On this weekend in 1987, 250 ACT UP members demonstrated at Wall Street & Broadway in NYC to demand greater access to experimental AIDS drugs & for a coordinated national policy to fight the plague. An Op/Ed article by Larry Kramer published in the NY Times the previous day described the issues ACT UP was concerned with. 17 ACT UP members were arrested during this civil disobedience.
A year later, in 1988, ACT UP returned to Wall Street for a larger demonstration in which over 100 people were arrested. Since its birth in March 1987 at the Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center in downtown Manhattan, the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power had grown to have thousands of members in more than 70 chapters in the USA & around the globe. ACT UP's non-violent direct action, using vocal demonstrations & dramatic acts of civil disobedience, focuses attention on the crucial issues of the AIDS crisis.
The small group of men & women of all races & classes, came together to change the world & save each other’s lives, planning & executing exhilarating major actions including Seize Control of the FDA, Stop the Church, & Day of Desperation, & other “zaps” and that forced the government and mainstream media to deal with the AIDS crisis. Shortly after that first demonstration 25 years ago, the Food & Drug Administration announced it will shorten its drug approval process by 2 years.