The protesters, who are from the group "Act Up"
, had red ribbons painted on their bodies, the symbol for HIV/AIDS awareness, and slogans such as "AIDS cuts kills". Several fully clothed protesters also joined the group according to a UPI
The group occupied Boehner's officer for approximately 20 minutes before Capital Police arrived. After officers stated they would arrest the protesters for indecent exposure, the group put on their clothes and left the office. Despite being fully clothed, the three women participating in the protest were arrested after they began speaking with reporters outside the Speakers office. The male protesters, who did not speak with reporters, were not arrested.
Jennifer Flynn, one of protesters, told Talking Points Memo
reporter, Sahil Kapur:
“People with AIDS have been stripped naked for years – Medicaid has been cut, states are [struggling] … there are waiting lists in this country where people with AIDS are dying. We know that we can have an AIDS-free generation in the next 30 years. But we cannot get there — we cannot end AIDS because these guys want to cut some money out of the budget."
In 2009, 17,000
people with AIDS died in the United States. The CDC estimates that a total of 619,000 people have died in the U.S. due to the disease.
A speakers aid confirmed the protest, but told ABC News
there would be no official comment concerning the incident.