Guinea Pig Kids

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Guinea Pig Kids’
by

Amadi Ajamu

Regina Mousa’s grandson Garfield is enrolled in HIV drug trials.

Photo: BBC

“Guinea Pig Kids” is the British Broadcasting Co.’s shocking expose of forced drug experimentation by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) on HIV positive Black and Latino children in the foster care system. The highly praised documentary was shown for the first time in the United States on Friday evening at Sistas’ Place coffee house in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

The December 12th Movement International Secretariat, a human rights organization, obtained the film from London-based filmmaker Jamie Doran and is planning future screenings all over the city.

The film focuses on the scene of these crimes against humanity, the Incarnation Children’s Center (ICC), in Washington Heights. Under the auspices of the Catholic Archdiocese, ICC, in collusion with ACS, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and several pharmaceutical companies for the past several years, has conducted clinical trials of highly toxic, debilitating and often lethal drugs on defenseless Black and Latino children in foster care, some as young as 3 months old.

Protesters rally in front of Incarnation Children’s Center.

“ACS, which serves as ‘parent’ of all children in foster care, has consented to these sinister experiments and bears the ultimate responsibility,” said spokesman Omowale Clay. “Key to this is ‘follow the money.’

“Foster care is a multi-billion-dollar industry that has tentacles throughout corporate America. The international AIDS crisis stands to make pharmaceutical companies trillions of dollars. Our children’s bodies are being used with callous disregard to their humanity – chemical warfare in pursuit of profit,” Clay said.

Joan Gibbs, an attorney from the Center for Law and Social Justice added, “There are over 25,000 children in foster care, and it is no coincidence that more than 90 percent of them are Black and Latino and poor. The state’s intervention in families has a direct relationship to race and class. Poor people do not have the wherewithal to fight this formidable system that is designed to oppress and exploit us. These kinds of experiments have been conducted on poor Black people throughout American history.”

“Many people are familiar with the Tuskegee Experiments in which poor Black men in Alabama were use as guinea pigs for decades in syphilis experiments conducted by public health officials,” Gibbs stated. “But there are many more occurrences, including the forced sterilization of unsuspecting Black women in the South during the 1960s and ‘70s.”

The Center for Law and Social Justice has been an advocate for poor Black and Latino parents fighting to regain custody of their children from the foster care system.

Attorney Roger Wareham, secretary general of the International Association Against Torture (IAAT), laid out the work that would be done in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights scheduled to begin in March 2005. “IAAT and the December 12th Movement International Secretariat, as NGOs with consultative status in the UN, will submit written interventions concerning human rights abuses in the United States.

“This case clearly demonstrates the U.S. government’s active participation in the torture of Black and Latino children. It is on par with Abu Ghraib and the torture of Black political prisoners. In fact, the U.S. has steadfastly refused to sign on to the international covenant protecting the rights of the child.”

City Councilman and mayoral candidate Charles Barron reported on his efforts in the City Council. “We will hold a hearing on this at City Hall and demand that ACS come clean with all the facts. The public has a right to know. I am working on the scheduling of the hearing; it will be held as soon as possible.”

“The issue of health care in our community is a matter of life and death. Reparations are due and we must demand them. We must save our children and build our own institutions,” said Viola Plummer, national chairperson of the Millions for Reparations campaign. “Everyone must get involved. They are murdering our children,” she said.

The December 12th Movement and Millions for Reparations have held several demonstrations in front of the Incarnation Children’s Center and ACS headquarters.

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