25 years ago, queer activist network ACT UP redefined AIDS, changed politics, and saved lives. Can the rebooted ACT UP/SF mobilize a new generation?
"Occupy was a blip on the everyday gay person's radar screen — and the police response to it was enormously more brutal and scary than when we protested in the '90s and police usually worked with us," he said. "But honestly, most gay people now are happy to see their president onscreen saying the word 'gay' before the word 'marriage' and that's good enough for them."
Soehnlein also has thoughts about why ACT UP may be resonating again. "There's been talk about AIDS PTSD, and it really was a war. ACT UP felt like the only thing you could do to stay sane. Many people had to shut themselves off from that time in order to move on, and activism may be included in that.
"But 20, 25 years is a long time. It could just be a matter of waking people back up."
ACT UP/SF meets at 7pm every first, third, and fifth Thursday — including Thu/21 at Alley Cat Books, 3036 24th St., SF. www.facebook.com/ACTUPSF
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