Edwards speech interrupted by AIDS activists
AIDS activists interrupted a presidential campaign speech by candidate North Carolina senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) on Thursday at Columbia University in New York City by standing and shouting, "Campaign on AIDS, campaign on AIDS!" The [Raleigh, N.C.] News & Observer reports. Edwards paused during the protest, then thanked the students for raising the issue of global AIDS awareness. "How about a round of applause for them? They're right," Edwards told the crowd of about 1,000 people. Edwards also gave the protestors a thumbs-up and said the "same moral responsibility" Americans have for ending poverty "should carry over" to the global fight against AIDS. Jonathan Jacoby, one of the students who interrupted Edwards' speech, said he was disappointed the candidate has not talked about global AIDS issues during his campaign. "It's too bad we have to interrupt him, but he needs to campaign on this issue," Jacoby told the News and Observer.
Edwards's chief opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), was offered a postcard with a pink-wrapped condom attached to it by filmmaker Sharon Sopher while campaigning in Madison, Wis., on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reports. "I want to give you this, if you would keep this condom as a reminder when you're president of the need to inform the American public about the threat of AIDS," said Sopher, who recently made the film HIV Goddesses: Stories of Courage, as she gave the condom to the senator. Kerry at first refused to take the condom, telling Sopher "I actually don't need it as a reminder" and, noting that he has been a leader in Congress in the fight against AIDS, urged her to "give that to somebody for whom it's a real education." He relented and accepted the condom when Sopher acknowledged his efforts in the fight against AIDS and urged him to accept the condom on behalf of "women and AIDS in America."