Collection of Promotional Materials from ACT UP.

Collection of Promotional Materials from ACT UP.

New York: AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, 1990. All but one item measures 11” x 8½”. Five fliers, a form letter from Heritage of Pride, Inc., and three leaves (six pages), stapled, of the minutes from an ACT UP meeting. Very good plus to near fine with some toning at extremities.

According to its website, AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP), “is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis.” It was started in 1987 after Larry Kramer, a co-founder of the Gay Men's Health Crisis who resigned from their board in 1983, inspired attendees at a talk he gave in New York City's Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center. He decried the political impotence of GMHC and asked his audience if they wanted to start a new organization. Around 300 people gathered two days later to form ACT UP in response to that talk. Using the “Silence = Death” poster with a pink triangle, the slogan and emblem eventually became associated with the group's campaign against AIDS.

These early fliers were strongly worded, such as one urging citizens to remove stickers emblazoned with racist and homophobic epithets that were appearing around the city. Another promoted a march to the Board of Education for a demonstration in response to their opposition to HIV and AIDS education in schools. One particularly interesting piece was a typed statement on Heritage of Pride letterhead directed to ACT UP members. It was a formal request that ACT UP not disrupt the upcoming proclamation ceremony at which Stonewall Place would be officially dedicated. It asked that members refrain from exhibiting the disruptive behavior that had been seen in the previous year, when they not only shouted down the Mayor, but in their exuberance, also spoiled the speeches given by members of Heritage of Pride. HOP encouraged ACT UP to continue their energetic tactics, but to come together at this event in unity and understanding. We do not know if ACT UP was able to comply with this request.

An interesting collection from a radical AIDS group. Nothing similar on OCLC; other ACT Up fliers from chapters outside New York presently available in the trade. Very good +. Item #2637

Price: $375.00

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