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by Kelly Cogswell

FEBRUARY 2, 2002. Five women and two men of ACT UP New York were arrested early Thursday morning while trying to display two massive banners, one from a roof in Lower Manhattan, another from an elevated pedestrian walkway in Midtown.

Their messages aimed at the World Economic Forum: "Bush & big biz agree that people with AIDS drop dead" and "WEF response to global AIDS, keep drug prices high, let workers die." They believe that corporations cashing in on cheap labor forces in poor countries should provide AIDS drugs for their HIV+ workers, and that the Bush Administration should shell out to the Global AIDS Fund.

Bush intends to cut the U.S. contribution to the Global AIDS Fund to only $200 million for 2003, even though the World Health Organization believes that $12 billion is needed to address AIDS, TB and malaria worldwide. "The airline bailout was $14 billion. Bush is sending $200 million to a Global Fund that requires billions," said ACT UP's John Bell.

If compassion for the 21 million dead and 36 million people living with HIV/AIDS isn't reason enough, Bush and his cronies should invest in AIDS treatment, prevention and research purely as a global security measure. James D. Wolfensohn, head of the World Bank, acknowledged last January that the AIDS epidemic is "more effective than war in destabilizing countries."

All of the activists were released by 4:30 a.m. Friday morning.

Related links:

For ACT UP New York.

For Complete Coverage New York City

For Complete Coverage Americas

For Complete Coverage Gay Mundo

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