[The 90’s raw: ACT-UP rally in San Francisco]

Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. At a unity rally for ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power), an AIDS activist group, during the 6th Annual International AIDS Conference.

00:00Copy video clip URL The tape opens on a group of protests in San Francisco, and videomaker Starr Sutherland explains: “Here at United Nations Plaza… the 6th Annual International AIDS conference… The big protest march, and we only have a few hundred people… Maybe it’ll pick up later.” Then the tape cuts, and there are indeed more people than before. Protesters mingle, waiting for the march to begin. People have large signs opposing the Vatican, that say “AIDS Bigotry” over pictures of the pope. The protesters are dressed as nuns. The sticker on someone’s jacket says, “The government has blood on their hands.” Another sign says, “Saint Harvey Milk.”

10:32Copy video clip URL Sutherland shows us the press truck, and notes that there are no other people with Hi-8 cameras. A man announces where the press truck will be moving.

12:41Copy video clip URL The tape cuts and more people mingle before the rally begins a couple of minutes later. Sutherland is standing among the press. Sutherland watches a man who appears to be washing his clothing in a fountain. He pans, and protesters are beginning to march. There are very few counter protesters. Sutherland tapes a woman speaking into a microphone for another camera, and explaining the march. There is a lot of noise from the fountain.

20:48Copy video clip URL Sutherland talks to a merchant selling electronics on the street, who lists brands. “Best deal in town. Rich man’s service at a poor man’s price.”

21:57Copy video clip URL The front of the march says, “HIV/AIDS March United Call to Action,” and people shout slogans such as, “We’re all in this together. Action equals life.” Some street musicians are performing nearby, and police are parked on bikes. There is a man with a sign that says “No Unlawful Sex,” that opposes sex outside of marriage.

25:12Copy video clip URL The camera cuts to the interior of the San Francisco Centre Shopping Mall, where the protesters have stormed inside. Flyers fall from the top of atrium, as people take stairs and escalators up the multi-level structure. They post a large banner that calls the Nordstrom department store a “Corporate Criminal,” and reads, “Silence = Death.” Sutherland shows us that many of the stores have closed their doors to the mass of people now inside. Someone comes on a loudspeaker to explain that the protesters are angry over Nordstrom’s use of images of the AIDS Quilt in advertising or promotional material. In the mall, the protest chant changes to “Shame!”

33:10Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to outside, where people say, “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re not going shopping!” We see a large skeleton puppet, and people doing newscasts. People chant, “What do we want? Money for AIDS! When do we want it? NOW!” Sutherland stands and watches as protesters march past him. One large sign says “NO Anti-Gay Fascist USA.”

40:53Copy video clip URL Sutherland stands on a stage outside looking out at where the protesters have gathered. An a capella group begins to sing. Sutherland looks at the singers and the crowd watching. Sutherland finds Meredith Duhamel in the crowd (who he interviewed about AIDS on another tape), and looks at a group of speakers for the conference, who all sport red armbands.

49:06Copy video clip URL The tape cuts, and the group of speakers walks onstage, and someone states the mission of the movement. The tape cuts to the speakers, one by one, giving their names and professions, organizations or experience with AIDS, and saying “I support the six principles.” Other speakers reinforce this message, giving speeches about what needs to be done. “We will not be satisfied, we will not stop, until we have conquered AIDS, discrimination, prejudice, fear from this world.” They criticize corporations and insurance companies who profit from AIDS, or deny coverage to those infected.

01:03:22Copy video clip URL The tape cuts as Sutherland wanders through the crowd while more speakers talk. People seem to be leaving the rally, though many still stay and listen. The tape includes short clips of some of the remaining speakers. Sutherland tapes other people taping, and seems to be interested in their cameras.

01:10:03Copy video clip URL The speeches have ended, and an activist reads the six principles of the ACT UP unity rally: “The nations of the world must: 1. Make effective AIDS treatment accessible to the millions of people now being denied them by the government red tape, insurance company greed, and pharmaceutical profiteering; 2. Guarantee the civil and human rights of all people living with HIV infection; 3. Provide universal, quality health care to all people– health care is a right, not a privilege; 4. Fund mass increases in research on all potential treatments for AIDS and all other life-threatening diseases; 5. Direct immediate disaster relief to the areas hardest hit by HIV throughout the world; 6. End racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, able-ism, and discrimination based on national origin and immigration status, which has sabotaged the fight against AIDS.” Sutherland asks her to clarify able-ism, but it isn’t really clear from her explanation what it is.

01:12:17Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to an indoor rain fountain for the last minute or so of tape.

01:13:14Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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