GURU Grantee: Right Care Alliance

On a cold November morning,  80 people gathered at Galaxy Park in Cambridge, MA, at the premises of several pharmaceutical companies. Event organizers Stephanie Aines and Vikas Saini welcomed everybody and spoke to the need for lower drug prices, especially insulin. Their very own “Pharma Man,” dressed as an executive, interrupted the organizers to deliver a string of excuses on why high drug prices have to stay (See Principle: Use humor to undermine authority). The crowd booed, pushed Pharma Man out of the way, and marched a quarter of a mile from the park to Eli Lilly’s office to pressure insulin manufacturers to lower the price of this essential medicine.

Family members of young adults who died from rationing their insulin poured buckets of fake blood on an Eli Lilly banner and chanted, “Their blood is on your hands!” A group of 10 activists blocked the door to prevent anybody from entering or leaving the building (see tool: blockade). They ended the protest with more speeches from family members and young adults struggling to afford their insulin and sang a version of “This Land is Your Land” that they call “Pharma Don’t Care.

Beautiful Trouble supported this action intended to shame Eli Lilly and other manufacturers into lowering the price of insulin. Insulin continues to be the poster child for how the American healthcare system is failing as people struggle to afford and ration their insulin.

Stephanie, Vikas, diabetic activists and their family members are the reason we believe in supporting frontline activists. The Get Up Rise Up fund supports activists from all over the world by funding direct actions addressing justice issues.

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