Dozen Day Campout to Stop the Torture at JRC

From ADAPT, March 22, 2018

Interpid ADAPTers keep their vigil in Camp Freedom

A view of Camp Freedom as the sun rises over the
park at 2427 L St NW in Washington, DC. People
wrapped in blankets, both lying on the ground and
in wheelchairs, sleepily get ready for the day.

After the Dozen Day Campout to Stop the Torture at JRC at the "ADAPT Park," 2427 L Street NW, across the street from Dr. Gottlieb's condo in DC, the Park Police came at 1:30pm (3/20) and threatened us to disband our camp and we compromised we would within 24hrs.

While five of us were at camp dealing with the police, the others were in the Longworth Bldg getting support to ban GED. Hearing what was going on, they hauled-ass back to camp, but missed the Park Police by 10 minutes.

We all got together and decided we were not going to give those who were putting in the complaints the spectacle they were looking for, so we decided to Bump-It-Up!

By 3:30pm, we cleared out Our ADAPT Park and began planning transportation for 18 of us to head over a 15 mile ride to the FDA Headquarters - not an easy feat to coordinate 10 wheelchair accessible taxis in one hour but we got it done.

At 8pm, we marched out of Bridal Shop, hidden a block away across Route 650, and stealthy made our way to the front doors of the FDA.

We pushed the button to open the doors and two doors opened, while Ami, Chance and Shaylin opened the next set of doors - to our surprise they were unlocked at 8:30pm.

We rushed in and were stopped by armed rent-a-cops inside the lobby of the Drug and Food Administration. Dawn and Jordan began to demand for the Commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Scott Gottlieb and they said they didn't know him and he wasn't their boss. Since it was quickly looking like they were not going to try to reach Gottlieb we started chanting, Who Do We Want- Scott Gottlieb, When Do We Want Him- Now! and Stop the Torture, Stop the Shocks! About an hour in, we together pressed up against them and they tried to barricade themselves in. Jordan, Spitfire, and Cassie got out of their powerchairs' and crawled against and in between them. At one point, one of the rent-a-cops was going to kick hard the area behind the desk where Spitfire's head was and we began chanting, The World Is Watching, Shame On You! and others pushed against the desk. We chanted strong for 4 hours, Gottlieb Gottlieb, Stop The Torture, Stop The Shocks! and at 12:30am we marched out of the FDA, and out to an ice storm. In the dead of the night, we marched out back to Rte. 650 and blocked all 4 lanes. We flagged down cars with our flashlights and one even came to a screeching halt a few feet away from Dawn and Spitfire. After 10 minutes or so of us taking over the road and chanting, Stop the Torture, Stop the Shocks! the police came and tried to get us to clear out. They were specially concerned we were bearing the ice strom of the Nor'Easter. We made it clear we weren't going anywhere until we spoke to Dr. Gottlieb and demand he sign the regs to stop the torture of electric shock aversives at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, MA. The police ended up arresting us after we had blocked the entire intersection.

About 3am they processed us on site but then we couldn't find accessible transportation back from Maryland to DC. The police helped us get 3 buses from RideOn, but they didn't start operating until 5pm; so, they told us the authority was calling their drivers to see who they could wake up because there was no other accessible way at 3am to get back to DC. We took the brunt of the ice storm, clothes were frozen, some truly feared for their lives, but we have the choice to do this without the fear of the Torture the FDA allows at JRC. ADAPT endures because our siblings and children are being Shocked, Tortured and Nothing will stop us from ending this cruel treatment of our community.

The buses arrived around 4:30am, we warmed up in them, then they took us to the Silver Spring Metro Station. Two powerchair batteries died, so some officers offered to assist us push them back all the way to the hotel where we've been charging our chairs in, off near the Foggy Bottom Metro Station.

The Dozen Day Campout to Stop the Torture at JRC may be over but the fight to END shock aversions isn't and ADAPT won't stop until this last archaic, unethical practice is abolished!

Later on today we'll be filming live with some of the campers about their experience during the ADAPT Dozen Day Campout, stay tuned!

#ADAPTandRESIST #StopTheShock

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