December 1999 OPMC Lyme Protest

MisTick at the Protest
Dahling in Green Velvet Gloves

It was a glam fashion statement, dahlings, that completed the ensemble, green velvet gloves with feather cuffs. My body was black and beautiful and puffy and big, engorged one might say! I had my sawshaped =mouthpiece at a 45 degree angle to my head (aka "unicorn style"). My eight legs danced and swayed to the Chants:

"OPMC Let our doctors treat us" and "OPMC Let our doctors be" and "OPMC cure our Lyme Disease!".......and others.

Lyme Disease Activists (and MisTick) take New York!

The New York City police were so kind. There were several protests all over the city, with hundreds - *hundreds* - of police on horses, motorcycles, and foot.

Elsewhere (I saw later) They had closed off one side of 5th Aveneu and over 200 police prevented the public accesss farther up around 46th....... but with the OPMC protest -> -> -> with our decrepit bunch on stools, in wheelchairs, canes, and one IV Bag and holder - - we rated One Policeman. One. Yes. *Just One*, and a very apologetic one, too, gently asking us to stay within the dividers, difficult as our numbers swelled, and we often did not do so.

They (original police who set up) divided the sidewalk in half lenghthwise and erected blue barricades, and in the middle of a busy Manhattan lunch hour, we shouted and chanted and drew attention from every passerby! I know we were heard inside at OPMC!!

At one point MisTick walked (danced) the entire length (3 long blue sections) of the cordoned area and counted every head - over 100 INside the barriers with several more floating outside the barriers and 3-4 resting in a van set up for that purpose and several had gone to lunch as they were weak. A conservative estimate would be 120 people attended> Also 2 came on lunch hour only.

Two people from OPMC came out and signed petitiions and wished us luck and said they were on our side.

Many passersby stopped, asked questions, considered the handouts, and thanked us. Although the protest was scheduled for 12 - 2, a majority stayed till 3:00 and we were quite strong in voice and numbers right up to the end.

There were many doctory= and health officially=looking people going in and out, several averting their eyes and shaking their heads, looking grim. Two management-looking gents came out and stood in front of us for 1/2 hour, smoking and looking. They were talking to one young lady protestor but I won't speculate.

It was so good to see so many people that have made acquaintances over the internet, so many cries of welcome and hugs and kisses when a face matched a screen name.

The signs were absolutely *wonderful* - too many for me to quote accurately. I carried the one which someone on the net thought up - very simply:

"Lyme Disease Tick - One Bite Lasts A Lifetime."

Two beautiful ladies flew in from Michigan (their arms were tired!! - Maddog joke!) in the morning and were flying out the same evening. One legal gentleman from Washington and the NIH protest was there, others from that area, that day, ......Maryland,......Virginia........Phila/PA,........NJ..........Conn...........NY......who knows where else?

I was absolutely overwhelmed at the courage and bravery of our people, our PWLD's (Persons With Lyme Disease) to turn out like this, knowing what it had meant for each person to struggle getting ready, make the trip, adjust their meds, their lives, accordingly, etc.

The weather was downright balmy! We all had challenged health, you could hear the murmurs, comparing symptoms, helping one another out......... but we made it and we made our voices heard. We will pay for it physically and with health problems for days, but "*We Were There World!*" We made a statement to New York and the World and all of the networks and places we faxed and wrote and e-mailed and especially --- OPMC - *yes* they certainly knew we were there!! Absolutely. And they knew we weren't happy and now everyone should know, *We Won't Go Away*

One young lady handed out Lyme Green Ribbon pins. Oh yes, I had a 3-foot red stocking with white trim, and large pieces of "coal" (black foam) with the sign:
"Naughty!! Naughty!!
Coal in the Stocking for
Persecutors of Lyme Doctors and Patients"

and some attending displayed the stocking prominently in front of them where OPMC people entered since MisTick was too busy dancing and chanting.

Thanks to all of the Cheer-Leaders for keeping it going. Thanks to the organizers, know their last few days were a frenzy! Thanks to the media people, whoever they were. Thanks to all of you who contacted media near you, public officials, encouraged us, encouraged one another to go, a big green Thanks!

Remember - The New Millenium - Time For Lyme. Lets Keep It Rolling!!

Take a quick breath or two, and then dash off a few after-the-protest paragraphs to whomever - even a letter to the editor just letting them know what we did, and why, and a theme. Perhaps also consider for your future actions that they never would have done this to AIDS patients - persecuted their doctors, told them "we don't know if this works so instead of letting you try it with your doctor's supervision, we'd like you to get sicker."

Think about all of the experimental remedies and combinations which have been tried in the name of prolonging the health of AIDs sufferers. A completely different picture, hmmmmm......not one AIDS doctor prosecuted, license revoked.

PWLD's - you are being medically discriminated against!! Remember that when you make your contacts.

Meanwhile, to all of you gorgeous and glorious protesters, I just don't have enough good things to say to you all, just - -

Thanks from MisTick for sharing my day!!


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