AIDS Group to Protest Free Trade Today in Washington, D.C.
AIDS activists, "angry about trade barriers to the distribution of new drugs," will likely hold a protest today in Washington, D.C., in opposition to free trade, the Washington Times reports. Protesters will "demand" that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick "oppose intellectual property rules that they say will make AIDS drugs more difficult to obtain in poor countries." A coalition of local AIDS activists, including students and union members, will join ACT UP/Philadelphia, the "largest" and "most boisterous chapter" of the AIDS group. About 1,000 people are expected to protest today at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and activists warn that "it won't be tame." Allison Dinsmore, an ACT UP member, said, "There might be civil disobedience. It will be colorful. We'll have smoke bombs and street theater." ACT UP will shuttle about 500 AIDS patients and activists to the city on buses. The free trade protest will coincide with several other protests today in the District, San Francisco and other cities targeting federal and financial institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Activists also have planned a similar protest in opposition to the Free Trade Area of the Americas trade summit in Quebec later this month (Drake, Washington Times, 4/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.