AIDS Activists Arrested for Defacing South Africa's Pharmaceutical Headquarters
April 23, 2003
South African police arrested 53 AIDS activists Tuesday for staging an illegal march and spray painting the offices of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, which represents the nation's pharmaceutical companies. As a part of their "Black Easter" campaign, members of the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS said they are demanding that drug companies subsidize or donate AIDS medicines and are targeting the offices of PMA as a part of their protest. Police spokesperson Eugene Opperman said those arrested, all members of the group, will be charged with malicious damage to property, organizing an illegal gathering and trespassing. However, organizers of the protest remain defiant. "If the [drug companies] do not respond positively to our demands [we] will intensify the struggle and put pressure on the pharmaceutical companies by involving our communities in consumer boycotts and forcefully entering all the premises of pharmaceutical companies," group leader Thanduxolo Doro said.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.