On 1st December Mitchell Jack Love Morton and Harriet from UAEM Imperial organised a flash mob for World AIDS day at Trafalgar Square. They wanted to raise awareness regarding the unnecessary deaths of so many thousands of people in developing countries because of the astronomical price of the drugs they need. They want to put pressure on universities and pharmaceutical companies involved in the development and production of these drugs to allow developing countries to produce generic drugs at much lower price.
It was a freezing cold day. It took a huge amount of will-power to make the trek to Trafalgar Square. The original plan was that after Mitch delivered a speech outlining the problems and their suggestions to combat them, everyone would take off their outer garments , revealing bright red clothes underneath and then jump in the fountain (symbolising patents jumping into a patent pool where they belong.)
Very quickly the police and the Trafalgar Square security men dissuaded the students from jumping in the pool. Instead, holding their bright red banners, they formed the shape of the red symbolic ribbon at the top of the steps in front of the National Gallery (having been assured that the rest was private property and that they would all be “nicked”.)
Mitch gave a rousing, genuine, fact-filled speech and we were all moved by the sight of these young science students making such an effort (not for any self-seeking motive whatsoever but because they wanted to help people who were powerless to help themselves.)
As a message of hope for the future, it was very encouraging to see all these young people braving the extreme cold in order to make a stand ‘not for profit but for people’.