As the next phase of AAN!’s ongoing Think Twice campaign, today we sent letters to the Ontario Crown Prosecutors who have brought forward HIV non-disclosure prosecutions, and to their bosses.
Crown Prosecutors, a.k.a. Crown Attorneys, play a pivotal role in our criminal justice system. They wield enormous power. They screen charges-deciding whether the charges that police laid should go ahead-based on the evidence and based on the “public interest”. And they get to decide what’s in the “public interest”. They decide what charges. How many. What evidence to call in court. How to characterize the case. What to say to the media about the case, and about the accused person. Crown Prosecutors have a responsibility to exercise this enormous state authority with great caution and restraint.
Crown Prosecutors have played a central role in the prosecution / persecution of people living with HIV, in Ontario and throughout Canada. For the most part, we have neither seen restraint nor caution. The Crown Prosecutors who have argued the cases, their Crown bosses, and the Attorney General are all public servants and are accountable to the public in some way, shape or form. We are again asking them to Think Twice about their role in HIV non-disclosure prosecutions, and about whether the public and justice are really being served by piling on charges (over-charging), going ahead with prosecutions where there is no real risk of HIV transmission, and vilifying people living with HIV in the media.
We have sent Ontario’s Attorney General, John Gerretsen, a cc of every letter. We’ll let you know when we hear back.
Community discussion on the past and present of AIDS ACTION NOW! in conjunction with a screening of the documentary ‘United in Anger: A History of ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power)’ from director: Jim Hubbard and producers: Jim Hubbard, Sarah Schulman.
Featuring a panel discussion and Q & A with past and present members of AIDS ACTION NOW! including Tim McCaskell, Zoe Dodd, Maggie Atkinson, Darien Taylor, Alex McClelland and Glen Brown.
FREE! In Jackman Hall @ the AGO 317 Dundas Street West
Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/384147544996381/
In honour of the Day With(out) Art 2012, AIDS ACTION NOW! is launching 8 new collaborative activist art works as part of the poster/VIRUS project.
The posters were developed collectively with artists and activists working to respond to HIV. They will be plastered across the streets Toronto during the month of November. The posters will simultaneously be launched on-line through our Facebook and Tumblr pages.
Come celebrate the launch with AIDS ACTION NOW! along with the artists, speakers and awesome performers. All to be announced soon!!!
After party at Cold Tea 60 Kensington Avenue starting at 9pm!
Posted in Action
Tagged Action, Criminalization, Day Without Art, events, Harm Reduction, Harper, Poster/virus, prisons, Sex Work, supreme court, Toronto
So our AAN! posts about the recent Supreme Court of Canada HIV non-dislcosure decisions have been wordy-as we try to think through, unpack, and “reason with” the (il)logic of the decisions. Forms of creation other than the written word can often serve to illuminate flawed logic and injustice, and do so in a powerful way. The history of AIDS activism is replete with funny, angry, heart-breaking, unsettling, beautiful and moving images and performance. So we thought we would let you know about a short video from Toronto graphic artist Raymond Helkio (@raymondhelkio). This short video is titled Henry Comes Knocking-check it out here.