03/13/18 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ACTION HAPPENING NOW
For More Information:
Mike Oxford: (785) 224-3865
Cal Montgomery: (312) 813-6816 (text only)
Priya Penner: (585) 944-3086
Marilee Adamski-Smith: (715) 204-4152
WHO: National ADAPT
WHAT: The will of ADAPT’s members firm in the face of Adversity
WHERE: In front of FDA Director Scott Gottlieb’s house, Pennsylvania Ave NW & L St NW,
Washington DC 20037
WHEN: Tuesday, March 13, 2018, happening now
The Power of ADAPT: Resolute in the Most Difficult Circumstances
03/13/18 Washington DC – s ADAPT enters the 5th day of its vigil outside FDA Director Scott Gottlieb’s home, what is becoming evident is that the disability rights organizations greatest strength is its membership. ADAPTers are a collection of strong individuals who make an even stronger collective. As the snow and cold engulfed their makeshift encampment last night the group of roughly 50 activists kept their focus on the reason they were there. “What keeps me going is shame” said Mike Oxford of Kansas. “Shame that we live in a country that is willing to look the other way as disabled people are abused. Shame that someone like Scott Gottlieb has so little respect for disabled lives that he feels no need to do anything while disabled people are tortured.”
The torture Oxford is referring to and the reason these activists have come from across the country to live outside in front of Gottlieb’s home is to put an end to the use of electro shock devices at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton Massachusetts. At a time when their own discomfort could easily dominate their thinking these activists are focused on freeing others in their community from the horrific abuses of an institution that uses repeated electro shock to discipline the individuals who are placed there. “I don’t know how Scott Gottlieb thinks it is ok to use aversive shocks on the skin of any disabled people.” said activist Pilgrim Tierney of Wisconsin.
Instead of the miserable weather, or the pain it causes many of them, these activists are looking for any means to bring an end to the Massachusetts house of horrors. They have gone to the White House to try and convince President Trump to intervene and convince Gottlieb to take action and release the 2-year-old regulations that would instantly put an end to the JRC’s awful practices. They have also met with Chief White House Counsel Don McGahn who came to their encampment. What they haven’t done is met Gottlieb who has dodged them both at home and at FDA headquarters.
The ADAPTers vow to keep fighting for as long as it takes. “He is kidding himself if he thinks we are going anywhere. We crawled up the Capitol steps 28 years ago to show congress they couldn’t deny us! We won’t let Scott Gotlieb avoid doing his job and ending the torture!” said Anita Cameron an ADAPTer who has been with the organization since 1986 and been arrested 134 times in the fight for Disability Rights. There is a chant these activists use frequently, “There ain’t no power, like the power of ADAPT, because the power of ADAPT, don’t stop!” and it isn’t likely to stop as long as these activists are here.
For decades ADAPT has worked to secure for disabled Americans the same rights and liberties enjoyed by their nondisabled neighbors. Learn more about ADAPT’s history and activities at www.adapt.org, on social media with the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on the @NationalADAPT Twitter, and under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST. You can also follow the fight against the JRC shock device at www.adapt.org/jrc and #StopTheShock.