The American Rally for Personal Rights Wednesday in Grant Park was many things -- a strong first step for a new organization that now is in position to gain more funding and support from like-minded groups that support personal rights; a great affirmation on a beautiful day that the tide is turning toward parents who say their children were injured by vaccines despite the rearguard actions of the medical establishment to deny, delay, and distract; and a way to celebrate the many children who have improved and even recovered with treatments that include the dreaded "B" word -- biomedical interventions. As if on cue, The Chicago Tribune was out with a hate piece about the rally, Alison Singer sniping from across town at a vax conference about the overwhelming science that vaccines don't cause autism, yada yada yada.
But the real theme of the day was the arrival of Andy Wakefield as a full-fledged combatant in what is now an American revolution against the insanely overzealous and understudied childhood immunization program, along with other environmental threats to the health of future generations. In his powerful speech, Wakefield alluded to that, saying this country is the place where revolutions have a pretty good record of succeeding, and promising to stay with the fight till it is finished. In a way, the final severing of his ties with the British medical establishment gives him the energy and focus to become the moral leader of the battle in this country. Even a Colossus must find it hard to bestride two continents at once.
And as Andy told me several years ago, it is on these shores that the battle must be waged and won. Britain's legal system, medical castes and restrictive press laws were simply too onerous to overcome. Here, our own press freedoms reflect our Founding Fathers' revulsion with the British norms in which no one could say what they think without fear of being beheaded, incarcerated or, to use the quaint phrase of the General Medical Council, "struck off."
But now that the deed is done, the fight has really begun. Autism was invented here, with the rise of organic mercury compounds in the 1930s, and here's where it took off when those exposures and others were recklessly multiplied many times over in the 1990s and today. This is the perfect time and place to end it. And as a parting shot to Andy and America's former overlords, the only phrase I can think of -- well, it rhymes with "Struck off"!
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism