Last week, #MEAction had its first planning call for the May 25th #MillionsMissing protest.
The protest, with the theme #MillionsMissing, brings attention to the millions of people with ME/CFS missing from their work, their families, and their lives, and the millions of dollars missing from research funding. To show this invisible illness, we are asking for those who suffer with ME to donate a pair of empty shoes to the protest, to represent their absence.
On April 17, we gathered together to talk about the logistics of coordinating the protest in D.C. with satellite protests in many other major cities across the U.S.
#MEAction staff moderated the call, including Co-Founder Jen Brea, Community Organizer Adriane Tillman, Managing Editor Jaime Seltzer, and Deputy Community Organizer Paige Maxon. Terri Wilder, AIDS activist for 27 years and member of ACT UP New York, co-chaired the call. We were joined by Stacy Hodges, who initiated the idea for the protest in D.C., Bobbi Ausubel from That Takes Ovaries, and Anne Keith, who is coordinating the Seattle satellite protest. There were 50 participants on the call in total.
We are recruiting leaders to do their own protests in cities that have Health and Human Services offices, such as Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, and San Francisco. If we can generate a strong presence in these cities, the press attention will increase dramatically.
Anne Keith is organizing the Seattle protest, which will occur on May 25th around lunchtime; she needs more warm bodies, but any offers of help would be welcome.
We ask that whether you can be at the D.C. event or not, please send shoes; if you know someone who can come on your behalf, or know healthy people in the D.C. area who might be willing to help, please contact them! We will need people who can help with setup and cleanup.
Additionally, we are currently seeking people with skills in media or design to help us create posters.
Finally, we are in-process drafting a press release for #MillionsMissing.
What we need now are hands on deck! If there is a task you can accomplish, no matter how small, let us know by contacting [email protected]. Stay tuned as well for an article on things you can do for the protest that take very few ‘spoons’. Even a little help can make a big difference!
The Washington D.C. protest will be held:
May 25, at the Health and Human Services Building
200 Independence Ave.
3rd corner SW
11AM – but arrive between 10AM and 10:30AM so that everyone can get situated.
We will continue having meetings every Sunday at 4PM EST for the Washington D.C. protest.