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Mad Pride in New York


MENTAL PATIENTS TO SET UP TEMPORARY ASYLUM ON
STATE CAPITOL LAWN


A group of people who have been labeled "mentally ill" is camping out on the East Lawn of the state capitol building in downtown Albany, New York for 72 hours from 1:00 PM Sunday, July 11th to 1:00 PM Wednesday, July 14, 2004.

The event marks the 24th Bastille Day Celebration/Demonstration of the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance. The Alliance is a statewide self-help, peer support and advocacy organization of people who consider themselves survivors of the psychiatric system. The Alliance offers a peer support and advocacy center in downtown Utica and a 24-hour peer support line at 1-800-654-7227.

The members and friends of The Alliance hope this legal and peaceful vigil will call attention to concerns about the use of controversial psychiatric treatments. These commonly used "medical procedures" are used to change a person's feelings, thinking, emotions, and behavior.

Presently anyone suspected or accused of a mental health, alcohol, or substance use problem can be taken into custody, transported to a psychiatric unit and held 72 hours for an evaluation. Denial of a problem, arguments in defense of one's self, or failure or refusal to comply are recorded as symptoms of a disease. A diagnosis of a mental disorder or substance abuse alone is sufficient evidence that a person needs treatment. The mental illness industry projects that up to 1/3 of our population could and should be treated. This month President Bush will reveal his plan that will mandate the testing of 52 million students for "mental illness" and allow for "state-of-the-art treatments" using "specific medications". Twenty five federal agencies were instructed to develop the implementation plan.

Most people who receive "mental health" or "behavioral health" services are convinced or compelled to accept psychiatric drugs. Most psychiatric "hospitals" use shock treatment as well as drugs. In New York State shock treatment is even used on children. Drugs and shock treatment are used on people over their objection, and without their willing and informed consent. Most people who have been subjected to imposed psychiatric "treatment" describe such "help" as torture.

The Bastille Day Celebration is part of a simultaneous worldwide event coordinated through Support Coalition International. The Coalition represents over 100 human right organizations that work to call attention to the failure of mental health systems. Activists engage issues such as involuntary inpatient and outpatient commitment, loss of parental rights, parity, specialized tracking systems, mental health courts, and profit-oriented services.

Bastille Day offers solidarity, advocacy, comaraderie, a forum for vital issues, peer networking, education, support, freedom of expression, healing, and more.

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Cindi Fisher, mother of psychiatric survivor

Cindi Fisher has fought for years for her son, who has experienced forced psychiatric drugging and other human rights violations in the State of Washington. She has even held protest fasts on her son's behalf (see photo of Day One). Cindi says: "In the past, advocating for my 33-year-old psychiatric survivor son over the years has been very frustrating and has sometimes felt hopeless! Now, as a member of MindFreedom, I feel I have the voice of thousands to join me. My effectiveness and awareness as an advocate has indeed multiplied a thousand times. Thank you David and MindFreedom for your many years of work to build such a powerful and empowering organization!"
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