The Treatment Action Campaign has had an impressive, worldwide response to a call for an international day of action against “pharmaceutical company profiteering at the expense of the lives of people with HIV/AIDS”. From Brail to Australia and Paris to Vancouver, activists will gather today in solidarity.
Today (Monday), activist groups around the world will hold protest actions to denounce the litigation being pursued by the pharmaceutical companies against the South African government.
Protests will also take place demanding that the US government drop its complaint against Brazil at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“We are encouraged and touched by the overwhelming response to TAC’s call for an international day of action,” said an elated Nathan Geffen, TAC spokesperson.
Protest action started last night (Sunday) with an all-night vigil organised by Cosatu and the TAC outside the Pretoria high court. Pickets are planned outside the high court for the duration of the week-long court case.
The following protests are set to take place on Monday, March 5:
Australia (February 17 to March 5): Gathering of signatures for open letter to Glaxo SmithKline;
Sydney (March 3): Global Treatments Access Network (Aust) to participate in the procession at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.
Brazil: Activists will use the international day of action to launch a campaign to make Brazilians aware of the court case against the South African government and the US complaint against Brazil at the WTO.
Canada (Toronto): Protest outside US Consulate by the Canadian Treatment Advocates Council and AIDS Action Now!
Canada (Vancouver): Protest outside the World Trade Centre against the USA government using the WTO to protect pharmaceutical company profits and the PMA lawsuit against South Africa.
France (Paris): ACT-UP Paris is organising an action in the financial district.
Germany: Activists will send open letters to the government asking for support for South Africa in the court case. Activists will also ask German companies involved to withdraw from the court case.
Italy (Rome): 1 March, 2001: Activists are organising a postcard campaign against TRIPS. The postcards will be delivered to the Italian Prime Minister.
Philipines (Manila): Gay and health activists will picket outside the Department of Health in support of TAC and against Drug Company profiteering.
Thailand (Bangkok): Gathering outside the SA embassy to express solidarity with the South African government in the court case.
In the United Kingdom protests have been organised in Birmingham, Manchester, Norwich, Glasgow, Leeds and Edinburgh. Activists will also target the GlaxoSmithKline plants in Crawley and Kent
In London a picket will take place outside the GlaxoSmithKline UK office in West London.
In the United States activists are planning to meet outside the Bayer plant in Berkeley, California under the slogan ‘ “Stop medical apartheid”.
In Boston a rally will call on Massachusetts state and federal representatives to take a stand
on the issue of affordable AIDS drugs for Africa; on pharmaceutical companies to drop their lawsuit against affordable medications in South Africa; on the U.S. government to drop WTO complaint against Brazil.
Midtown Manhattan in New York City will host a rally and march to the GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol Myers Squibb offices.
In Philadelphia activists will target the Glaxo headquarters before demonstrating outside the White House in Washington.
In South Africa there will be pickets outside the US Consulates in Cape Town and Durban as well as outside the Pretoria High Court. Activists will also march to the US Consulate in Pretoria in the afternoon.