Thursday, September 14, 2006

Protest at autism speaks TGIF event

I heard that autism speaks was holding events at TGIF's .
I went there last night (riverhead, NY location) with a lady friend. We had dinner. I explained to our waitress a couple of salient points about autism speaks. The rash of murders of autistic children, and how the rhetoric of autism speaks could be a contributing factor. She had a family member who was autistic. She was very receptive.

After we finished our dinner, I went into the enclosed bar area, where the bartender olympics was being held to support Autism Speaks.

I held up my protest signs. I brought all my greatest hits. Especially the autism speaks doesnt speak for me. Now Remember that this bar area is crowded and noisy. so noisy that Only in a lull , there was 2 of them in 20 min, that people could hear me. I said "autism is a difference not a disease". I also told the autism speaks lady that autistics are part of the natural diversity of human beings. She was asking me why. She also with some righteous indignation asking me about what is my connection to autism. as if trying to say or imply I dont have right to speak on autism unless she or they approve it. I spoke about some autistic role models such Bram Cohen. She then said well a lot of children suffer from it. As if, if someone is suffereing then it is ok to put them out of their misery.

The people who run autism speaks came to me. Michael giangario told me that I had to go no sign he was the owner of the building.(probably a lie but being NT very natural for him) He actually grab and held my arm. tried to get at the signs. I told him I paid to be here. I bought a meal. I was being no louder nor disruptive as the drunk people in the bar. they has some really big guy with tattoos grab me by the arm. When he started to be really forceful, the lady from autism speaks stopped him.

A young woman who came up stated that she helps autistic children at school. She then stated that one of the things she did was help them make eyecontact. I asked why. she was flabbergasted. I dont think she heard anyone questions the value of making autistics into NT clones. I told her that is important to her, implying not important to everybody else as per her assumption.

I got some angry looks and gestures to leave from some in the crowd. Also giangario threatened to call the police 15 minutes ago and he was gone by now. Now I know from experience that the police would since all I did was hold non obscene signs would just ask to me to leave if that. Remember it was autism speaks telling TGIF employees to get rid of me not the TGIF manager.

I handed the autism speaks lady my business card. I said if people like you had your way then I wouldnt be here. I then decided it was time to leave. I headed with a couple of people before me and behind me. I walked out signaled to my lady friend - it was time to leave. When I was out the door I turned to them and told them they were on the wrong side of history.

2 comments:

willow said...

I feel ignorant about the organization you are speaking of, and what they support or do that would be considered "murder".

I really would like to know more, if you can spare the time.

You shouldn't be the sole voice of reason. I'd like to help.

KellyS said...

Thank you. If you reached just one person that's one person that is no longer ignorant.