Sunday June 10, 2018

Back to JRC/FDA Action

By Jordan Sibayan
Denver ADAPT

The Art of an ADAPT House Call

Some say the method is extreme; extreme as it may be, traveling to and performing a direct action at the home of a holder of change is a logical step when all other meetings fall though and all conversations stop. In the case of Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, our ask was not for a meeting or a discussion. The time for that has long passed. We want action. The continued stalling at the FDA under Dr. Scott Gotlieb to finalize rules to ban the electric shock therapy at Canton Mass’ Judge Rotenberg Center has shown our government officials lack of empathy towards their fellow man, and cruelty by inaction.

ADAPT traveled to the suburbs of Keystone, Indiana to confront Azar at his house. The skys gloomy, our troops navigated the highways and bike trails until we made our way to Azar’s neighborhood. We posted signs around calling out Azar to sign the regs to stop the shock of Our People. As he spent a calm Sunday at home with family, many other families from New York, Pennsylvania, and more had their family members subjected to electric shocks. As punishment for acting outside the norm of society our people, ranging in age from seven to sixty, transgressions were met with shocks at the hands of soulless attendants.

The unassuming house within a cul-de-sac was our platform as we attempted to get the attention of Azar and his family. Dogs barking inside, the lights and life in the home came to a stop. No sooner had their lights dimmed that police started to appear on scene. We chanted and shouted “Alex, Alex! Come on Out! We got Regs to talk about!” Creating a commotion arousing the interest of neighbors. The presence of police got stronger, and in return we edged closer to the porch. With no activity or negotiation between Azar, the police, and us, officers started the process of arresting our people. Unaware and unsympathetic, no talks emerged. Azar put up his fortress, just as Gotlieb had done.

I stayed behind and watched as the situation escalated, I was not in the middle of the action this time. What I heard was shocking. Kimberly Hail spoke of how cops intimidated her and our other activists with threats of dragging out of chairs. Arrests and talks of impounding power chairs and scooters after transferring to manual chairs for individuals who did not cooperate came from Jacqueline Mitchell.

The full details are not yet known. More to follow in another post.