Friday, July 31, 2009

Silent Public Protest

We went to a protest outside of the Jobs & Family Services building downtown to express concern over the county's tardiness in releasing federal funds earmarked to benefit HIV/AIDS patients with a housing stipend. The money has been late every year for a decade. This year, the money had still not been released after 5 months and the clients of AIDS Taskforce, who issues the money, were facing evictions and homelessness.

The AIDS Taskforce organizers had lined the sidewalk with giant cardboard boxes with eviction notices attached. The visual representation was jarring for most people. As the building has a constant stream of employees and clients entering and exiting, many many folks stopped to ask what was going on and get a flier. In the time we were there, two separate people contacted or promised to contact their colleagues to ensure that movement was made.
By the end of the week (the protest was Monday), I received notice that AIDS Taskforce had received checks and begun to issue the funds to the landlords threatening their clients with eviction. For folks already engaged in tremendous struggle to have to deal with added fear and worry due solely to the inadequacies of bureaucracy is disheartening and depressing, though I'm sure not at all uncommon.

So our action worked! Plus the kids got to play in a box.

1 comment:

sunnymama said...

How great that your action had good results! The cardboard box does look fun to play in too :)