December 1, 2010

December 17: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Join us in NYC for a vigil and community speak out

When: Friday, December 17, 2010 at 7:30PM – 9:30PM

Where: Metropolitan Community Church of New York, Sanctuary (2nd floor), 446 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018 btw 9th & 10th Aves. < http://bit.ly/dUenDt >

Who: Current & former sex workers, our allies, friends, families, and communities. This event is free and open to the public.

Join us in observing the 7th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

Join us in remembering those we’ve lost to violence, oppression and hate, whether perpetrated by clients, partners, police or the state.

We stand against the cycle of violence experienced by sex workers around the world. Recently in Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council reviewed the human rights record of the United States during their Universal Periodic Review. Uruguay’s recommendation to the Obama Administration – to address “the special vulnerability of sexual workers to violence and human rights abuses” – is the moral leadership we have been waiting for!

Join us in solidarity to fight the criminalization, oppression, assault, rape and murder of sex workers – and of folks perceived as sex workers.

December 17, 2003 was our first annual day to honor the sex workers who were murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway. In Ridgway’s own words, “I also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.” (BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3245301.stm)

We come together each year to show the world that the lives of marginalized people, including those of sex workers, are valuable.

  • Speakers:
    • Audacia Ray, Red Umbrella Project & Sex Work Awareness
    • Chelsea Johnson-Long, Safe OUTside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project
    • Michael J. Miller, The Counterpublic Collective and PROS Network
    • Andrea Ritchie, Peter Cicchino Youth Project and Streetwise & Safe (SAS)
  • Readings
    • Reading of the names of sex workers we have lost this past year
    • Memorial for Catherine Lique by her daughter Stephanie Thompson and read by Sarah Jenny Bleviss
    • Speak out: Bring poetry, writings or just speak your truth.

Light snacks, beverages, and metrocards will be provided.

The red umbrella has become an important symbol for Sex Workers’ Rights and is increasingly used on December 17: “First adopted by Venetian sex workers for an anti-violence march in 2002, red umbrellas have come to symbolize resistance against discrimination for sex workers worldwide.”

This event is co-sponsored by: Audre Lorde Project, Counterpublic Collective, FIERCE, MADRE, Peter Cicchino Youth Project, The Queer Commons, PONY (Prostitutes of New York), PROS Network, Red Umbrella Project, SAFER, Sex Work Awareness, Sex Workers Project, SWANK (Sex Workers Action New yorK), SWOP-NYC (Sex Workers Outreach Project), the Space at Tompkins, and Third Wave Foundation.

Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=110788105658599

For events outside of New York, visit: http://www.swop-usa.org/dec17

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