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Herb Spiers: 1945-2011

Early member of Body Politic Collective, Toronto Gay Action and ACT UP

Herb Spiers died in New York City on March 2, 2011, after several years of struggle with HIV and cancer.

Though he had lived in New York for several decades, he was a significant force in the early gay movement in Toronto, co-authoring “We Demand,” a text that became the strategic blueprint for Canadian activists.

He was also a member of The Body Politic Collective, wrote for the publication and was a vocal member of early gay rights groups like Toronto Gay Action.

In New York, he became a founding member of ACT UP and helped write The Montreal Manifesto, “The Declaration of Universal Rights and Needs of People Living with HIV Disease,” released publicly in June 1989 at the 5th International AIDS Conference in Montreal.

Xtra will publish a more complete account of Spiers’ life soon.