World AIDS Day 2010

Desmond Tutu pushed for it. Bono advocated for it. And just today George W. Bush wrote in the Washington Post that it’s a good idea. Who else do we need to come out and demand for more global AIDS funding?

Today countless number of activists around the world took the streets to sound the call for more global AIDS funding. The front page of the New York Times reported on a growing activism movement led by students. “‘Theirs is not a first-person commitment, in the sense that none of them is living with H.I.V.,’ Mr. Gonsalves said of the new AIDS protesters. ‘It’s all based out of a sense of solidarity and social justice. I used to wonder where the next generation would come from. They’re here.'” (You can check out footage of activists that the NYT is referring to here)

Among the events organized by these activists included a rally and candlelight vigil in Boston. More than 100 of us from Harvard, BU, Tufts, Wellesley, MIT, Brandeis, Yale, and community organizations around the Boston area gathered in Boston Common for World AIDS Day. The night included an acapella performance, spoken word, several speeches, and a moving performance of a mother holding her dead baby who died of AIDS. Braving the rain and sipping on hot chocolate, we huddled close, each holding a lit candle. The night was capped off with a march to Senator John Kerry and Senator Scott Brown’s office to hand off notes that each one of us had written about the importance of this day and the need for more global AIDS funding.

World AIDS Day is just the beginning. It’s a good first step, but we need to ride this wave and momentum to ensure that, in President Obama’s words, we “confront and defeat this disease once and for all.” I have included here raw footage of tonight’s speeches and rally in front of Senator John Kerry’s office building. I had a great time seeing so many people come out and really feel like all of this can and will make a difference.

***

Speech given by Dr. Patrick Lee, Medical Director of Tiyatien Health and Professor of Harvard Medical School (sorry I didn’t get the entire thing!).

Speech given by AIDS activist Gregg Gonsalves (yes, the one featured in the NYT).

Rally in front of Senator John Kerry’s office building.

Rumbi doing her thing, getting people fired up as usual.

Rally love. Awww =)

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