Ahead of World AIDS Day, House Speaker John Boehner had his personnel office stormed by some unorthodox protestors.
Capitol Hill is all about decorum. That usually involves dressing your part with a suit or a skirt. Protesters are often the exception, although even then, they're usually clothed. But that wasn't the case on Tuesday, when staffers in Boehner's personal office in the Longworth House Office Building were greeted by seven naked bodies protesting potential cuts to AIDS programs.
"Budget cuts are really rude. That's why we have to be so lewd," the protesters chanted.
Seven people took part in the nude demonstration while more than twenty clothed protesters looked on. Four male protesters evaded Capitol Police after they were allowed to dress and join the throng outside the office. The women weren't as lucky. Jennifer Flynn, with the nonprofit Health Global Access Project, was one of three female protesters charged with indecent exposure.
"So we wanted to come here and show what's happening to us. We're having everything ripped off of us. We're going to be left with nothing," she said. "people with AIDS in this country and around the world need to have PEPFAR funded — the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief."
The organization is worried more than $1 billion in budget cuts could hit HIV and AIDS programs if pending budget cuts aren't diverted before January.
"We're here to protest that and show the human cost. 350,000 people with HIV will not get medicine," said Paul Davis, another protester who works with Health GAP. "At least 65,000 of them are in immediate urgent need and will die. This is unacceptable."
The protest came ahead of World AIDS Day, scheduled for Dec. 1. The group started its protest at the Democratic National Committee's headquarters, though they saved their nudity for the House Speaker. Boehner wasn't at his Longworth office, however; he usually just uses his speaker's office in the Capitol.