Chanting protesters prodded the Reagan administration Saturday to act faster on AIDS research, accusing it of being unwilling to spend the money to conquer the deadly disease.
The demonstration in Washington was among several held around the country.About one dozen demonstrators laid in the street in front of the White House to "stop business as usual" in the administration and were arrested.
"After seven years and about 35,000 people dying, the Reagan administration can't overcome its fear and loathing of gay men, IV (intravenous) drug users, prostitutes and poor people in general to develop a comprehensive Washington demonstration.
"The symbolic point of it was to stop business as usual, which in the Reagan White House is AIDS phobia, homophobia and sex phobia. Business as usual in the Reagan White House must stop."
Protesters, carrying signs that read "AIDS doesn't discriminate" and "Kiss homophobia goodbye," met at the Capitol and marched to the White House for a rally. It ended with about one dozen of them laying down on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. About 100 other protesters, watched by mounted Park Police and several officers on foot, stood on the sidewalk to demand action on AIDS research and education.