|Patient No More! The 1977 San Francisco Federal Building Occupation
This mini-course explores the nearly month-long occupation of San Francisco’s Health, Education and Welfare Office in April 1977 by a diverse group of people with disabilities demanding and ultimately getting civil rights.
Some came on crutches or with canes, others in wheelchairs, some communicated using American Sign Language, others used augmented communication devices, still others said everything simply by showing up and saying nothing at all.
Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act granted equal civil rights to people with disabilities but the regulations awaited a final signature, and officials had gotten cold feet. Protesters occupied buildings across the country. Thanks to help from an improbable coalition - from the Grey Panthers to Black Panthers, the gay men’s Butterfly Brigade to local politicians like George Moscone, Philip Burton, and George Miller - those in San Francisco stayed far longer.
The 504 regulations would serve as the basis of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) thirteen years later, and the occupation that led to their approval would be a watershed personal and political moment, one that solidified the Bay Area’s key role in the struggle for disability rights.
This lecture will include short films featuring oral history interviews with the protesters and original news footage from 1977.
Don't miss this opportunity to learn about this often overlooked moment in social justice history.