2007 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
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December 17th 2007 marks the 5th Annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This event calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers. Originally conceived by the Sex Workers Outreach Project as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River murders in Seattle Washington, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers empowers workers, clients, and our supporters to come together to organize against criminalization, discrimination and to remember victims of violence.
At 11:30 am on Monday, December 17th, 2007 on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, the Erotic Service Providers Union, the Sex Workers Outreach Project and Supervisor Jake McGoldrickâ€™s press conference to raise awareness about the violence committed against this unprotected workforce.
Following this public speak out, ESPU will hold a vigil at 3pm on Monday, December 17th, 2007 at Bancroft and Telegraph in Berkeley, Californiato call attention to a recent incident of violence against a sex worker while attending a UC Berkeley event hosted by the Ethics Department that depicted sexually violent graphic images of sex workers as normal.
We will be asking the universities to host forums to make sure that students and teachers have access to facts from actual sex industry workers and our supporters about what forced labor actually looks like in the sex industry. All Erotic Laborers must be supported in accessing our own agency to report theft, assault, battery, rape, coercion and murder. Existing laws that criminalize prostitution and immigration as well as other forms of regulations of erotic labor prevent workers from reporting violence Please join us by calling attention to hate crimes against sex workers, namely prostitutes.
â€œBy demanding the end to anti-prostitution laws and regulations, we will end the stigma, discrimination and violence against us and the stigma against our clients.â€ Say Starchild. The Erotic Service Providers Union demands that all workers and clients, female and male alike, have the ability to negotiate for our labor and work conditions irregardless of our legal status, country of origin, or government documentation.
An injury to one is an injury to all.
“Violence against prostitutes is violence against women.”– Taliesin the Bard, author and part time porn personality
The demonstration outside of University of San Francisco went well. 4 of us showed up and handed out flyers asking students and faculty to ask department heads to host a forum with real sex workers, immigrant organizations and law enforcement to talk about what forced labor actually looks like in the sex industry. We wore our demonstration attire; bandanas, sunglasses and hats. We happened upon 2 students who were involved in the actual filming of Asian massage parlor workers with hidden cameras and explained to them how filming workers without their permission violates their human and civil rights instead of bringing them rights. One fellow apologized. I told the other, a young woman, that we wished to work with their organization http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/ to help them understand these important differences and I stated that they ought not film workers with without their expressed permission. I stated the we want the University host a forum on what forced labor looks like in the sex industry. She asked if we were intending to bring â€˜these workersâ€™ and I stated that since the TVPRA classified all commercial sex as forced labor, that we, as the actual workers, would be there.
One philosophy professor stated that filming people without their permission maybe a privacy violation, but didnâ€™t constitute violence. I response by saying that any privacy violation of a group of workers who donâ€™t have access to recourse for any transgression committed against us because of our criminalized status, constitutes violence. He said he would fax our request around to the department heads to see if he could get some support for the forum. The campus police came too and it was a pleasure to explain to the man of Asian descent, how the University never returned any of my phone calls in regards to these matters and Iâ€™d been calling since last spring. He understood and I felt supported by him.
Itâ€™s our right and responsibility as an oppressed group of workers without rights, to take our rightful place in this democracy. This redress to the university students about their conduct to film Asian massage parlor workers with hidden cameras was an important act in light of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2007.