When the American Psychiatric Association brings thousands of its members to San Francisco this May, maybe it’s time for “mad pride.”
Some of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world are in the mental health system, such as the manufacturers of psychiatric drugs. How do we learn about and challenge the domination of these corporations? How can we create viable, humane, empowering alternatives?
On Sunday, May 18, 2003, there will be a nonviolent “freedom rally” in San Francisco in front of the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association at the Moscone Center, 1 pm. The demands: “Human Rights, Choice, Self-Determination & Freedom in the Mental Health System!”
Our mental freedom is under siege internationally and in California. If someone wants to use psychiatric drugs, they can; but the drugs should not be forced, coerced and pushed. Forced outpatient psychiatric drugging is now legal in California, and most US states. That means anyone in California could be court ordered to take powerful, addictive and brain-damaging psychiatric drugs against their will.
The Bush Administration is attacking our civil liberties using the mental health system. Bush’s latest mental health adviser is an American Enterprise Institute psychiatrist, Sally Satel. Her book on “politically correct medicine” worries that “mental patients are taking over the asylums.” Satel recommends that thousands of more Americans be forcibly drugged.
This western-style medical approach to the mental health system is being exported internationally and globalized by new multi-billion dollar programs sponsored by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
This protest is a good time to unite with other movements impacted by the mental health system such as disability, youth, poor, homeless, women, people of color, peace, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender, and many others. This year is the 30th anniversary of the APA pretending to remove homosexuality from its list of labels.
Initial co-sponsors are groups of psychiatric survivors/mental health consumers: MindFreedom – Support Coalition International, California Network of Mental Health Clients, Mental Health Consumer Concerns.
On February 2, a thirty-person planning meeting met all day to help organize activities. Watch for details to be announced about a FREEDOM FAIR on Saturday, May 17, 2003, with booths, exhibits and a town hall to plan out exactly how the inmates will indeed take over the asylums.
This is a preliminary call for action. Updates & final details or if your group is interested in co-sponsoring or endorsing or simply joining the M18 planning e-mail list contact: www.MindFreedom.org; Support Coalition International; 454 Willamette; POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440 USA; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. ph: (541) 345-9106. Toll free. 1-877-MAD-PRIDE