Correcting Mistaken Ideas: Revisiting the People’s Program at Lincoln Hospital with Walter Bosque
In November of 1970, the People’s Program was founded by members from the Young Lords along with members of the Black Panther Party and the Health Revolutionary Unity Movement. Through direct action, the activists collectively organized and occupied Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx, demanding the city officials and hospital administrators improve health services amidst a heroin epidemic and a moment when the city’s public health infrastructures were failing and neglecting poor, Black, and Latinx communities. After taking over the hospital, they created the People’s Program (also known as Lincoln Detox Program), an addiction treatment center to serve and care for the community that was housed within Lincoln Hospital and ran until 1978. The People’s Program was a collective effort in confronting and rectifying a dysfunctional public health system, while also serving as a pedagogical space for healthcare, political education, and grassroots organizing.
One of the activists involved in the People’s Program was Walter Bosque, a member of the Young Lords, health worker, and radical acupuncturist. Bosque, along with Mutulu Shakur, formed the Acupuncture Collective after researching drug detox treatments and studying Chinese acupuncture practices used in China to treat opiate addiction. Eventually, they developed their own radical acupuncture treatment called “The People’s Protocol,” a treatment that continues to be used in treating addiction today. Join us for Correction* Seminar 3, as Bosque reflects on public health interventions and shares the history of radical acupuncture, the People’s Program, and the potential for political education and building public health infrastructure through collective care practices. Bosque’s presentation will be accompanied by a response and conversation with Monxo López, curator, cartographer, South Bronx-based environmental activist, and co-founder of South Bronx Unite.
As part of this program, we will also be screening excerpts from Jenna Bliss’s 2018 documentary, “The People’s Detox” which explores and preserves the history of this revolutionary drug clinic and its impact on contemporary notions of care and recovery.