Washington, DC. Nov. 3 — Over 150 residents, students, professionals, and HIV/AIDS activists took to the streets of Southeast D.C., where the rates of poverty and HIV/AIDS are soaring. 150 CHALLENGEs were taken from PLPers by marchers and people in the neighborhood during the event. PLPers argued for communist revolution to smash the capitalist system that has turned AIDS into a worldwide genocidal epidemic.
The chants and signs in today’s march attracted support from residents: “When people with AIDS are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” “Racism means, Fight back!” “Jobs yes, Prison no, HIV has got to go!” Many speakers talked about their experiences with drugs and HIV, calling on the group to end the silence. A PLP speaker identified capitalism as the source of the HIV/AIDS epidemic because it places profit over workers’ lives.
The march and meeting was organized by the Disparities Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association (MWPHA) and by DC Fights Back. Some communist issues, like the battle for state power, the fight against racist police brutality, and the way that capitalist-induced poverty makes diseases ever more deadly for the working class have been discussed in previous Disparities Committee meetings. Other participants in today’s action included the national organizer for the Campaign to End Aids (C2EA) who helped lead the rally, RAP, Inc. (Regional Addition Prevention, Inc.), George Washington University students who led the “Save Lives, Free the Condoms” chant to protest CVS’s racist policy of locking up condoms in drugstores in black neighborhoods, and students from the Drug Treatment on Demand group who led the chant, “Treat it to Defeat It” referring to the need for universally available substance abuse treatment. Some members the Young Black Public Health Professional Network and other attendees at the national convention of American Public Health Association joined the march as well.
After the march, participants gathered at a library for a speak-out and food, where they discussed strategies to move the struggle to the next level, including fighting for more affordable housing and long term rehabilitation with jobs and housing.
PLP supports and participates in all these struggles showing that as long as there is capitalismo, the working class and its allies will continue to suffer epidemics, racism and mass poverty, particularly more now in this age of endless wars and economic crisis. In the long run, the best way to fight these evils is rooting out its cause: capitalism. Join the PLP to make sure this happens sooner than later!ng class oppression.