Thursday, December 18, 2008

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Yesterday was the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, an annual event involving grassroots vigils, marches and other events in North America, Europe, Australia and Hong Kong. As part of the December 17 activities, I joined the first National March for Sex Workers Rights. It was a modest affair, but one that brought new visibility to the (inextricably intertwined) causes of ending violence against sex workers and decriminalizing prostitution. You can see my coat and my right hand in a photo in the Washington Post's coverage, holding a banner that reads "OUTLAW POVERTY NOT PROSTITUTION."

In addition to marching through the streets and in front of the Department of Justice, the marchers delivered a letter to President-Elect Obama, calling for actions to stem violence against sex workers, and especially for involving sex workers themselves in policymaking.

Much more media coverage and video from the DC march is at Bound, Not Gagged - the blog of the Desiree Alliance.

More on December 17 and sex worker rights from around the blogosphere:

Stopping the Terror: A Day To End Violence Against Prostitutes

Audacia Ray's Speech from the NYC Vigil

Remembering violence against sex workers

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in the United Kingdom

In this spirit, I urge readers to contribute to the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center, which provides legal and social services for sex workers in New York City, and advocates for sex worker rights.

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