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Advocates Protest the Drug Industry's "Take Over of the Mental Health System."

Representatives of mental health and consumer advocacy groups from throughout the USA will hold a peaceful protest and press conference in front of the headquarters of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Researchers of America (PhRMA).

Protesters allege that, "The drug industry has taken over the mental health system. And we want it back."

MindFreedom International is sponsoring the legal protest at 12 noon on Monday, May 2, 2005 at PhRMA; 1100 Fifteenth Street, NW; Washington, DC, USA.

"Join us and tell PhRMA to stop supporting forced psychiatric drugging! Tell PhRMA to be truthful about the clinical trials and side-effects of the medications that their member companies are profiting from!" said Krista Erickson, board member of MindFreedom International.

Another protest speaker, attorney Jim Gottstein of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights in Alaska, said, "PhRMA represents the Big Lie of Big Pharma, which should be called to account for its despicable sacrifice of people on the altar of corporate profits."

including downloadable news release, poster, background, and MindFreedom letter to PhRMA is now on web at


On March 3, 2005, MindFreedom International wrote a letter to PhRMA with the following five requests. PhRMA never responded.

1. Issue a public statement condemning the involuntary administration of psychotropic drugs to any person;

2. Issue a public statement that PhRMA and its member companies will cease and desist from misrepresenting the true nature of research findings on psychotropic drugs and covering up evidence of the harm they do and the hazards they create;

3. Issue a public statement asking PhRMA's member companies to cease and desist from presenting advertisements that contain false and misleading suggestions that psychotropic drugs correct chemical imbalances in the brain;

4. Issue a public statement asking PhRMA's member companies to cease and desist from providing financial support to organizations that promote involuntary psychiatric treatment, and;

5. Meet prior to March 31, 2005 with representatives of our organization to address these concerns.


Following a news conference, protest speakers at the MindFreedom 2 May 2005 protest of PhRMA include:

Leah Harris had what she calls, "A psychiatrized childhood and adolescence," and is the daughter of two parents diagnosed with mental illness. She serves on the boards of National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy and Mental Disability Rights International, and has facilitated and presented workshops at local and national conferences. She lives in Washington, DC and is currently writing a memoir entitled
_Generation Rx_.

Jim Gottstein has been practicing law in Alaska for 25 years, including being an attorney advocate for people labeled with serious mental illness. Among many other things, he served as plaintiffs' counsel in the billion dollar litigation over Alaska's theft of the one million acre Alaska Mental Health Trust. Mr. Gottstein now devotes his time pro bono to the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights ( , whose mission is to organize a serious, coordinated legal effort around the country against forced psychiatric drugging.

George Ebert writes, "I am a former psychiatric system detainee, a survivor of psychiatric atrocities, and am familiar with the horrific effects of several psychiatric drugs. I have worked as an advocate and activist with the Mental Patients Liberation Alliance (in New York State) for over 25 years. I have two children and four grandchildren."

Krista Erickson of Illinois is a blind cross-disability activist and psychiatric survivor who serves on the board of MindFreedom International, and is chair of the Action Conference.

Larry Plumlee, MD is a graduate of Johns Hopkins medical school, and served on the faculty there in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Al Galves, PhD, a licensed psychologist in Colorado and on the board of MindFreedom International.

Vince Boehm, psychiatric survivor advocate from Delaware, is a veteran of the Fast for Freedom hunger strike.

David Oaks is a psychiatric survivor and director of MindFreedom International. This is his 29th year working as an activist for human rights in the mental health system. He lives in Eugene, Oregon.

For more information and to join MindFreedom go to or phone 541-345-9106 or e-mail

MindFreedom International is a non-profit coalition uniting 100 grassroots groups campaigning for human rights and alternatives in the mental health system, and is accredited by the United Nations as a Non Governmental Organization with Consultative Roster Status.

MindFreedom is 100 percent independent with no funding from government, mental health systems, drug companies or religions.

MindFreedom is holding an Action Conference 29 April to 1 May 2005 at the American University Washington College of Law.

NOTE: The deadline for registration for the Action Conference is *this* Thur., 21 April 2005.

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