Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ASAN-NE Protests Autism Speaks' Walk for Autism, East Boston MA, 18 Oct 2009

On Sunday, October 18, ASAN-New England members and other disability rights advocates protested Autism Speaks' Walk for Autism, held at Suffolk Downs in East Boston. Although 15 individuals RSVPed, inclement weather kept all but 7 from attending. The first choice of protest location, as well as the location that the Suffolk Downs staff recommended, were both too far removed from the walk to be effective. Instead, we went inside Suffolk Downs, and we went onto the track to protest once the walk had begun.

We were on the track for an hour before the weather forced us inside. We chanted and held up posters that said:
  • I am a person, not a puzzle
  • Nothing about us without us
  • Keep $$$ local, do not donate to Autism Speaks
  • End fear and stereotypes, refuse to support Autism Speaks
  • Autistic and over 18: Autism Speaks says I don't exist
  • Odds of Autism Speaks funds directly benefiting autistic people: 1 in 50
  • Congratulations BOSTON! You just raised Geri Dawson's $alary!!
Most of the walkers looked at us curiously, as if they were unaware that there was a controversy surrounding Autism Speaks. They mostly seemed interested but confused. A few smiled and waved. The walkers showed very little animosity and open hostility toward us in the hour in which we protested.

When the weather forced us inside, and when we decided the walkers needed to know more about our cause, we started distributing flyers. Many people took the flyers and were interested in what we had to say. However, we did not have a chance to distribute too many flyers before we got thrown out by Autism Speaks staff. Although we had been civil with them up until that point, the Autism Speaks staff responded by shouting profanities and telling us we weren't really autistic.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October ASAN-NE Meeting

The New England Chapter of ASAN will have its October meeting from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday, 17 Oct 2009 at the Watertown Free Public Library in Watertown MA. The meeting will take place in the Watertown Savings Bank Room.

This meeting is free and open to the public. So we can get an accurate attendance estimate, please respond to asannewengland AT hotmail DOT com if you plan to attend.

The Watertown Library is located at 123 Main St, Watertown MA 02472-4401.