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MMEvans
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19 Oct 2009, 3:11 pm

By Andrew De Carlo, ASAN New England Chapter Director.


On Sunday, October 18, ASAN-New England members and other disability rights advocates protested Autism Speaks' Walk for Autism, held at Suffolk Downs in East Boston. Although 15 individuals RSVPed, inclement weather kept all but 7 from attending. The first choice of protest location, as well as the location that the Suffolk Downs staff recommended, were both too far removed from the walk to be effective. Instead, we went inside Suffolk Downs, and we went onto the track to protest once the walk had begun.

We were on the track for an hour before the weather forced us inside. We chanted and held up posters that said:

- I am a person, not a puzzle
- Nothing about us without us
- Keep $$$ local, do not donate to Autism Speaks
- End fear and stereotypes, refuse to support Autism Speaks

- Autistic and over 18: Autism Speaks says I don't exist
- Odds of Autism Speaks funds directly benefiting autistic people: 1 in 50
- Congratulations BOSTON! You just raised Geri Dawson's $alary!!

Most of the walkers looked at us curiously, as if they were unaware that there was a controversy surrounding Autism Speaks. They mostly seemed interested but confused. A few smiled and waved. The walkers showed very little animosity and open hostility toward us in the hour in which we protested.

When the weather forced us inside, and when we decided the walkers needed to know more about our cause, we started distributing flyers. Many people took the flyers and were interested in what we had to say. However, we did not have a chance to distribute too many flyers before we got thrown out by Autism Speaks staff. Although we had been civil with them up until that point, the Autism Speaks staff responded with profanities and told us we weren't really autistic.



whitetiger
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20 Oct 2009, 8:50 am

How insulting! It's terrible that Autism Speaks did that. I wish you could have had a better turn-out. It's brave that you went out to march through all the poor weather conditions, etc. I wish I could have been there and brought a lot more people, but it would have been too expensive to fly from the west coast. We need to keep this up and our numbers will grow!


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Jono
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20 Oct 2009, 9:16 am

MMEvans wrote:
When the weather forced us inside, and when we decided the walkers needed to know more about our cause, we started distributing flyers. Many people took the flyers and were interested in what we had to say. However, we did not have a chance to distribute too many flyers before we got thrown out by Autism Speaks staff. Although we had been civil with them up until that point, the Autism Speaks staff responded with profanities and told us we weren't really autistic.


Yes. According to them, anyone who disagrees with Autism Speaks is not really autistic. Pretty arrogant, don't you think?



MagnusArmstrong
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20 Oct 2009, 5:22 pm

ASAN is that Asperegers association of new england if so its more like aspergers assoicition of massachusetts or every other state in new england other than rhode island because we have absolutley no support here in the ocean state anyone else here from rhode island can agree,rhode island blows.Though autism speaks still sucks.


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20 Oct 2009, 5:32 pm

That's terrible Autism Speaks did that.

ASAN will eventually kick the self-interested ass of Autism Speaks.


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22 Oct 2009, 3:56 am

That's a positive step in the right direction.


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Roxas_XIII
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25 Oct 2009, 10:53 pm

MMEvans wrote:
By Andrew De Carlo, ASAN New England Chapter Director.
When the weather forced us inside, and when we decided the walkers needed to know more about our cause, we started distributing flyers. Many people took the flyers and were interested in what we had to say. However, we did not have a chance to distribute too many flyers before we got thrown out by Autism Speaks staff. Although we had been civil with them up until that point, the Autism Speaks staff responded with profanities and told us we weren't really autistic.


If I had been there, that would have been the point where I pulled out dual gunblades and told them that I wasnt going to move and dared then to try and make me.

I mean, first of all, were these just AS event staff or were they actual cops? I would understand if the police force had ordered a cease and desist, but the event staff shouldnt have the right without police support. And if they did call the cops, all you would have to do would be to catch some video of one of these guys swearing at you and you'd have the upper hand in a police-mediated dispute (or so I hope)

At any rate, if anyone DID get video of this forced removal, I would seriously suggest YouTubing it and sending it to as many supporters of AS as possible. If not, everyone bring your camcorders/digital cameras/video enabled cellphones to the next anti-AS event. Then if they try to pull a stunt like that, we can submit video evidence to the authorities.



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25 Oct 2009, 11:10 pm

Great job guys! It takes a lot of work and many years to change policy of a non-profit, but it will be done if you persist! :)))