Stop the CN Tower from "Lighting it Up Blue" and go Red Instead!
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Every year, on April 2nd, people around the globe celebrate Autism Awareness Day by sporting the colour blue. This is an initiative entitled "Light it Up Blue," a campaign run by Autism Speaks. Popular monuments such as Christ the Redeemer, the Rockafeller Center, and Toronto's very own CN Tower will be illuminated by the colour blue in support of this campaign, which to many, may seem like a good thing. But to autistic people, it's a scary reality and a reminder of the harm caused by the Autism Speaks organisation.
Autism Speaks, affectionately referred to as Autism $peaks within the autism community, is a "charitable organisation" that not only does very little to support autistic people, but does far more to abuse, bully, and demean them instead. From their support of electroshock therapy, to their sympathizing with parents who murder their autistic children, to their research into the "prevention" and "cure" for autism, Autism Speaks has a long track record of doing more harm than good. With only 4% of their budget going towards funding services and programs that (might) benefit autistics, the rest of their funds go into fear-mongering tactics that dehumanize autistic people and harm them in a plethora of ways.
Yet, every year, on Autism Awareness Day, millions of dollars are donated to this retched organization, largely due to it being the largest and most recognizable Autism organization on the planet. However, the widespread celebration of "Light it Up Blue" is a major contributor. Many donations from well-meaning people slip into the pockets of greedy and ableist businessmen and are stolen from autistic people in need because of a simple lack of awareness on the issue.
For years now, autistic people globally have rejected the Light it Up Blue campaign and have adorned "Red Instead." This movement spreads awareness of the autism community's avid distain for Autism Speaks, and shifts the focus of Autism Awareness Day towards something more positive - celebrating and uplifting the voices of real autistic people, meeting their needs, and demanding acceptance that is based on genuine understanding.
This petition aims to have the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, light up red instead of blue on April 2nd. This will help spread awareness and stop glorifying an organization that has caused so much harm in the autism community. It is important that true allyship is rooted in ensuring the comfort and well-being of actual autistic people, which is what lighting the CN Tower up with red instead will represent.
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