A group of people who have beenlabeled “mentally ill” is camping out on the East Lawn of the statecapitol building in downtown Albany, New York for 72 hours from 1:00 PMSunday, July 11th to 1:00 PM Wednesday, July 14, 2004.

The event marks the 24thBastille Day Celebration/Demonstration of the Mental PatientsLiberation Alliance. The Alliance is a statewide self-help, peersupport and advocacy organization of people who consider themselvessurvivors of the psychiatric system. The Alliance offers a peer supportand advocacy center in downtown Utica and a 24-hour peer support lineat 1-800-654-7227.

The members and friends of TheAlliance hope this legal and peaceful vigil will call attention toconcerns about the use of controversial psychiatric treatments. Thesecommonly used “medical procedures” are used to change a person’sfeelings, thinking, emotions, and behavior.

Presently anyone suspected oraccused of a mental health, alcohol, or substance use problem can betaken into custody, transported to a psychiatric unit and held 72 hoursfor an evaluation. Denial of a problem, arguments in defense of one’sself, or failure or refusal to comply are recorded as symptoms of adisease. A diagnosis of a mental disorder or substance abuse alone issufficient evidence that a person needs treatment. The mental illnessindustry projects that up to 1/3 of our population could and should betreated. This month President Bush will reveal his plan that willmandate the testing of 52 million students for “mental illness” andallow for “state-of-the-art treatments” using “specific medications”.Twenty five federal agencies were instructed to develop theimplementation plan.

Most people who receive “mentalhealth” or “behavioral health” services are convinced or compelled toaccept psychiatric drugs. Most psychiatric “hospitals” use shocktreatment as well as drugs. In New York State shock treatment is evenused on children. Drugs and shock treatment are used on people overtheir objection, and without their willing and informed consent. Mostpeople who have been subjected to imposed psychiatric “treatment”describe such “help” as torture.

The Bastille Day Celebration ispart of a simultaneous worldwide event coordinated through SupportCoalition International. The Coalition represents over 100 human rightorganizations that work to call attention to the failure of mentalhealth systems. Activists engage issues such as involuntary inpatientand outpatient commitment, loss of parental rights, parity, specializedtracking 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.

Document Actions