For Immediate Release – World AIDS Day Memorial bus to take on 10 Downing Street in support of the NHS.
This Saturday November 25th (1) an open-topped double-decker bus draped in ‘Hands off Our NHS’ and ‘Tories Don’t Die of Ignorance’ is to drive past 10 Downing Street as part of this year’s World AIDS Day celebrations exposing the Government’s role in the continuing HIV/ AIDS epidemic and the lack of permanent memorialisation of those no longer with us. The bus will finish by hosting a party to celebrate staff at ‘56 Dean Street’ – London’s busiest Sexual Health clinic – for their recent 90% reduction in HIV+ diagnosis (1).
The ‘BANG BUS – World AIDS Day Special’ an immersive theatrical anti-stigma bus-tour journeying through the decades and places to bring the history of HIV+ in London to life. The Bang Bus exists to show gratitude for those who gave selflessly through challenging times, to demand a permanent HIV / AIDS memorial and to support the many minority communities face very specific issues that are still neglected.
High-profile pop-star Lana Pellay, along with other celebrities, performers and dancers involved in HIV+ advocacy will be platforming nurses, doctors and healthcare workers who will be speaking to international audiences on the bus about life on the frontline of the National Health Service (NHS). Other presenters will be bringing the ashes of their loved ones who have died as part of the historic governmental controversies institutional failure and and pharmaceutical greed at the root of the epidemic provoking action to protect the NHS.
“I support the ‘BANG BUS – World AIDS Day Special’ in memory of my friend Mark Ashton who did so much to make common cause with the victims of social injustice.” Sarah John Morris, singer with the Communards
“You lot need to refuse to be defined by an external box created by a capitalist idea of what you should be like, you need to throw the boxes and definitions and celebrate your own uniqueness instead of conforming to the limiting ideas fed to you by a brainwashing social media and enforced corporate doctrine,try and evolve, go on i dare you” Lanah Pellay, pop star and HIV+ advocate
“56 Dean Street has celebrated an historic 90% reduction in new HIV infections this year; but there is still more to do. Stigma, fear and ignorance still affect many, contributing to more infections and complicating people’s experience of love, sex and community. With World AIDs Day approaching, we’re excited to be a part of the BANG BUS this Saturday. Remembering, celebrating and learning from London’s history of HIV and AIDS remains crucial, and we are looking forward to this important bus tour from Queer Tours of London. See you Saturday!” David Stuart, 56 Dean Street Support Service Manager
“Living with HIV in 2017 is still fraught with incredible stigma and difficulties. Women living with HIV continue to be diagnosed later and are more likely to experience violence from partners, as well as living in poverty and having poor mental and emotional wellbeing. The cuts on support services has an incredible negative impact on our lives.” Silvia Petretti, Deputy CEO, Positively UK
“Even Thatcher’s Government didn’t reduce drug injectors of a medically assisted treatment (MAT) that the science shows we know slows down the spread of HIV amongst injecting drug users (IDU’s); Methadone. Shame on this Government!” Andria Mordaunt, John Mordaunt Trust
“The BANG BUS is the history lesson that all LGBTQIA+* people didn’t get at school” Jamie Di Spirito, ACT UP LONDON – *Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Allies +
“In 1981/2 I was in New York. The were rumours. Some said conspiracy theories. Some said it was sex and drugs. People were getting sick. By the spring it was called GRID (Gay related immune deficiency. I came home to London. People began to get sick and die here. By now my fiends were sick. Then they died. Then more got sick and more died. Then began the fight back. Friends of the first identified death formed a trust in his name. Terrance Higgins. I got sick. In my heart I was scared but kept telling myself ‘no disease has ever killed every one that got it’. Then the virus was identified. Then we had a test to detect it. By 1987 we had the first real hope. AZT. I moved back to the states believing the cure would come first there. Within another 10 years we had multiple drugs and indeed AIDS was no longer a death sentence. Here we are today BUT AIDS is not over. Nor will it be until the political will to end it world wide exists. We live in an age where antibiotics are not so reliable as we first believed. When the anti virals go the same way ………………….. We are approaching the 40th anniversary of the first diagnosed cases. I dream of AIDS being over before I die. I am 65 now. That dream can only come true if we never give up the fight.” Sister Immaculate Deception of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
“I am taking part on the World AIDS Day bus, as an individual, to highlight the need for a much needed National tribute to HIV/AIDS in London like so many cities worldwide. We need to remember the 21,000 who died in the U.K. and the 35 million worldwide, we need to celebrate the incredible achievements of life-saving medication yet remember that 53% of 35 million people worldwide living with HIV can’t access it, and we must look towards the future to 2030 towards the end of all new transmissions. AIDS is not over!” Ash Kotak, AIDS Memory UK
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Phone: Dan Glass on 07717811747
Notes to Editors
Bus Stops for Saturday November 25th – BANG BUS 2
- MEETING POINT – 2pm – Soho Square.
- BUS STOP 1 – 3pm – Site of former ‘Club Bang’ – 157 Charing Cross Road
- BUS STOP 2 – 3.30pm – 1980’s – outside the former Middlesex Hospital in Fitzrovia to animate the onslaught of AIDS – Fitzrovia Chapel, Fitzroy Place, 2 Pearson Square, London, W1T 3BF
- BUS STOP 3 – 4pm – Trafalgar Square to highlight the huge protests for medication
- BUS STOP 4 – 4.15pm – 10 Downing Street with speakers on ‘Campaign 87’ and ‘Section 28’ and related policy changes
- BUS STOP 5 – 4.30pm – Belvedere Road near Southbank Centre
- BUS STOP 6 – 5.00pm – 56 Dean Street, Soho – party to celebrate the 90% reduction in diagnosis success
(2) – http://www.eatg.org/news/how-a-london-clinic-reduced-new-hiv-infections-by-90-and-why-more-european-cities-can-do-the-same/
(3) ‘Impulse London’ is a group of volunteers commited to creating and promoting wellbeing events focusing on gay men’s sexual and mental well-being. It is chapter of the international group ‘Impulse’ which now spans 18 countries over four continents. We aim to create spaces that are sex positive, non judgemental and serve the gay scene as a resource for learning and discussion.
All requests for involvement, press and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting point – Soho Square, London W1D – the BANG BUS conductors will take you to the bus which leaves prompt at 3pm from 157 Charing Cross Road. We will finish back in Soho for 5.30pm.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE! Please get in touch if we can make the night any more accessible for you on email@example.com
*SAFER SPACES POLICY* – The Bang Bus is a utopia away from homophobia, transphobia, harassment, racism, xenophobia, ableism and all forms of oppression. Anyone who threatens this will be kicked off by our queer security team.
For this years 50th anniversary of partial decriminalisation of homosexuality ‘QUEER TOURS OF LONDON – A Mince Through Time’ are being set up to bring forth the visibility of our incredible community at large and the journey to how we became who we are today. Against the backdrop of the mass closure of LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex) cultural spaces and support services, ‘QUEER TOURS OF LONDON’ are being developed to support London’s current queer activism, culture and performance in all its glory. Find out more at www.queertoursoflondon.com
“London’s LGBTQ+ heritage is rich, diverse and important: but is often hidden and in danger of being forgotten. Our collaborations with Queer Tours are energetic, hopeful and vital explorations of this history.” Tom Furber and Jan Pimblett – London Metropolitan Archives