Queers building 'AIDS care not warfare' movement

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Activists from Sydney-based Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) went to Melbourne to form a queer bloc for the November 18-19 G20 protests. The bloc called for money for AIDS care not war.

Queer identifying people conducted a banner drop from a third storey balcony opposite the state library. The large banner had four demands — free AIDS and health care not military spending, decriminalisation of sex work, same-sex education and an end to homophobic laws.

The bloc at helped mark the struggle to combat homophobia in the lead-up to planned APEC protests in Sydney in 2007, which queer activists will be mobilising for.

"It was a great awareness-raising exercise", said Rachel Evans, the National Union of Students' female queer officer. "It was a wake up call to the G20 from the queers to solve the AIDS crisis now. Nine out of 10 HIV sufferers don't have access to HIV drugs in South Africa. Without these drugs, HIV sufferers have a life span of two to five years."

Simon Biber, co-convenor of CAAH, said that "With the continued increase in the worlds AIDS epidemic CAAH will continue to be involved in the struggle of AIDS care to show the world we care!"

"Somehow the issue of AIDS-care talk is clinical", said Sayuri member of CAAH. "We can't talk about it socially because it's a bit embarrassing. You can't talk about it like you would cancer and I think we need to make it more open. The more we talk about it the more we de-stigmatise it, as the majority get it from sexually related activities ..."

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Comments

Dear Green left

I am the original author of this Green Left article. AIDScare was an issue that we addressed because the G20 leaders were not addressing the issue who preferred to make plans of war instead of plans of worldwide AIDScare, climate change action, marriage Equality and other social justice issues.

 Publishing the names of original authors of Green Left Articles unites Queers building AIDScare not warfare movements.  

It was the G20 protests and I love a good banner drop with comrades from city landmarks. At the time I was the elected Community Action Against Homophobia Sydney secretary, an elected cross campus UWS Student Association queer officer, an elected DSP provisional member, an elected Socialist Alliance western sydney exec member, an elected western sydney Resistance exec member.

 I had proposed the idea of painting a huge banner to CAAH Sydney as part of our queer bloc to drop off a city landmark and I knew how to get in because I had slept on the streets of Melbourne between 1996 and 1999 and dreamed of the day of dropping a banner we had made with comrades at a big protest to change the world. 

The road trip to Melbourne had been filled with excitement of the coming G20 protests. We all talked politics about the protest. Some doubting thomas's had initially doubted we could do it but when I showed Farida, Rachel, CAAH Sydney comrades, UWS Queer comrades, Resistance comrades, DSP comrades, Socialist Alliance comrades, Green Left comrades  the way in everyone got excited about the banner drop even Rachel Evans and Farida Iqbal and Simon biber and little Sayuri.

I remember the night before I couldn't sleep and went over the plans again. Everything was perfect and ready to go. At ​the start of the rally the speaker announced us and we dropped it and we all said our speech we had written and the crowd chanted a liberation cry with us and that launched the G20 protest. No CAAH Sydney comrade was arrested because there was no shortage of people who supported all the little forgotten voices of people who had died from AIDS and war who for too long had been silenced. I remember that night after the G20 protests and after you published my green left article I slept like I hadn't slept in years because that was the day comrades began to believe I didn't do this for hats I did this to give my people a voice because HIV/AIDS sufferers, victims of war, lgbtipqsdga+ people, liberation theologians, forgotten Australians, the disabled, the elderly, the poor, the third world, refugees, stolen generation we didn't have a voice and had been treated invisible for too long. That's why printing the names of the original authors of green left is so important. It speaks truth to power, wins hearts, ends wars, inspires global aidscare, marriage equality, unites queers, gives the forgotten a voice and liberates the people on the road to rainbow liberation. 

​God bless and love in struggle comrade shelly+