DENDRITE: Counterprotest Forced Psychiatry, D.C. May 2 <long>

Support Coalition - David Oaks dendron at
Mon Apr 13 18:00:55 EST 1998

Dear people, 

Below is info about a national counterprotest during a major Clinton
Administration public relations event, against FORCED psychiatric
procedures. Those interested, stay tuned -- get on the DENDRITE
e-mail list, instructions are at bottom. We just got a possible lead
on free housing for Friday night in D.C. for another hundred folks.

DENDRITE UPDATE: human rights in "mental health" system 
April 11, 1998 -- please copy, re-distribute & post!
for more info e-mail: Protest at


        Psychiatric Survivor Activists and Allies 
        To Pour in from Throughout USA and Canada 
        for Counterprotest on Saturday, May 2, 1998, 
        in Washington, D.C., Freedom Plaza

        Use of Force in the "Mental Health System" 
        to be the Target of Counterprotest Opposing a
        Major U.S. Government Event Led by Tipper Gore

        US Government Official Said to be "Enraged"

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Survivors of psychiatric human
rights violations and their allies will be streaming
in from all over the USA and Canada to create a
"Counterprotest" on May 2 in Washington, D.C.'s
Freedom Plaza, during a major federal public event.

And the Clinton Administration is exhibiting signs of 
depression and anxiety over this Counterprotest.

Hoisting balloons and huge prop hypodermic needles in
the air imprinted with the motto of "NO FORCE,"
Counterprotesters vow to break the silence about the
spread of forced psychiatric drugging in the USA,
especially court-ordered involuntary psychiatric
drugging out in the community.

Freedom Plaza is on E Street, between 13th & 14th 
streets, in Washington, DC, USA.

The location of the Counterprotest has reportedly
"enraged" a high-level US government official. That's
because the site of the Counterprotest is in the midst
of a big, expensive US government public relations
event that is supposed to be celebrating the current
mental health system.

The U.S. government, National Alliance for the
Mentally Ill, and American Psychiatric Association and
other major pro-mental health system groups, are all
uniting in a one mile "Walk the Walk" to promote the
current mental health system. The event is mainly paid
for by $200,000 in US taxpayer money. 

But mental health system "customers" are not showing
much gratitude. "Psychiatric survivors" promise to hold 
their Counterprotest at the same time, same place.

Support Coalition International -- an alliance of 65
groups in eight countries -- is leading this legal
Counterprotest against forced psychiatry. 

Counting themselves part of a "Million Mad March,"
Counterprotesters will be in "Freedom Plaza" from 9 am
to 1 pm.

Counterprotesters will be raising signs and stringing
large helium-filled balloons that say "NO FORCE" above
the crowd. An anonymous counterprotester, driving in
from Virginia, reports: "Six-foot hypodermic needles
made of cardboard and PVC tubes have already been made
and will be hoisted high in the air, with the message
of 'NO FORCE!' A ten-foot hypo prop is now under

Counterprotesters are relying on grassroots ingenuity,
because they are being outspent 100 to 1, and relying
on donations. The U.S. government is spending $200,000
on their "Walk the Walk," and Tipper Gore is co-chair.

For the U.S. government itself to fund a political
march on Washington is said to be unprecedented.

The federal agency sponsoring "Walk the Walk" is the
Center for Mental Health Services. A reliable source
described the director of CMHS, psychiatrist Dr.
Bernie Arons, as "so enraged he has become irrational
about the Counterprotest." At the government's request,
Counterprotesters have held several negotiating
sessions with CMHS, but Counterprotesters have refused
to back down. Because Arons' event is a free, open
public event paid for by the taxpayers, legally
speaking Counterprotesters simply cannot be stopped.



The night before the May 2 Counterprotest -- on Friday, 
May 1, starting at 5 p.m. -- protesters will gather 
for a Pre-event "No Force" Festival of music, poetry,
banner-making and speakers. Admission is free.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of turnout, this Pre-Event 
Festival location has been moved to a larger site. 
The Pre-event Festival will now be at Carnegie Library 
Ground Floor Common Room, in Mt. Vernon Square,
Massachusetts Ave. and 9th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 
This is two blocks from the Youth Hostel where many 
protesters will be staying. 

FESTIVAL: Dissident psychiatrist and author Peter
Breggin, M.D. PERFORMERS include: Persimmon
Blackbridge of Vancouver, BC, Canada, author of book
"Prozac Highway"; Morgan Brown, poet, currently
fighting a forced outpatient drugging bill in Vermont;
Gayle Bluebird of Florida, of Altered States of the Arts;
singer/poet Rozz Lieght from Alaska and more.

On the day of the protest, May 2, simultaneous events
in other cities will be held in solidarity with the
Counterprotest, including an International Tribunal
against forced psychiatry in Berlin, Germany with SCI
activist Don Weitz flying in from Toronto, Canada.

The day after the protest, on Sunday, May 3, a
low-cost all-day workshop will be held in Washington,
D.C. on alternatives to forced psychiatric drugging.
Psychiatric survivor Janet Foner, co-coordinator of
SCI, will offer this acclaimed "Peer Crisis Prevention"
workshop. Pre-registration with SCI is required.


Vans, buses & planes carrying Counterprotesters from
Syracuse (including speaker/survivor/activist George
Ebert), Florida (including speaker/survivor/activist
Sally Clay), New York City (including African American
activist Chris Brunson), and Massachusetts are already
confirmed. Others are flying in from Alaska, Oregon,
Kansas, California, Canada, etc.

An air fare war is helping some Counterprotesters.
SouthWest Airlines has a discount sale on flights, 
but reservations need to be made by Wed., April 15.
[MORE LOGISTICAL INFORMATION -- including some updated
lodging info -- follows this news release, below]


A focus of the Counterprotest is National Alliance for
the Mentally Ill (NAMI), which is on "Walk the Walk's"
steering committee. While some individual members of
NAMI support liberty concerns of psychiatric
survivors, the leadership of NAMI is escalating their
own campaign for more forced psychiatry. NAMI is 
primarily composed of parents of psychiatric survivors.

NAMI recently launched their "Treatment Advocacy
Center" [NAMI-TAC] to greatly increase the number of
Americans who would be subject to forced psychiatric
drugs, both inside institutions, and even those living
in their own homes out in the community. NAMI-TAC is
the brain child of U.S. National Institute of Mental
Health psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey. NAMI's annual
report shows more than half of their major corporate
donors are drug companies. Drug companies have given
millions of dollars to NAMI.

NAMI works closely with the Clinton Admnistration, and 
NAMI's executive director Laurie Flynn is on Clinton's
National Bioethics Advisory Commission.

NAMI has already helped pass "involuntary outpatient
commitment" laws in more than 35 states allowing
courts to order people living at home, out in the
community, to take psychiatric drugs against their
will, even though critics maintain that these powerful
drugs can kill, addict and cause brain damage
leading to worse emotional problems than the person
originally had. NAMI is also loosening commitment laws
in many states, making it far easier to lock up some
Americans. The NAMI-TAC board voted that a "primary"
purpose of NAMI-TAC will be to increase forced
psychiatry in the USA, to a far greater extent.

"No matter how people stand on other mental health
issues, all but the drug company financed
organizations like NAMI are with us on the issue of
forced psychiatric treatment," said Vicki Fox
Wieselthier, the SCI national organizer of the
Counterprotest, flying in from Missouri to protest.

David Oaks, a speaker at the Counterprotest and
co-coordinator of SCI, said, "The theme of the 'Walk
the Walk' is that 'Mental Health Treatment Works.'
We're going to say: 'The Mental Health System is
Broken.' Usually the leaders of the push for more
forced psychiatric drugs stay in their board rooms and
conferences. They have made a big mistake thinking they
could 'hit the streets,' without any opposition!" Oaks
is flying in from Eugene, Oregon for the Counterprotest.

CMHS is paying much of the taxpayer's $200,000
directly to a large public relations firm, "Hayes,
Domenici & Associates" (HD&R) to spin-manage the
event. The name "Domenici" refers to one of the PR
firm's co-owners, the sister of Congressperson Pete
Domenici. Congressperson Domenici is one of the most
fervent supporters of funding CMHS, and traditional
"mental health" system. Internal e-mail from HD&R,
accidentally released to the public, reveals some
staff bitterly & angrily discussing Counterprotesters.

Counterprotesters are making heavy use of the Internet
to organize. Grassroots donations are funding the 
Counterprotest. Tax-deductible donations can be sent
to Support Coalition at the address listed below. 


For more information, people can e-mail:
Protest at

The counterprotest web site has brand new updates:

The Support Coalition web site has newly updated
information about the campaign to stop forced
psychiatric drugging, including ordering info for
hard-to-get books on the subject:

Support Coalition is a non-profit alliance of
grassroots groups working for human rights and
alternatives of psychiatric survivors. Founded in
1990, their newsjournal is Dendron News. SCI has 
held a dozen successful national protests.

SCI's 48-page Dendron #39 has information on the
"Campaign to RESIST Forced Outpatient Psychiatric
Drugging." A free copy is available to those who
pledge to join during the current membership drive.

E-mail Support Coalition at: dendron at
Those not on the Internet can phone (541) 345-9106. Or
write: Support Coalition International; 454 Willamette
St., Suite 216; PO Box 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484
USA. Fax: (541) 345-3737.




        Saturday, May 2, 1998, Washington, D.C.

Freedom Plaza is located on E Street, NW between 13th
and 14th Streets, two blocks south of the Metro Center
Metrorail stop.

If you are unable to attend the Counterprotest, please
wear a white carnation on May 2 as an expression of
solidarity with those who have endured psychiatric


If you are going into DC early, please take this
opportunity to visit your elected officials to educate
them about these important issues. Appointments should
be made well in advance. Be sure to send them our
press releases, and an invitation to join you at the
Million Mad March.

Friday, May 1, 1998:

Pre-event "No Force" Festival of music, poetry,
banner-making and speakers. Carnegie Library Ground
Floor Common Room, in Mt. Vernon Square, Massachusetts
Ave. and 9th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. This is two
blocks from the Youth Hostel where many protesters
will be staying. 

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: Dissident psychiatrist and 
author Peter Breggin, M.D. PERFORMERS include: 
Persimmon Blackbridge of British Columbia, Canada, 
author of several books including the new fiction 
book "Prozac Highway"; Morgan Brown, poet, currently 
fighting S.103, a forced outpatient drugging bill 
in Vermont; Gayle Bluebird of Altered States of 
the Arts; singer/poet Rozz Lieght of Alaska and more. 

May 2, 1998

9 AM: Begin gathering in Freedom Plaza for the
Counterprotest. Speakers, street theater, and a very
visible presence will be established for the

9:30 AM
Registration for the official "Walk the Walk" begins.
If you are in Freedom Plaza, you should be able to
pick out the Million Mad Marchers and
Counterprotesters. We hope to have plenty of No Force
signs and balloons to go around. You can also make
your own. Counterprotest speakers will break the
silence about forced psychiatry! Bring chants & signs!

11:00 AM
Government's Program begins. Confirmed speakers, at
this time, are Donna Shalala and Tipper Gore. The
Counterprotest will be legal. It is the Counterprotest
intention to be quiet during actual speakers. The
NoForce signs will be raised high in silent witness to
our presence, and as commentary, during the speeches.
We can speak out, chant, etc. inbetween any speakers.

11:30 AM
Walk Begins.
The SCI Counter-protest will continue at the same
time. We will be together, we will be visible, and our
message of NoForce will be heard.

The next day, Sunday, May 3, 1998.

Other events are being planned for the weekend
including an SCI Workshop by Janet Foner entitled
Taking Charge of Your Mind: Crisis Prevention for
Community Leaders which will be held at Bazelon Center
for Mental Health Law. Pre-registration required for
this low-cost workshopin downtown Washington, D.C. 
Contact SCI for more information.

Those staying until Monday and Tuesday can give public
comment to federal oversight groups meeting about CMHS
and its parent agency SAMHSA.


If you want to stay in a hotel or motel, generally it is
cheaper to stay in Arlington, Virginia area, and take
in the Metro. To find out about reservations, have
your credit card ready and call this combined service
for many hotels/motels in that area: 1-888-743-8292.

If you want to try hotels in the D.C. area, you can
call a similar service there: 1-800-554-2220.

The best and cheapest place we know of is the American
Youth Hostel. NOTE: As of today, April 9, because of
turn-out, the AYH is no longer accepting reservations
for May 1 or May 2. They do reserve some rooms for
walk-in traffic each day, so you could try that. This
AYH is a few blocks from Freedom Plaza at 1009 11th
Street, NW. For more AYH info you can call
1-800-909-4776 (key in 04 when the message asks for a
code to reach DC hostel). These are group
accommodations. If you mention that you are with the
Million Mad March, you will get the group rate of $19
a night.

If you've tried everything and still can't find
lodging, and you definitely want to go to May 2,
e-mail to: Protest at and we'll try to
brainstorm together. Let's get you to this historic
event! Don't give up!


SouthWest airlines has cheap discount fares at the
moment, but reservations need to be made by April 15.
Phone: 1-800-435-9792.

D.C. has three airports.

BWI International Airport

Located 30 miles east of Washington and offering a
full range of domestic and international flights. More
than 50 trains travel between Washington's Union
Station and the BWI rail station Monday-Friday. Ground
transportation to 15th & K Streets every 60 minutes
with door-to-door service available to BWI from your
DC suburban hotel, office, or home. Taxi fare to
downtown Washington is approximately $45. For ground
transportation, call SuperShuttle at 1-800-809-7080.
For information on complimentary convention and
hospitality, plus group sales, call 1-800-I FLY BWI,
press #5 and ask for the Convention Sales Manager at
extension 7034.

Washington Dulles International Airport

Located 26 miles west of Washington and offering a
full range of domestic and international flights. Taxi
fare to downtown is approximately $40. Washington Flyer
provides bus service to downtown hotels, with
departures every 45 minutes. For more information,
contact the Air Service Development Manager at (703)

Washington National Airport

Located south of the city along the Potomac River and
offering a full range of domestic flights on major,
regional and commuter carriers. Shuttle bus service to
downtown (1517 K St. NW) available. Also accessible on
Metrorail's yellow and blue lines. Taxi fare to
downtown is approximately $12-$15. For more
information, contact the Air Service Development
Manager at (703) 417-8766.


Metrorail and Metro bus provide the safest, cleanest
and most efficient way of getting around Washington.
Five rail lines and extensive bus system connect the
District with the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Train
lines are named for colors: red, yellow, orange, blue
and green. Station entrances are marked by brown
pylons capped with the letter "M" and colored stripes
indicating which lines are available. Route maps are
posted at each station and inside each subway car.

Trains operate Monday-Friday 5:30 a.m.-midnight,
Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-midnight. Each train displays
the name of its farthest destination. Rail fare cards
can be purchased at vending machines located inside
the stations. Farecards are inserted into the
turnstile gates to enter and exit subway platforms.

The fare is automatically deducted each time you exit
a station. To continue your trip by Metrobus, obtain a
transfer slip at the turnstile. Buses travel to
Georgetown and other areas not serviced by the subway


Parking is restricted during rush hours and some
weekend hours (check posted hours on street signs). If
your vehicle is towed Friday after 7 p.m. or anytime on
weekends, you won't be able to retrieve it until Monday
after 9 a.m. For details contact the DC Dept. of Public
Works, 65 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001;
phone: (202) 727-9200.


Amtrak Main toll-free number for reservations, fares
and information in US and Canada1-800-USA-RAIL
(1-800-872-7245) Group Travel Traveling with a group
of 15 or more, call Amtrak for more details.
1-800-USA-1GRP (1-800-872-1477) Metroliner Service
Reservations for Metroliner Service only in the


Greyhound has great rates, but they are being targeted
by Disability Rights groups across the country for
their failure to provide accessible busses and other
ADA accommodations. Phone # 1-800-231-2222.


Washington is circled by the Capital Beltway, formed
by Interstates I-495 and I-95. Interstate 66 leads
from Washington west to Virginia. Interstate 50 heads
east to Annapolis, MD, the Chesapeake Bay and the
beaches. Interstate 95 heads north to Baltimore,
Philadelphia and New York. Interstate 270 heads north
to Frederick, MD, and beyond.


For more information see the MadMarch pages of or contact:

David Oaks
Support Coalition International 
454 Willamette St., Suite 216 
PO Box 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

Phone: (541) 345-9106
Fax: (541) 345-3737
Email: dendron at

Vicki Fox Wieselthier
National Coordinator
SCI May 2 Counterprotest
4386 West Pine Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108 USA

Phone/fax: (314) 652-8030
Email: Protest at


National Day of Protest (MadMarch) March Press Kit
<mailto:vickifw at>



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