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Author Topic: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson  (Read 12458 times)

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Offline Andy Velez

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Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« on: April 27, 2007, 08:27:36 am »
Dear All,

Last night 12 of us went out to Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn where Abbott spokesperson, Magic Johnson, was making an appearance for the drug company. It was such a disgusting and shameless hype show for the drug company that any reservations any among us had about doing the zap quickly vanished. Our theme for the evening as we stood silently holding signs was requesting his help with getting Kaletra for people with AIDS in Thailand.

Some of you may know Abbott has refused to lower the price there for Kaletra. The Thai government is attempting to get a generic form of the drug. In retaliation Abbott has withdrawn Kaletra and 6 other important (non-HIV) meds from the market. It's all about $$$$$$$$$$$$.

Actions were done in other American cities as well as internationally yesterday in support of this issue.

This is a release which one of those who participated last night has released and I thought you would appreciate it. It was a great bunch of people. After we were booted out and "escorted" off the college grounds by several police, I gave out flyers to people as they were leaving later. To my happy surprise they were very receptive. One of the several nurses in the audience, (they were in uniform as they are graduating students of the school's program), took a flyer and said, "Thailand is not the only place that can't get the drugs."

It was great to hear that not everyone in the audience was buying the stuff Abbott & Magic were shoveling out on that stage last night.   

Here's Aaron's e to us and press release:

First, you guys rock.  it was a courageous and strong action in there.   
below is more of my account for what happened after you all were so rudely
booted out.

here's how shanti avirgan noted magic's comments during the protest:

"I hear you, thanks for being here.  I'm on top of it.  I already spoke to
them.  There's some situation in Thailand but that's OK.  We got to deal
with what's happening in Brooklyn."
(although she advises that it is not a perfect transcript by any means)

at which point i do remember a significant amount of applause and the event
flowing back to his talk.  folks in the audience were definitely accepting
of the flyers though.  i even saw one person hold one of our flyers up to
him a few minutes later while he was strolling back and forth in the aisles.
  he ignored it.

there was a brief Q/A time where marce and i raised our hands energentically
but never got called on.  one little kid did ask magic how he got HIV though
which was a crowd-pleaser.  immediately after the event, marce and i went
down to the front.  i offered a fact sheet to magic saying, "we need your
leadership".   he grunted back, "hand it to him" (his big bouncer dude) and
walked away.  the bouncer took it and put it on the stage so i gave it to
someone else in the entourage.  who knows if magic will ever see it.

marce talked to the medgar evers president for a little bit and was able to
update him on the situation which was cool.  i tried to give a fact sheet to
the light blue dressed abbott lady and she said "no thanks"  i asked her
what she had to say about the thailand situation and she said "no thanks",
and walked away.   i did give some press releases and jesse jackson
statements to a couple of photographers inside and then talked to a
community newspaper reporter outside.  marce and i left a couple stacks of
fact sheets all around in the lobby on our way out.

a HUGE congratulations to all who bravely stood up with posters and handed
out fact sheets.  it was a very successful intervention into abbott's
self-congratulatory kaletra commercial.  they definitely know we are on
their back, magic definitely knows he's being associated with abbott's
greed, and we have him on record saying supportive things to activists
demands.  these are all very useful outcomes and we can definitely call this
evening a success.

even though the democracy now cameraman who we brought in flaked on us, i
talked to the producers over there tonight and they are going to run the
story tomorrow (fri) morning.  i sent the press release quoting magic's
comments out to a whole slew of reporters nationally who we are trying to
hook into covering the global day of action.  i also talked to our allies in
DC and chicago who are doing events tomorrow so they can share the results
of our action alongside their efforts.  they were excited to hear how things
went with magic.

i have a few pictures, that are not very good unfortunately, but that i've
been sending to some reporters just so they have something.  i will forward
those on to this group sometime tomorrow.

great work all!

Cheers from NY!
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2007, 09:11:16 am »
Thanks for the report, Andy!

I'd love to see one of these fact sheets - is there an online version anywhere?

I'm also wondering if there is some follow-up we can be doing. Does anyone have any contact details for Magic where we could innundate him with emails?

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2007, 02:07:20 pm »
I think whoever printed them should have it on file, Ann. I'll check that out.

Meanwhile, Mr. Magic is going to be down in Georgia for a couple of similar events in June. See details below.

I'm wondering if any AM members in that area would be interested in showing up there with flyers and silently holding up signs. This is not an arrest scenario. Worst and most likely case is once you get noticed you'll be booted out.

Would be great if we could let him know he can continue to appear but he can't hide. It's a technique that worked very well with among others Al Gore about $ he was getting from pharmaceuticals. 

These are the Georgia dates:

Church Event   June 23, 2007  10:00am

High Point Christian Tabernacle
3269 Old Concord Rd.
SE Smyrna, GA 30082

Church Event June 1, 2007  6:00pm

Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church
182 Hunter St.
Norcross, GA 30071

RSVP if anyone is interested.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2007, 02:14:16 pm by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline FiercenBed

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  • Posts: 183
Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2007, 09:33:24 am »
WOW.....finally..... some grass roots activism; i thought it was DEAD!

im on board w/ this program.....tell me how to help!

on my last visit to the doc there was a big color calender w/ a big pic of magic and the 'cute' little phrase where they take the "I" out of HIV and make it cute & cuddly with the statement "I look forward to my day." Ask your doctor about how Kaletra can become part of your therapy.

who does these people think there folling!? i asked the doc to take the calender down and stated y i felt this way. he did.

magic has sold out......therez no other conclusion to reach. HOW MUCH IS THIS MAN BEING PAID? i wanna know. im on kaletra and paying for these outrageous pills. i deserve to know.

another pisser is this dr robert jarvick and his lipiotr ads. over & over & over again. hez sold out to. Andy is right itz all about MONEY. not just a little bit of money but ali baba and 40 thieves. think about the research that could have bn done w/ magic's fees. this shit is $700 a bottle.

the last abbott pisser is the recent banner ad on gay.com showing 2 guys on the bed together all smiles. it generically promted info on 'good health' for hiv people. so u click on it and it gives 4 'bits' of info on exercising to drug use. but when u wanted more info it they all went to Kaletra.com. how stupid do these people think we r?

PLEASE  post the info for georgia. GREAT job in NYC!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2007, 09:11:44 pm »
If there are Georgians interested in zapping him, I suggest doing it with at least four people, say two or three to stand silently with signs and at least one person to pass out the flyers.

You want to be respectful in the church context which is why we did it silently. Also, be mindful that if you're a bunch of whiteys in a black church congregation that can understandably stir up a lot of resentment.

When we did the action in Bed-Stuy on Thursday we were a mix of men & women, black, white and brown. Perhaps you can check with your local ASO and see if there are any people there who would be interested in participating.

If your planning moves further along you can PM me and I'll be helpful in anyway that I can.

Andy Velez

Offline Jody

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Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2007, 11:59:14 am »
Thanks Andy (and others) for going into the heart of Brooklyn and raising awareness of the plight of all those who need meds or will someday...It is growing more and more likely that government assistance is becoming more and more tenuous...At my support group this past Thursday our facilitator discussed a research lab that felt it was getting closer to finding a cure and they were shutdown in a week for lack of funding !!!  That seems so insidious so as not to be believed...Is it the government or big pharma ?...There is always more and more money for our debacle in Iraq, but less and less funding to find a cure !!!

Sadly, Jody  :'(
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline FiercenBed

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Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2007, 07:19:36 pm »
well im a whitey....and i aint scared.....lol

come on people am 1....can we get 2 3 and 4? i cant b that hard.

Offline Moffie65

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  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2007, 02:03:53 pm »
Feeling all warm and fuzzy, as I read this thread! 

Thanks Andy and all who were instrumental in this "action"!

Love, and admiration!
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline frenchpat

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  • Love your friends, don't eat them.
Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2007, 02:22:33 pm »
Thank You, Thank You for posting this!

a week ago I was hesitating to post something about the petition against Abbott that has been circulating on the web. In the end I did not as I thought  this was against the site's rules. I signed and emailed friends about it.

here's a link for those who are interested in Thailand and the situation for people with HIV there:


Perhaps those forum members who live there can chime in? My interest in the matter stems from the fact that I have a lovely family there and that I find the labs greediness to be simply outrageous.

Ironically I have been on Kaletra for a few months now... >:(

People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline trellium

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Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2007, 01:43:46 am »

check it out --> www.abbottsgreed.com

Offline JohnOso

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Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2007, 04:11:57 pm »
This reminds me of our nurse protest in Los Angeles last October....Magic Johnson drove past us in his sparkling $90K Mercedes SUV.

He's obviously getting something out of this.  ;)

And i'll have to agree with Andy here -- you have to tailor your message to the masses to get the most bang for your buck.  Mix it up with faces of every color if at all possible.


Offline frenchpat

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  • Love your friends, don't eat them.
Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2007, 06:13:59 pm »
Read today in the Bangkok Post:

Thailand is within its rights, say US reps

for more:


People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Positive since 1985, joined forums 12/03
Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2007, 08:06:45 pm »
Hi there,

Also read today that Abbott Laboratories sues Act-up Paris ;

"Associated Press
Abbott Sues French AIDS Group
Associated Press 06.18.07, 1:17 PM ET

Abbott Laboratories Inc. has sued a French AIDS group for staging what the pharmaceutical and medical products maker says was a cyber attack against its Web site in April.

A judge has scheduled an Oct. 3 hearing in the lawsuit against Act Up-Paris, which was filed in a Paris criminal court on May 23, the North Chicago-based company said Monday.

Abbott spokeswoman Jennifer Smoter said the cyber attack disrupted the company's Web site for hours April 26 on the eve of its annual meeting.

"We don't have any issue with the right to protest or the fact that organizations disagree on different things," Smoter said Monday. "But it's really important for us when organizations convey those disagreements that they do it in a respectful and appropriate way, and a way that doesn't break the law."

Act Up-Paris is an offshoot of Act Up, or AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power. That New York-based group did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Monday.

Activists have been fighting Abbott over what they contend are excessive prices for its AIDS drugs. The company has been embroiled in recent months in a standoff over access to its drug Kaletra in Thailand.


Current Meds ; Viramune / Epzicom , 20 mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 12/11/20

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of Jan 8th,21,  Viral load remains Undetectable

CD 4 @535 /  CD4 % @ 16 %

Offline frenchpat

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Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2007, 04:52:30 am »
For those who read french, here's a link:


People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline frenchpat

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Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2007, 04:58:54 am »
People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline frenchpat

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  • Love your friends, don't eat them.
Re: Zapping Abbott and Magic Johnson
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2007, 05:44:13 am »
Abbott dropped the charges against Actup Paris after a meeting in Sydney:


People have the power - Patti Smith


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