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Organizing Drug Users in Communities of Color Louis Jones Users United & Harm Reduction Coalition United States.

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Presentation on theme: "Organizing Drug Users in Communities of Color Louis Jones Users United & Harm Reduction Coalition United States."— Presentation transcript:

1 Organizing Drug Users in Communities of Color Louis Jones Users United & Harm Reduction Coalition United States

2 Burden of the War on Drugs It is not drugs that are being arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned, stigmatized and marginalized – but people. ~Peter Sarosi

3 …In the Beginning

4 Denying Treatment & Care Hopeless, Harmless, Homeless Perpetuating the oppression Constantly institutionalized Caught by agency = PATIENT Caught by a cops = CRIMINAL

5 Stigma was Challenged Birthed from not talking, but whispering Denial of basic rights From using past responses to community actions (Black Panther, Young Lords…etc) Motivated by loss of loved ones & lack of action

6 Moved from Isolation Action

7 Community Paradigm: Responding to Need Work within the community Grassroots Democratic Relevant Effective Stay focused on community Each one, reach/teach one

8 Response to Local Issue Only happened recently (2004) Broke the silence, disclosed & self-identified Came together within own network of community Birth of drug-user organizing – Drug users coming together – New York Users’ Union

9 To Organize, Is to Live…

10 Questions?

11 Harm Reduction National Conference: Portland, OR November 2012 Visit HRC on Facebook and Twitter


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