With everything going on in both the US and abroad as this year draws to an end, I think ACT UP’s founding principles are just as important as they were back in 1987. ACT UP fought against the dehumanization of AIDS victims; they recognized that this dehumanization created inaction amongst many protest groups. We’ve seen this dehumanization in protests throughout 2016, though perhaps most significantly at Standing Rock. By changing the dialogue of ‘us versus them’ from ‘the people versus the corporations’ to ‘the nation versus native people’, inactivity spiked to ridiculous levels. Zero mainstream media coverage other than passing mentions, white individuals affected by the pipeline remaining silent while native people fought to preserve everyone’s water source; this dehumanization and resulting inaction continues today. ACT UP was right to insist on politicizing protests to create action. I understand why many analysis seem to feel ACT UP became an umbrella movement for solidarity movements that followed, as modern protests such as BLM and NODAPL certainly embrace politicized, peaceful protests as the best method for gaining results.
*Post for week eight