June 23 Stop Global AIDS Now march

Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 13:51:59 -0400 (EDT)

Dear All,

I write to inform you of a march and rally that will take place next month, on Saturday June 23 in New York City, demanding action to bring an end to the global AIDS crisis -- "Stop Global AIDS Now" is the theme. It has been scheduled for noon, and will take place in midtown Manhattan; its exact location is yet to be announced.
The action demanded will be threefold. One, the rally will call for billions of dollars from the wealthy nations. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed a global fund of $7-10 billion for AIDS (and other infectious diseases). It is critical that at the very least all of these funds are forthcoming. For even this amount is billions of dollars too low for a response that strikes at aspects of poverty (such as weak health systems) and of inequality (such as the status of women) that are at the root of the pandemic, and for a response that mitigates the destruction that the pandemic is causing.
Two, the rally will call on wealthy nations to ensure access to AIDS medication for people living with HIV/AIDS in poor countries. Treatment is necessary in and of itself -- to save the lives of the more than 36 million people who are already infected (3 million died last year) -- and because of its tight relationship with prevention. Three, the rally will call for the World Bank and the IMF to cancel debts of countries heavily affected by AIDS so that money can be freed to strengthen their national responses to AIDS.
For more information on the march and rally, see http://www.stopglobalaidsnow.org/. I will also send an e-mail nearer the time of the event to give you its location and confirm the time.
I would say that I hope to see you on June 23, but that I hope that the march and rally will be attended by so many people that for any two people to find each other will be all but impossible. Let those in power see the numbers of people who insist on action. If few people attend, those in power will be able to feel that much more secure in their policy of speaking strongly but acting weakly. But if many people attend, they will know that we see through their words to the wholly inadequate actions behind the words (for example, a pledge by the US of only $200 million so far for the global fund). They will know that when activists and ordinary citizens demand action, they are speaking with the voice of a nation.
Please share information on the march with friends, family, and colleagues, so that they too can make their voice heard. It is probably mainly through word of mouth and e-mail that news about this march will spread, so it would be a great help if you could pass on this information, even if you cannot attend yourself. Thank you.



"I have only dreams: to build a better world, a world of harmony and understanding, a world in which it is a joy to live. This is not asking for too much." -- Yitzhak Rabin

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