This 1 July 2005 announcement lists Mad Pride 2005 events in four nations.

Musician TR Kelley Champions Mad Pride Neurodiversity at Oregon Country Fair! [credit: MindFreedom]


by Krista Erickson and David Oaks, MindFreedom International

A parade, vigil, theater, fasting, food, music, art and more create Mad Pride 2005.

Mad Pride 2005 is in at least four nations this year! You are invited to join in where ever you are! Below you will find schedules for events in Canada, England, France and the USA. At the bottom find more info about Mad Pride, MindFreedom, and how you are invited to participate.


Mad Pride celebrates the creativity, strength and resilience of the human spirit and is open to ALL. Mad Pride provides an opportunity to educate the public, empower psychiatric survivors and consumers of mental health system, and raise consciousness through various activities such as art, theatre, music, poetry, protests, vigils and more.

Mad Pride counteracts discrimination and prejudice towards people who have experienced mental distress or have been labeled by the mental health system.

Mad Pride also promotes economic, social, environmental and cultural integration of users/survivors into mainstream society.

Mad Pride is about celebrating “Mad Culture.” Observances of Mad Pride are often used to call attention to past and ongoing human rights violations in the mental health system.


Below is the latest news we have of Mad Pride celebrations/events taking place in four countries this month, July 2005. If you have an event to add, please contact the MindFreedom office.

AN EASY WAY to celebrate Mad Pride is simply to forward this news far and wide!!





July 8 to 14, 2005

The Mental Patients Liberation Alliance 25th Annual Bastille Day Demonstration/Celebration.

Celebrate the Human Spirit, Break the Silence About Psychiatric Oppression!

Join in a week of camping-out with a teach-in, vigil, and more! For 25 years this wonderful group has been using Bastille Day — July 14 — to speak out about human rights in mental health! The legendary psychiatric survivor and shock survivor George Ebert is one of the main organizers.

This event is once again directly on the East Lawn of the State Capitol Building in Albany, New York! Watch for the camp-out vigil and their huge signs.

Says George, “We are ‘mental patients’ setting up a temporary asylum in the State Capitol lawn. Some Alliance members and supporters will begin a fast at the event to call attention to and help stop forced shock treatment.”

George said the event will also oppose President Bush’s new “universal mental health screening” of all Americans. George said, “President Bush has revealed his mandate to have every American, starting with our 52 million students, to undergo ‘mental health’ tests. Pharmaceutical companies have been actively involved in designing, implementing, and promoting the plan, tests, and evaluations.”

A special focus is to end a horrendous practice that continues in New York State of forcing electroshock involuntarily over the expressed wishes of the subject. This abuse is well documented, but — incredibly — Governor George E. Pataki vetoed a bill passed by the State Assembly that would have begun to control this horrible violation.

Mental Patients Liberation Alliance is one of the founding groups of MindFreedom. For more info: Phone The Alliance at (315) 947-5888, 1-800-654-7227 or e-mail: AllianceBastilleDay05 at yahoogroups.com



July 12 – 14, 2005 from Bradford to Manchester, UK.

Activists in England are pushing a psychiatric bed on wheels from Bradford to Manchester — a distance of approx. 33 miles! On the psychiatric bed they are strapping a manequin in four point restraints, to symbolize abuse by psychiatry! Brilliant!

This group is very effective in reaching the public in visual ways, such as their wonderful Valentine’s Day protest march of forced psychiatric drugging. They are looking for people to join the bedpush team — you don’t have to walk the whole distance, only as far as you feel comfortable walking. More details and photos of their great past events go to http://www.kissit.org



July 14, 2005 – The Bastille, Paris, France.

Activists from MindFreedom’s sponsor group in Paris will once more gather at the actual Bastille on Bastille Day. As they have done for years, they solemnly lay a wreath at the Paris Bastille to remember the uncountable number of people who have been killed and harmed by human rights violations in the psychiatric system. For more information contact Alain Wache at alainwache at hotmail.com.



July 14 to 17, 2005

The Friendly Spike Arts and Information Festival of Human Rights and Wrongs!

In recognition of Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day and Mad Pride Worldwide!

In 1993 Toronto Psychiatric Survivors and local community organizations began holding a yearly event to educate the public, bring attention to Psychiatric Survivor issues, and empower themselves.

Beginning in the year 2000, Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day aligned itself with Mad Pride Day that is celebrated globally on July 14th. The Friendly Spike Theatre Band proudly acknowledges local Psychiatric Survivor Pride and International Mad Pride day with an annual grassroots festival.

This year’s event has a decidedly “human rights and wrongs” theme because human rights and wrongs are something we all share in. Friendly Spike is a sponsor group of MindFreedom International.

An incredible array of creative events will take place this year in this Toronto. All events are FREE however donations are accepted. All events are wheelchair accessible, however the theatre is accessible via freight elevator and reservations are advised.

— THE OPENING!: Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Committee Room Two, July 14, 2005 – 1pm – 4pm.

Greetings from Human Rights Activist Anna Willats and Special Guest – Velma Demerson author of INCORRIGIBLE.

Featuring: Poet and writer – Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Writer and Director -Darren O’Donnell, Singers and songwriters Honey Novick, Roger Ellis, and Mamma D. (Marchand). Presenters will discuss how various art forms and disciplines may be used to strengthen human rights and bring attention to human wrongs. Friendly Spike Hosts will pay tribute to the activism of Bonnie Burstow and Don Weitz.

  — A PASSION FOR LIFE: Philosopher’s Walk, July 14th 2005 – 5pm – 6pm. (behind Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor St. West):

Members of “Women Won’t Forget” lead a tour of the vigil site at Philosopher’s Walk. Through their own stories of survival, through the stories of murdered women, and through poetry and music they will demonstrate how art can keep alive the spirit of women who have gone before us, and bring renewed energy and a strong voice to those of us who truly want to change the world.

— PATIO B.B.Q. : The Friendly Spike Warehouse Theatre Patio – 2466 Dundas Street West; July 14th 2005 – 6:30 PM – 8pm.

Friendly Spike serves up FREE mouthwatering burgers, dogs, and veggie kabobs!

— HUMAN RIGHTS MATTER: The Friendly Spike Theatre Band – 2466 Dundas Street West – 210, Toronto; July 14th 2005 – July 16th 8pm – 9pm.

Premiere of “Human Rights Matter,” a new play by The Friendly Spike Theatre Band! The play uses a make-believe Human Rights Commission to review complaints. The play is designed to encourage people to speak out against human wrongs.

— CABARET and Open Stage – The Friendly Spike Theatre Band – 2466 Dundas Street west, 210, Toronto, Ontario; July 14 to July 16, 2005; 9pm – 11:30 pm.

Hosted by Mikel Renout, featuring the groovy improv band Michael Holt and Kids, and Open Stage.

  — RIGHTS FORUM, Parkdale Community Legal services. July 15th 2005 – 2pm – 5pm. (Contact Friendly Spike for location info.)

— CAPA (Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault); July 16th 2005 -1pm – 4pm.

CAPA PRESENTS ANTIPSYCHIATRY IN FILM AND VIDEO: The Peace lounge, seventh floor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

The afternoon will begin by a screening of “Still Sane” made by Brenda Ingratta and Lidia Patriasc featuring our very own Sheila Gilhooly and Persimmon Blackbridge.

Next will be the premiere showing of a video by Jeffrey Myers on “Inquiry into Psychiatry 2005” – the public hearings into electroshock and drugs, which CAPA held this April 2005. This video shows both the planning that went into the inquiry and testimony itself. After the event CAPA members will answer questions about the public hearings process.

— HISTORICAL PATIENT BUILT WALL TOUR – Queen and Shaw (outside Center for Addiction and Mental Health, 1001 Queen Street West); July 17th 2005 6 pm- 8:00 pm.

Historian, and author of “Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient life at The Toronto Hospital for The Insane, 1870 -1940” Geoffrey Reaume will lead a walking tour featuring the strengths and achievements of the psychiatric captives who built the wall, and lived and died in it’s shadow. A HAPPENING, on the site will follow.

For more information contact: Ruth Ruth. Phone: (416) 516-4740 or e-mail friendlyspike at globalserve.net



Sunday, 10 July — 3 pm, Veneta, Oregon, USA

Since 2000, Mad Pride has been celebrated annually inside the enormous Oregon Country Fair near Veneta, Oregon, USA. You are invited to Mad Pride Oregon 2005 on the intimate stage of the Community Village. You also may find Mad Pride folks during the fair in the Village at the Doors of Expression Booth. Come by to Mad Pride Oregon 2005 for music, sing-a-longs, “normality screenings” and a group photo. For information on how to attend Oregon Country Fair go to http://www.oregoncountryfair.org/



MindFreedom once more is an official participant in major Disability Pride events in Chicago, USA.

— The 2005 Disability Pride Parade presents The Community Open Mic. Friday, July 22, 2005, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., University of Illinois at Chicago Auditorium, 1640 West Roosevelt Road.

Join parade organizers, Grand Marshal Steve Brown, participants and friends for an evening of essays, poetry and stories the day before the disability community kicks-off Chicago’s Second Annual Disability Pride Parade. To reserve a spot on the program, e-mail martinbeale70 at yahoo.com or call (312) 253-7000 ext 199 (voice), 312-253-7002 (TTY).

— Disability Pride Parade; July 23, 2005, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

MindFreedom will again have a contingent marching in the Chicago’s second annual Disability Pride Parade. The Mad Pride brigade will be led by Krista Erickson, board member of MindFreedom International, and a blind cross-disability activist.

Come celebrate Mad Pride and build bridges between our movement and the disability community. Parade step-off is at noon followed by a post-parade celebration at Union Park — 1:00-3:00. If you want to be in the MindFreedom Disability Pride Parade contingent, please e-mail krista at intenex.net by July 22.

General information about Disability Pride (including a link to MindFreedom’s page on Mad Pride) can be found at http://www.disabledandproud.com



July 16, 2005

Mad Pride Cabaret!

Gallery Gachet, located in Gastown at 88 E. Cordova St. (at Columbia) in Vancouver B.C., is hosting a Mad Pride Cabaret on Saturday, July 16, from 7 to 10 pm. This informal cultural evening will bring together mental health survivors and friends to share an open mic, music, spoken word, speakers, and video. Refreshments will be served, and admission is by donation.

Gallery Gachet is Canada’s only artist-run centre operated by and for mental health consumers.

For more information — Media Contact: Valerie Elchu, Promotions Director, ph: 604.687.2468 (office) or visit the website at http://www.gachet.org

Francesca Allan of MindFreedom will also attend, cover the event, and network with those who wish to start a new affiliate MindFreedom British Columbia. E-mail Francesca at lunatics at shaw.ca.




THE ABOVE MAD PRIDE EVENTS are just a sample of the activities that have been held for these past decades to celebrate the human rights and spectacular culture of people considered very different by our society.

Mad Pride may be celebrated anytime but is most often observed in the month of July, usually on or around July 14, Bastille Day. This year is the 25th anniversary of psychiatric survivors using Bastille Day to celebrate Mad Pride.

The tradition of using Bastille Day as Mad Pride Day was started in New York by the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance and has since spread around the world. The 14th of July marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in Paris, France in 1789. For over the past two centuries, the storming of the Bastille has been a universal symbol of liberation. In addition, when the Bastille was stormed, two prisoners with psychiatric labels being detained there for that reason were freed.

The Mad Pride celebrations have grown directly out of an historic but little-known international social change movement led by psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers that began in about 1970. MindFreedom International is one of the groups in this movement.

Mad Pride got its start in London when activists there saw a Gay Pride event and got madly inspired.


This movement is open to ALL, whether or not you have personally been labeled by the psychiatric system. Mad Pride is really about Human Pride. Yes, given humanity’s track record, Human Pride may seem daunting. Mad Pride celebrates how each person’s eccentricities, passion, uniqueness and freedom makes you truly human. Do not allow our very humanity to be pathologized by a corporate mental health system that has gone out of control! Celebrate YOUR Mad Pride!


About the use of the word “mad”: Yes, when MindFreedom International’s great team is in the United Nations — as it has been for four years — we tend to use more “widely-acceptable” language. But once in a while, we feel one has to do as Gay Pride has done, and reclaim language for our own creative and fun use! The origin of the word mad is simply “changed.” If you choose not to say “mad,” that’s okay.


YOU ARE INVITED to be part of helping to network, promote and organize future Mad Pride events! It’s easy. Just join the non-profit organization MindFreedom International at http://www.MindFreedom.org, and then apply to be on the MindFreedom Mad Pride Organizing Committee. Or e-mail for more info to office at mindfreedom.org. Include your postal address if you’d like a sample of MindFreedom’s newsjournal.


You may celebrate in your own way wherever you are this month.

PLEASE REMEMBER: One way to show your MAD PRIDE right *now*, is simply to forward, copy and post this to appropriate places on and off the Internet!

And please TALK ABOUT THIS, break the silence with your friends, relatives, colleagues. Ask them, “Did you know this is Mad Pride month”? Point them to the web site http://www.MindFreedom.org.

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