US Attorney: Don't Unfairly Prosecute AIDS Activists
  • Petitioned Ronald Machen

This petition was delivered to:

US Attorney for Washington, DC
Ronald Machen

US Attorney: Don't Unfairly Prosecute AIDS Activists

    1. Petition by

      T R Corcoran

      NY

On April 11th a group of activists was arrested protesting Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s plans to slash AIDS funding and ban the funding of needle exchange in the District of Columbia.   That same day the Mayor of Washington, DC and several members of the City Council were also arrested in a separate demonstration protesting these same policy “riders” in the Republican budget.  But they received very different treatment—the Mayor and friends were released with a $50 fines. Instead, the AIDS activists are being prosecuted by President Obama's US Attorney on charges that could carry up to 6 months in jail!

Court documents allege they did nothing more than sit down near Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office and refuse to stop chanting. But now these activists are being unfairly prosecuted and required to submit to drug tests--a policy that unfairly impacts people living with AIDS and other diseases.

Antonio Davis was one of the demonstrators. He is living with HIV and knows what it would mean to cut millions from AIDS treatment programs and ban needle exchange. Antonio has no criminal record and is an outstanding leader of his community. He’s also been facing a lot of health challenges stemming from HIV—has had recent surgery and is on heavy-duty medication that includes the use of marijuana under a doctors order.  Because of this, though, the US Attorney is barring him from the regular “diversion” program and is taking him to trial!

This decision is out of the hands of the judge and lies with Obama’s US Attorney for DC—Ron Machen.

TELL THE US ATTORNEY: Drop the Charges and end the policy of demanding drug testing for non-violent activists!

Check out some media:

The Huffington Post: HIV/AIDS Activists Complain Of Unfair Treatment By U.S. Attorney's Office

DCist: AIDS Activist Faces Trial After Use of Medical Marijuana Sinks Hopes for Dismissal of Charges

POZ Magazine: U.S. Attorney Requires Drug Tests for AIDS Protesters

The Hill: AIDS activists allege discriminatory treatment following Capitol arrest

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    1. Reached 250 signatures

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    • John Speer PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • over 2 years ago

      Two different people, two different policies. The rich, famous or politicians get off with a slap on the wrist, the true community activists get the book thrown at them. This is not justice, it is favoritism, and wrong.

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    • Peter Teolis SPRINGFIELD, MA
      • over 2 years ago

      I have cancer of the bladder as well a AIDS, and marijuana is an appetite stimulant and using it relaxes me.

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    • Ron Ellington SEATTLE, WA
      • over 2 years ago

      Civil protest is our right in this country and there is absolutely no correlation between what a person chooses to injest and the right to protest! Where does this end? Will the government be testing for alcohol or caffine and use a positive result to incrementally increase punishment? This is an outrage!

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    • Katiria DeCastro FALL RIVER, MA
      • over 2 years ago

      Very unfortunate and unfair! It seems to be these people need to educate them selves more about HIV/AIDS, Prevention and everything pertaining. Hopefully everything turns okay at the end. Justice!

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    • Robert Jenkins HARVEY, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      Common sense is not all that common in today's world. Despite this, I support every American citizen & every global child of true democracy's right to protest and seek redress of grievances. Even those that I do not agree with, have an inalienable right to and for redress of their grievances.

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