[Fwd: SCI News Release:NO FORCE Counterprotest in Washin]

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@arcos.org)
Tue, 21 Apr 1998 11:01:12 -0400

---------forwarded message---------

>                                                  (541) 345-9106
> Use of Force in the "Mental Health System"
> to be the Target of a Conterprotest
> Opposing a Major U.S. Government Event
> Saturday, May 2, 1998, Washington,D.C., Freedom Plaza
> Washington,D.C.--Survivors of psychiatric human rights violations and their
> allies promise to be the "fly in the ointment" when a major pro-mental
> health system event is held on May 2. The U.S. government, National
> Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and American Psychiatric Association are all
> uniting in a taxpayer-funded one mile "Walk the Walk" to promote the mental
> health system. "Psychiatric survivors" promise to hold their Counterprotest
> at the same time and place.
>      Support Coalition International--an alliance of 65 groups in eight
> countries--is leading this legal Counterprotest against forced psychiatry.
> Calling themselves a "Million Mad March," Counterprotesters will be in
> "Freedom Plaza" from 9 am to 1 pm with signs and balloons reading, "NO
> FORCE!" [Freedom Plaza is on E.Street, between 13th & 14th streets, in
> Washington,D.C.].
>      The Counterprotest is being outspent 100 to 1, and relying on
> grassroots donations. The U.S. government is spending $200,000 on their
> "Walk the Walk", and Tipper Gore is co-chair. For the U.S. government
> itself to fund a political march on Washington is said to be unprecedented
>      A focus of the Counterprotest is National Alliance for the Mentally
> Ill (NAMI), which is on "Walk the Walk's" steering committee. While some
> individual members of NAMI support liberty concerns of psychiatric
> survivors, the leadership of NAMI is escalating their own campaign for more
> forced psychiatry. NAMI recently launched their "Treatment Advocacy Center"
> [NAMI-TAC] to greatly increase the number of Americans who would be subject
> to forced psychiatric drugs, both inside institutions, and even those
> living in their own homes out in the community. NAMI-TAC is the brain child
> of U.S. National Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey.
> NAMI's annual report shows more than half of their major corporate donors
> are drug companies.
>      "No matter how people stand on other mental health issues, all but the
> drug company financed organizations like NAMI are with us on the issue of
> forced psychiatric treatment," said Vicki Fox Wieselthier, the SCI national
> organizer of the Counterprotest.
>      David Oaks, a speaker at the Counterprotest and co-coordinator of SCI,
> said, "Usually the leaders of the push for more forced psychiatric drugs
> stay in their board rooms and conferences. They have made a big mistake
> thinking they could 'hit the streets,' without any opposition!"
>      Groups of Counterprotesters will arrive from as far as California and
> Alaska. Simultaneous events in other cities will be held that day in
> solidarity with the Counterprotest, including an International Tribunal
> against forced psychiatry in Berlin, Germany with SCI activist Don Weitz.
>      Counterprotesters are making heavy use of the Internet to organize.
> For more information, people can e-mail: Protest@madnation.org. The protest
> web site is at http://www.madnation.org Those not on the Internet can phone
> (541) 345-9106. Or write: Support Coalition International, 454 Williamette
> St., Suite 216, PO Box 11284, Eugene,OR 97440-3484 USA. Fax: (541) 345-3737
> .
>      Support Coalition is a non-profit alliance of grassroots groups
> working for human rights and alternatives of psychiatric survivors. Founded
> in 1990, their newsjournal is Dendron News.
>                                 - end -