5 March 2001: International Day of Action Against Pharmaceutical Company Profiteering

TAC called for an international day of action against pharmaceutical company profiteering at the expense of the lives of people with HIV/AIDS. On 5 March, activist groups around the world will held protest actions to denounce the litigation being pursued by the pharmaceutical companies against the South African government.
Read about the court case.
Read the endorsement statement

Protests also took place demanding that  the US government drop its complaint against Brazil at the WTO.

Worldwide Calender for 5 March 2001 (in alphabetical order by country)


  • 17 Feb to 5 March: Gathering signatures for open letter to Glaxo SmithKline.
  • Sydney: 3 March: Global Treatments Access Network (Aust) group in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on night of 3 March. -- Contact roblake@netspace.net.au.
  • Brazil

  • Brazilian activists will use the international day of action to launch a campaign to make Brazilians aware of the PMA court case against the South African government and the US complaint against Brazil at the WTO. -- Contact Ezio Santos-Filho etfilho@attglobal.net.
  • Canada

  • Toronto: 12:15, Protest outside US Consulate at the US Consulate 360 University Avenue. (preceded by a press conference at 11:15 AM at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, Yonge Street) -- Contact  Canadian Treatment Advocates Council (CTAC) at ctac@sympatico.ca or AIDS Action Now!
  • Vancouver: 12:00, Protest outside the World Trade Centre at Canada Place, right beside the Pan Pacific Hotel, Waterfront SkyTrain. Protest against the USA government using the WTO to protect pharmaceutical company profits  and the PMA lawsuit against South Africa. -- Contact paulab@parc.org or phone 893-2239.
  • Denmark

  • Copenhagen: 2 March, Protest in front of Novo Nordis against two Danish companies who are supporting the legal action against the SA government. Contact Morten Nielsen, Southern Africa Contact Phone:  +45 25 39 65 57.
  • France

  • Paris: ACT-UP Paris is organising an action in the financial district. -- Contact Khalil at gerrold@wanadoo.fr.
  • Germany

  • Activists will will send open letters to the government asking for support for South Africa in the court case. Activists will also ask German companies involved to withdraw from the court case. Contact Ralf Berger, Afrika-Süd-Aktionsbündnis, Bonn afrika-bonn@t-online.de.
  • Italy

    Rome:  1 March, 2001: Activists are organising a postcard campaign against TRIPS. The postcards will be delivered to the Italian Prime Minister. Contact Mauro Guarinieri m.guarinieri@agora.stm.it or Italian Community Advisory Board (i.cab@libero.it)  or phone +39 051 26 16 76 or mobile +39 347 96 31 837.


  • Manila: Gay and health activists will picket outside the Department of Health in support of TAC and against Drug Company profiteering. Please contact Oscar Atadero at progay@edsamail.com.ph. (Secretary of the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines).
  • South Africa

  • Cape Town: 12:30, US Consulate (Monte Carlo Building, Heerengracht Street) -- Contact TAC Cape Town office : (021) 364 5489
  • Durban: 12:30, US Consulate -- Contact Durban TAC office : (031) 304 3673
  • Pretoria: 10:00, Church Square, in front of High Court where PMA vs Govt. hearing is taking place. There will be activities until 14:00 including a march to the US consulate. This is the main TAC event for 5 March. -- Contact TAC JHB (011) 403 7021.
  • Thailand

  • Bangkok: Gathering outside the SA embassy to express solidarity with the South African government in the court case. Contact MSF Thailand at msfbthai@asianet.co.th.
  • United Kingdom

  • Birmingham: 16:30, Town Centre, Boots the Chemists, High Street Entrance.
  • Crawley: 8:00, Protest at GlaxoSmithKline Plant, Manor Royal, Crawley, contact 07818 027 408.
  • Kent: 7:30, Picket of GlaxoSmithKline plant, Temple Hill, Dartford. Details: 07951 737 003.
  • London (1): 11:30, ACTSA is co-ordinating a protest in London. Starting at South Africa House in Trafalgar Square and marching to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry in Whitehall. From 11:30am to 1:00pm. For more details contact laura.fisher@actsa.org. The protest is supported by a wide range of groups including UNISON, the National AIDS Trust, VSO and Oxfam.
  • London (2): 8:00,  Picket of GSK UK offices, Great West Road, Brentford West London (nearest train station, Syon Lane). Supported by: John Pilger, Journalist; Disabled Direct Action Network; Peter Tatchell, gay rights activist;  Beth Aze, National Union of Students LGB Officer; George Monbiot, Journalist and Globalise Resistance. For details phone: 07956 681 328.
  • Manchester: 17:00, Protest in Town Centre Manchester, Market Street, contact Dr Kay Phillips 0161 203 5064.
  • There are also protests in Norwich, Glasgow, Leeds and Edinburgh. See www.resist.org.uk  for more details. ACTSA is encouraging people all over the UK to send GlaxoSmithKline faxes and emails of protest on 5 March. See ACTSA's website for a standard protest letter addressed to the CEO of Glaxo SmithKline (www.actsa.org).
  • United States

  • Boston: 12:00, State House. Rally calling on Massachusetts state and federal representatives to take a stand on the issue of affordable AIDS drugs for Africa, on pharmaceutical companies to drop their lawsuit against affordable medications in South Africa; on the U.S. government to drop WTO complaint against Brazil. Contact bgan-aids@yahoogroups.com or Amy Farber afarber@wjh.harvard.edu.
  • New York City : 12:00, 59th Street and 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Rally and march to GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol Myers Squibb offices.  Take the N/R to 60th street ; or B/Q to 57th and 6th Ave. Contact Cindra Feuer at cindraf66@yahoo.com or Sharonann Lynch at salynch@globaltreatmentaccess.org. Also: 212-674-9598 or GTACny@hotmail.com.
  • Philadelphia : 9:00, Protest outside Glaxo Headquarters in Philadelphia. Contact Katie Krauss at katie@critpath.org or (215) 985-4448 ext 168.
  • Berkley:  12:00, Bayer plant front gates, 7th and Parker Streets, picket, rally and voluntary non-violent  civil disobedience  under the slogan "Stop Medical Aparthied".  Speakers include Berkeley Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek, Berkeley Councillor Kriss Worthington, San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzales, Bongane Nyatai from South Africa, California Nurses Association, Father Bill O'Donnell, Rev. Mark Wilson, and Act Up/East Bay. Info:  (510)568-1680.  johnnyi@surfree.com.
  • Washington DC: 13:30, Freedom Plaza 14th and E Sts, NW. March to BMS and the White House. Contact Katie Krauss at katie@critpath.org or (215) 985-4448 ext 168.