AIDS activists storm GlaxoSmithKline office in New York
About 60 activists from the New York and Philadelphia chapters of the direct-action group ACT UP and from the Health GAP Coalition stormed the Manhattan offices of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline on Tuesday in protest of the companys efforts to thwart the overseas development of cheap HIV antiretroviral drugs, HIVandHepatitis.com reports. Six protesters were arrested after a group of about 20 activists occupied the companys investor relations office and locked themselves together with chains. Protesters also reportedly threw blood money and empty pill bottles while shouting GlaxoSmithKline! GlaxoSerialKiller! The activists were specifically protesting a meeting held last week between company officials and institutional investors about the companys policies regarding access to HIV medications and Glaxos role as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging South Africas efforts to import or manufacture generic versions of existing AIDS medications. Julie Davids of ACT UP Philadelphia says activists plan additional protests in Washington, D.C., on March 5, the first day of hearings in the South Africa lawsuit.