MFI and allied organizations united for a successful peaceful protest of the 2012 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, questioning the dysfunctional over-labeling, over-drugging and forced psychiatric treatment still all too common in psychiatric practice today. [Updated 5 Oct. 2012]
Aki Imai from Ohio is a graduate student ally, who marched in the MindFreedom protest of the APA.
[New material has been added since this was first published, look for items marked “Update.”]
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Occupy the American Psychiatric Industry!
Thanks to everyone involved in making this MindFreedom protest a success!
As thousands of psychiatrists gathered for one of the main gatherings of the mental health industry, hundreds of psychiatric survivors and allies participated in a MindFreedom International march and protest, on 5 May 2012, in Philadelphia.
In 2012, “we are all the media.” MFI has a lot to share from this event, including video, photos, and news coverage. If you have more to add let us know!
Video of Mass Label Rip
There were many great moments at the protest, but here is one of the most empowering and most touching: A series of psychiatric survivor and allied activists ripping up psychiatric labels that had been applied to them, which had only gotten in the way of their progressing on their individual paths.
We don’t have to accept such labels if they aren’t helping us, and can take control of our own lives.
Here’s the “Label Rip” video… allow a moment for it to load:
For many more videos from the protest including several pre-protest speeches, the moving street march, and people’s individual stories, see the.
Activist Lauren Tenney has even done an inspirational one-minute video “trailer” about the Boycott Normal campaign and protest.
Images of the “Five Five” Day
Some photos we particularly liked:
You can see many more black & white photos in, and Lunatic Fringe has a from throughout the day’s events.
Protests Elsewhere in Solidarity!
These are global issues, and there were solidarity protests in a number of places beyond Philadelphia:
- ALASKA: MindFreedom Alaska supported the protest from afar! KTUU TV News in Alaska provided extensive coverage of the Philly protests and local activist Jim Gottstein who was a key leader in the protest. See (mostly on Jim’s personal experience and activism), , , and
- ONTARIO, CANADA: Here’s a on Facebook (you need to long in). And you can .
- MINDFREEDOM IRELAND had a solidarity protest, you can .
- A group in London also came out in solidarity, from .
- Many other solidarity events were planned, see this list of supporting events.
Mainstream Media and Other Coverage Around the Web
The Philadelphia Inquirer published a front page article the day before the protest,
And then the Philly Inquirer followed up afterwards with,, appreciating the lighter side of the label rip.
The Philly Post also covered us with with a pre-event blog by psychiatric issue journalist Liz Spikol,.
Update: The BBC covered the protest on their, starting 14 minutes in and lasting about six minutes.
The prestigious UK publication New Scientist has an article,, which covers the protest and highlights the concerns that many psychiatrists themselves have with a new edition of the “psychiatric bible” DSM-5, due to be published next year.
One outcome of the protest was that the APA “Radical Caucus” invited activists from MindFreedom and theto their caucus meeting at the conference, and Mad in America blog has some lengthy . Duncan Double blogged , on the same meeting but from the British perspective. Update: Lunatic Fringe offered another perspective on this meeting, .
Psychologist/activist Bruce Levine published a 4 May blog on Mad in America supporting the five-five protest, asking
Gaia Health Blog posted a story,, which puts several good videos in context.
MindFreedom set up two Facebook pages to help organize the event and gather our own media from it:, and .
You can also see a lot of information on links by reading through.
You can see the posters, materials, announcements, speakers, etc., via the MindFreedom gateway to Boycott Normal, here:
For the four months before the 5 May 2012 event, and the week after, the MindFreedom International Blog Talk Radio Show featured interviews with speakers and participants.
Tell Us More
If you know of additional articles, photos, videos, etc. that you’d like to share with us, please send them to us at
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