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Watch: Nine Giant 'Bagels' Arrested in World AIDS Day Protest of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg


Nine people were arrested wearing giant bagel outfits this morning outside NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's World AIDS Day Bagel Breakfast at the Brooklyn Library, Housing Works reports:

Bagel2 The activists chained themselves together and blocked traffic at Grand Army Plaza to draw attention to Bloomberg’s relentless attacks on AIDS housing services for the poor. The brave bagels were cheered on by dozens of others, many wearing bagel, banana, coffee cup and other breakfast-related costumes.

Activists inside the breakfast also disrupted the mayor’s World AIDS Day speech and distributed Bagel Boycott Fliers.

AIDS activists are fed up with Bloomberg, who each December holds his World AIDS Day Bagel Breakfast, and then each January proposes devastating cuts to AIDS services, such as housing and nutrition, for low-income people with HIV. Most recently, Bloomberg was influential in convincing David Paterson to veto the 30 percent rent cap bill legislation which would have provided housing security to 10,000 low-income New Yorkers living with AIDS.

Watch video of the protest and arrests, AFTER THE JUMP...

Flickr slideshow.

World AIDS Day Bloomberg Bagel Boycott Protest from Housing Works on Vimeo.


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  1. Why should those living specifically with AIDS be subsidized? The more funds are allocated to them, the less are available for those living with other chronic diseases, like MS or Lupus.

    Why the elevation of AIDS patients over others?

    Posted by: tcw | Dec 1, 2010 11:51:16 AM

  2. I agree wit TCW 100%. These protectors are so hippy it makes our community look like freaks to the average American citizen. It hurts our cause. The money is better spent on sex education, enabling people to prevent themselves from becoming infected by using a rubber and practicing safe sex.

    Posted by: Yeah, What? | Dec 1, 2010 12:01:12 PM

  3. *protesters!

    Posted by: Yeah, What? | Dec 1, 2010 12:02:03 PM

  4. COMPLETELY AGREE! Why is it the governments responsibility to give you money for something you contracted? I've had this conversation before with friends who happen to be positive and they question this too.

    Posted by: Come on... | Dec 1, 2010 12:15:15 PM

  5. Because housing them prevents further infections and, therefore, further expense.

    Posted by: someone | Dec 1, 2010 1:18:24 PM

  6. So you're all fine with homeless AIDS patients on the street? Good plan!

    Posted by: Gregoireire | Dec 1, 2010 1:20:04 PM

  7. What's the link between AIDS patients being homeless and "further infections"? IV needle use? Absent a strong link, we should no more pay to house AIDS patients than we should to house other chronically ill patients.

    Posted by: tcw | Dec 1, 2010 1:30:58 PM

  8. "Why is it the governments responsibility to give you money for something you contracted?"

    How about compassion for fellow human beings, who happen to be poor and whose health can be maintained with good nutrition and a roof over their heads. I truly doubt that a few activists standing up for those less fortunate "hurts our cause" or inhibits safe-sex education. Anyone who turns away from AIDS issues based on this wasn't supportive to begin with.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 1, 2010 1:35:50 PM

  9. I am really surprised at some of you. And disappointed.

    Posted by: Tigerama | Dec 1, 2010 1:47:47 PM

  10. I have compassion for those living with HIV and AIDS, as we are one of the richest countries in the world and why should those with little go without? And I've done my share of volunteering my time to those in need. However, I agree with the posters who ask what makes them different from anyone else with other chronic diseases? It's up to us as a community to take care of these people, if we place action behind our compassion. It's not necessarily the governments. And, yes, if it's the government's money we're talking about, then the first priority should be preventing new cases.

    We as a country have a long way to go in changing our mentality. We need to focus on treating the source of our problems, not the symptoms. It's easier said than done. The long-term plan is always the tougher pill to swallow.

    We need a system where RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR is encouraged and rewarded. And I am not being judgmental of those who aren't responsible. I'm just not an enabler, that's all.

    Posted by: Vince in WeHo | Dec 1, 2010 1:51:36 PM

  11. Maybe I didn't dress up as a Bagel and unlawfully handcuff myself, but I spent two years volunteering at an AIDS hospice, as well as an AIDS hotline. So according to Ernie I was never supportive to begin with. Whatever ...

    Posted by: Vince in WeHo | Dec 1, 2010 1:55:19 PM

  12. "I agree with the posters who ask what makes them different from anyone else with other chronic diseases?"

    On some level, of course, nothing. On the other hand, their numbers are large. They are mostly young. Many can be returned to productivity if their disease is stabilized.

    "We need to focus on treating the source of our problems, not the symptoms."

    No doubt, given the way the country is going, you'll soon be stepping over "the symptoms" in the streets.

    Posted by: BobN | Dec 1, 2010 2:10:29 PM

  13. That's not at all what I was implying, Vince. (I didn't agree with another poster that this type of protest hurts our cause.) And I salute everyone who volunteers to help those with AIDS, or any other disease. I simply support activists standing up for poor people with AIDS and for funding that would help those in dire need with their nutrition and housing needs; I don't see their efforts as taking something away from other disease sufferers. I would similarly support advocates for other diseases doing the same, but since AIDS has had such a long and decimating effect on our/my community, I'm particularly sympathetic towards AIDS sufferers, who continue to be judged in their suffering.

    Helping those in need certainly doesn't mean I don't think people should act responsibly or that education and prevention should be ignored. I just don't see providing decent housing and nutrition for low-income people as enabling. I see it as simple human compassion complicated by the reality of limited resources.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 1, 2010 3:18:53 PM

  14. Hilarious.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 1, 2010 3:25:24 PM

  15. I did a search, albeit a fast one, on this issue, and can't find if he is specifically in favor of cutting AIDS assistance funding, or ALL assistance funding.

    If Bloomberg had said, "Keep the housing for most people, but cut it for sufferers of AIDS to get the cost down - they don't deserve a break," then the bagel-clad protesters would be justified. But if he said, "Look, we don't have money, we have to trim everything," then it's a matter of financial reality. Protest housing assistance cuts across the board, if that is your beef, but don't make it specifically an AIDS issue.

    Before anyone says I don't care because I'm not a bagel, I want to point out that I work for a charity, my meager salary has been cut in half because of the economy, and I have adopted two special-needs children. I understand the need for government assistance. I also know what it means to pick and choose how funds get distributed, both professionally and personally. Sometimes you have to make hard choices about money. The question here is, were those decisions targeted, or blanket decisions? I may be wrong, but I get the feeling they were not targeted. I believe that Bloomberg is a fairly respected LGBT advocate... no? At least as much as politicians can be?

    I feel deeply for those living with HIV/AIDS, but I agree that there are many, many people in need, and the government can't pick and choose whether to help a specific group or not. And while it is too late to educate those who have already contracted the disease (note I am not using the passive phrase "stricken with" as I have often seen - that is reserved for tainted transfusions and accidental infection and such), I do believe education is the key. The risky behavior associated with many cases of contracted HIV/AIDS - unprotected sex and drug use - are, unfortunately, powerful temptations to educate against.

    Posted by: Rich | Dec 2, 2010 8:54:17 AM

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