction and AIDS! This is also the FIRST year that women have been in the forefront of this event! And as the world watches, women with AIDS are coming from the shadows. Invisible, NO MORE! Silent, NO MORE!!

We will no longer suffer in silence. We will no longer die quietly, and we will no longer die alone. We will unite and move forward. We will raise our voices and continue the fight, because we must! Hear us loud and clear, women have come forth to carry the banner! We have come forth to fight for our lives!

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This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.