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British ACT UP Activists Dump Cow Dung Outside Anti-Gay Party's Offices On World AIDS Day: VIDEO

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ACT UP: London is back, and they aren't taking any more B.S. 

Activists from the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power say they dumped half a ton of cow dung outside the UK Independent Party's South London headquarters on Monday, in response to statements by UKIP leader Nigel Farage that people living with HiV should be barred from migrating to Britain.  

Gay Star News reports that the World AIDS Day action symbolizes a resurgence for ACT UP: London, which has been less visible over the last 10 years. 

Activists adorned the "fresh and steaming" pile of crap with a red AIDS ribbon and also hung a banner saying "what goes around comes around." 

ACT UP's Gary Hunter said: 

“We’ve had enough of UKIP’s misinformation and offensive attacks on minorities. We wanted to show Farage that people living with HIV aren’t going to take his B.S. any longer – so we’ve returned it. The vile crap that UKIP keeps spreading stigmatises and ostracises people living with HIV, gay people and immigrants. We thought this steaming pile of muck was a great representation of what we, as HIV-positive people, think of UKIP’s agenda.”

Earlier this year, when asked what types of people should be allowed to migrate to Britain, Farage told Newsweek Europe:  

"People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start. And people with a skill.”

The U.K. has never barred immigrants with HIV, even at the height of fear and stigma in the 1980s. Only 12 percent of countries currently deport people with HIV, and the US lifted its HIV travel ban in 2009. 

Farage is not the only member of UKIP to make homophobic comments of late. Earlier this year, UKIP suspended its councillor David Silvester after he said flooding that hit the UK in December and January was caused by same-sex marriage. And last month, the former deputy leader of UKIP, Lord Christopher Monckton, said gay people lead a "deathstyle" and have up to 20,000 partners in their "short, miserable lives." 

ACT UP activist Mario Azeitona said: 

"UKIP keep saying that they speak for ordinary British people, but the vast majority of people totally reject their poisonous views. We are sending a message back to them that they do not represent the Britain most of us know – based on respect, solidarity and community. We hope others who’ve been targeted by UKIP follow our lead so that wherever Farage goes he meets people rejecting his crap and returning it to him. UKIP stink, so Farage better get used to the smell of his own B.S.”

Watch ACT UP activist Dan Glass explain the protest in a video, AFTER THE JUMP ...  

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This Stunning World AIDS Day Music Video Is Inspired By ACT UP's 1992 Ashes Action Protest March - VIDEO

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In honor of World AIDS Day today, Brooklyn-based composer Sam Salmond has released a heart-rending music video for his song "Away" inspired by The Ashes Action - the 1992 ACT UP march that culminated in men and women throwing their loved ones' ashes onto the White House lawn to protest the government's neglect of those impacted by the AIDS crisis.

Watch the music video, AFTER THE JUMP...

And in lieu of any commercial gain, Salmond is asking viewers to make a donation to one of the following wonderful AIDS charities: AIDS Healthcare FoundationGay Men’s Health Crisis, or Elton John AIDS Foundation

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Hollywood's Overrepresentation of White, Gay Men

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Television shows and movies like Looking, and Dallas Buyers Club are increasingly bringing LGBT stories to the big and small screens, but their representations of diversity within the queer community are sorely lacking. White, gay, male characters are grossly overrepresented, according to a Vox analysis of a number of recent shows and films focusing on gay narratives. The issue, write Alex Abad-Santos, is not with the specific stories that are depicted, but rather with the meta-narrative created by an unchanging stream of stories solely about white guys:

“We don't and shouldn't expect anyone to change Harvey Milk's race or change who Larry Kramer's friends were. Kramer's and Milk's experiences aren't in our control. However, choosing which stories to tell is. And having a willingness to tell other kinds of stories, perhaps some that are just as worthy as Milk's or Kramer's, from places we're not necessarily looking, is something filmmakers and writers can do better.”

Gary Gates, an LGBT demographer at UCLA, says that statistically speaking the kinds of LGBT groups being portrayed in modern media simply don’t reflect reality. In addition to nearly half of the characters being non-white “if you had a show with a cast of 20 characters who were LGBT, two-thirds of the women would be bisexual, and one-third of the women would be lesbians, while two-thirds of the men would be gay, and one-third would be bi.”

Gates goes on to point out the disproportionate amount of screen-time given to characters that read as being affluent. The persistent idea that all LGBT individuals are more economically successful than their heterosexual counterparts is due in large part to to a conflation of statistical findings. College graduated, same-sex couples, with two partners actively participating in the workforce do, on average, make more than heterosexuals, Gates explained in 2013 to US News. These couples make statistical headlines because they are exceptional, however, and portraying them as The New Normal is disingenuous at best and problematic at worst.

The-new-normal-utah-new-home__oPtIn terms of movies and documentaries like The Normal Heart and How To Survive A Plague, filmmakers are presented with the task of parsing through the historical record in order to suss out compelling stories. Problems arise when the cinematic truth depicted on screen only reflect the limited perspectives of certain characters. In an interview with Vulture Sarah Schulman, co-creator of The ACT UP Oral History Project, recently voiced her misgivings about what she perceived as a whitewashing of early HIV/AIDS activism as depicted in How To Survive A Plague.

We call it “The Five White People Who Saved the World” — that’s our nickname for it. And those white people are very busy because apparently they’re always saving everything all the time. Everywhere you go, you see them.

Referring to a discussion following screenings of Jim Hubbard’s United in Anger: A History of ACT UP and David France’s How To Survive a Plague, Schulman recalls that same point blank critique.

At one point they open up for questions and the first question to David is: Why do you have no women or people of color in the film? And he says, well I wanted to focus on wealthy white men because they had the time to devote to activism. Now as a person who has interviewed 168 surviving members of ACT UP New York, I can tell you that’s not historically correct.

People in ACT UP gave their entire lives to ACT UP. All different kinds of people from every class and background would report in our interviews that they were at ACT UP five nights a week, that their entire life was ACT UP. And that had nothing to do with how much money you had. And the second thing he said was that these men went to good universities and so they were able to understand the science. That is absurd. The audience almost started laughing. One of the best experts on the science of AIDS in ACT UP was Garance Franke-Ruta who was 19. We all sat there and realized that this man knows nothing about ACT UP.

Watch a video of the exchange AFTER THE JUMP...

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Here is a Comprehensive Supercut of News Clips from the First Decade of the AIDS Crisis: VIDEO

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HBO's broadcast of The Normal Heart has caused new reflection on the early days of the AIDS crisis, and the fear, ignorance, lack of understanding, and anger that were the hallmarks of that era.

If you care to revisit it, an intrepid newshound Dave Evans has assembled an hour's worth of clips from 1982-1992 covering everything from the first discovery of the disease to Rock Hudson's death, to the ACT UP demonstrations.

Let's hope nothing like it ever happens again.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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'The Normal Heart' Teaser Trailer Unearths the Panic, Grief, and Humanity of the Early Days of AIDS: VIDEO

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The film adaptation of Larry Kramer's largely autobiographical Tony award-winning (for its revival in 2011) play The Normal Heart is coming to HBO on May 25 and a new trailer debuted yesterday.

The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch, and Jim Parsons, and chronicles the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City as seen through the eyes of an activist.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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ACT UP Crashes Ceremony Dedicating Ed Koch's Last Residence as Historic Landmark: VIDEO

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Members of ACT UP NY crashed an event naming former NYC Mayor Ed Koch's Fifth Avenue residence an historic landmark this week, reminding attendees of Koch's slow, inadequate response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

Watch (warning: autoplay) WPIX cover the ceremony and protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

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