International Sex Worker Rights Day with SWANK & SWOP-NYC

Celebrate International Sex Worker Rights Day
with SWANK & SWOP-NYC
Monday March 3rd, 7 to 9 pm

Dear friends of sex worker rights,

This year SWANK (Sex Worker Action of New York) & SWOP-NYC will host a potluck dinner to celebrate International Sex Worker Rights Day. This day reminds us that we are part of a global community of people who refuse to accept the discrimination against us and the criminalization of our work, our means to survive.

When: Monday March 3, 7 to 9 pm
Where: Judson Church, 55 Washington Square South, NY, NY 10012 (Use Entrance on Thompson St)
Cost by donation for dinner: $3 to $15 depending on what you can afford (no one turned away)
Food will include vegan and vegetarian options.
You may also bring food to share if you’d like!

Celebrate Sex Worker rights with… Fun activities! Craft Projects! (Design a placard to demand sex worker rights). Raffle! Win a prize… Conversations with activists for sex worker revolution….

For more info contact: swank@riseup.net
For Announcement List, see our myspace: http://www.myspace.com/weareswank

What is International Sex Worker Rights Day?
The 3rd of March is International Sex Worker Rights Day. The day originated in 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a sex worker festival. The organizers, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group whose membership consists of somewhere upwards of 50,000 sex workers and members of their communities. Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3 March as International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.

What else is there to celebrate?
We are also celebrating the formation of our two groups SWANK (For Current & Former Sex Workers) and SWOP-NYC (For Current & Former Sex Workers & Our Allies).
SWANK is Sex Workers’ Action New York, a radical sex workers’ initiative based in NYC. [ http://www.myspace.com/weareswank/ ]
SWOP-NYC is a chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project. [http://www.swop-usa.org/ ]

This event is also supported by $pread Magazine and PONY (Prostitutes of New York).

Submit for Best Sex Writing 2008

An open call for submissions of personal essays and reporting for the 2009 edition of the Cleis Press series Best Sex Writing, which will hit stores in November 2008. For submission details, click here.

Celebrate International Sex Worker Rights day with SWOP East in North Carolina!

SWOP East (Sex Worker Outreach Project East) will host a free movie night to celebrate International Sex Worker Rights Day on March 3rd. Join the Triangle’s only sex workers’ rights organization, as we stand in solidarity with sex workers and allies around the world, to call for full recognition of the human rights of sex workers.

When: Monday March 3, 7:00 PM

Where: Bull City Headquarters (BCHQ), 723 N. Mangum St., Durham, NC

Celebrate Sex Worker Rights with subversive movies, delicious cupcakes, and spirited discussion about the films and our condom project Pledging Action!

Pledging Action (PA) is a small, informal, grassroots project under the umbrella of SWOP-East, a US-based, public nonprofit organization operated by three SWOP-East board members – two in the US and the other in Chile. PA was created for the benefit of sex workers. The idea was born after watching Taking the Pledge about the USAID anti-sex work pledge international organizations were forced to take in order to receive USAID funding. Giving condoms to international organizations that support sex workers seemed to be a good answer to the many problems created by the Pledge.

On March 3rd, we will be screening Taking The Pledge, along with Live Nude Girls Unite!

For more info contact: swopeast@gmail.com and see our website at www.swopeast.org

What is International Sex Worker Rights Day? The 3rd of March is International Sex Worker Rights Day. The day originated in 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a sex worker festival. The organizers, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group whose membership consists of somewhere upwards of 50,000 sex workers and members of their communities. Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3 March.

SWOP East is a chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA. SWOP USA is a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy. Visit http://www.swop-usa.org/ for information on other March 3rd celebrations throughout the USA!

 

 

Survey: Sex Workers and Law Enforcement

I’m simply passing this along:

The Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP) of the Open Society Institute’s Public Health Program is dedicated to improving the health and protecting the rights of people who are stigmatized because of their sexual practices, real or perceived sexual orientation, and/ or gender identity. SHARP works with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, men who have sex with men (MSM) and sex workers, particularly to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS, by increasing access to equitable health and social care services and promoting laws, policies and practices that bring an end to discrimination and abuse.

Due to extreme marginalization and criminalization in many societies, sex workers are unable to access basic health and education services for fear of punishment, and are limited in their freedom of movement. These barriers have led to increased health risks for and human rights violations against sex workers worldwide. Stronger and more positive relationships with law enforcement may help reduce these barriers and allow sex workers to more fully realize their rights and protect their health. Examining programs and interventions used around the world to address law enforcement-sex worker relations will allow for the development of a list of effective strategies and lessons learned which can guide existing programs and help build new ones.

Continue reading

Take Action Today! PEPFAR Reauthorization- End the Pledge!

We need your help again! Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) will gather this Wednesday, February 27, to make amendments (“known as markup”) to the PEPFAR reauthorization draft bill prepared by Congressman Berman, Acting Chairman. We must urge committee members who support the Chairman’s bill to attend the entire markup and keep the pressure on all HCFA members to support the bill. Please call members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs TODAY.As you know, the Chairman’s draft bill makes several critical improvements to U.S.-funded HIV prevention policy in order to better address the real-life needs of women and girls. It strikes the ideologically-driven requirement that 33% of prevention funds be spent on abstinence-until-marriage programs, removes the anti-prostitution pledge, and emphasizes the integration of HIV and AIDS programs with family planning programs. However, these hard-fought, life-saving provisions are in jeopardy. A small yet vocal opposition is ready to make amendments during markup that would roll back the advancements in the Chairman’s bill. Your phone calls will help ensure that these vital improvements to prevention policy remain in the bill during committee markup.

Take action NOW!

PEPFAR reauthorization will be a long fight with many opportunities for action. Just a few minutes of your time at these critical junctures can make a real difference in the course of U.S. global AIDS policy.

Please consider making phone calls TODAY to any and all of the committee members who live in your state. Click here for a list of Representatives to call, their office telephone numbers, and a sample phone script. And if you’re not in one of these states, we encourage you to circulate this action to any contacts you have in these states.

We appreciate your continued activism and will keep you informed about outcomes from markup. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need more information.

Many thanks,

Healy and Kim

Healy Thompson and Kim Whipkey
Advocacy and Outreach Team
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

hthompson@genderhealth.org, 301-637-7773
kwhipkey@genderhealth.org, 301-270-1182

 

The First Sex Worker to Win an Oscar?

Probably not, and I know lots of people, not just sex workers, have major issues with her, but just for this morning, I want to revel in the words “stripper” and “Oscar winner” on the same front page about the same woman:

Diablo Cody Wins Oscar

From The Wisdom of Whores

Name that AIDS Programme

The Center for Global Development invites readers to rename PEPFAR, the 15-soon-to-be-at-least-45 billion dollar aid programme for HIV care (and a bit of prevention) in developing countries. The finalists are now open for voting on; they include such inspirational suggestions as American Sustainable HIV/AIDS Relief Plan (A-SHARP) and Program to Encourage Partnerships Focused on AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

I want to keep the PEPFAR acronym, too. But I think we can find something that is closer to the true spirit of the programme. How about:

Pooh-poohing Evidence: Politics First, Abstinence Rules!

or

President’s Efforts to Pander to Fundamentalists and the American Right

Annie Oakley, of Sex Workers’ Art Show Tour, on Fox News

Via Amber Rhea, via the Good Vibes blog:

Same old defensive tactics: aren’t you objectifying women, is this something you want your daughter to do?

And more on the protests at William and Mary.

Sex Work, Trafficking, and Human Rights: A Public Forum

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Elizabeth Wood
Phone: provided upon request
Email: elizabeth (at) sexinthepublicsquare (dot) org
Co-founder, SexInThePublicSquare.org
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Nassau Community College

Sex In The Public Square Presents:
Sex Work, Trafficking, and Human Rights: A Public Forum

New York, February 20, 2008 – Ten prominent sex worker advocates, writers, researchers will be publicly discussing the issues of sex work and trafficking from a human rights and harm reduction perspective, February 25 – March 3, on SexInThePublicSquare.org. The week-long online conversation will conclude with a summary statement on March 3, International Sex Worker Rights Day.

Sex work and trafficking are two issues that must be discussed as distinct yet intersecting, and we’ve invited some of the smartest sex worker advocates we know to help sort out the complexities. “This forum is not about debating whether or not we should be using a harm reduction and human rights approach instead of the more mainstream abolitionist and prohibitionist approach to sex work,” explains Elizabeth Wood, co-founder of Sex In The Public Square and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nassau Community College. “Instead our goal is to create a space for nuanced exploration of the human rights and harm reduction approach so that we can use it more persuasively.”

Wood explains: “The human rights and harm reduction approach seeks to reduce the dangers that sex workers face and to stop human rights abuses involved in the movement of labor across borders, a movement which occurs in the service of so many industries. We want people to be able to learn about this perspective, and to develop and refine it, without having to dilute that conversation by debating the legitimacy of sex work.”

Questions and themes include:

Defining our terms: Is the way that we define “porn” clear? “Prostitution”? “Sex work” in general? What happens when we say “porn” and mean all sexually explicit imagery made for the purpose of generating arousal and others hear “porn” as indicating just the “bad stuff” while reserving “erotica” for everything they find acceptable? When we say sex work is it clear what kinds of jobs we’re including?

Understanding our differences: How do inequalities of race, class and gender affect the sex worker rights movement? Are we effective in organizing across those differences?

Identifying common ground: What are the areas of agreement between the abolitionist/prohibitionist perspective and the human rights/harm reduction perspective? For example, we all agree that forced labor is wrong. We all agree that nonconsensual sex is wrong. Is it a helpful strategic move to  by highlighting our areas of agreement and then demonstrating why a harm reduction/human rights perspective is better suited to addressing those shared concerns, or are we better served by distancing ourselves from the abolition/prohibition-oriented thinkers?

Evaluating research: What do we think of the actual research generated by prominent abolitionist/prohibitionist scholars like Melissa Farley, Gail Dines, and Robert Jensen? Can we comment on the methods they use to generate the data on which they base their analysis, and then can we comment on the logic of their conclusions based on the data they have?

Framing the issues: What are our biggest frustrations with the way that the human rights/harm reduction perspective is characterized by the abolitionist/prohibitionist folks? How can we effectively respond to or reframe this misrepresentations? What happens when “I oppose human trafficking” becomes a political shield that deflects focus away from issues of migration, labor and human rights?

Exploring broader economic questions: How does the demand for cheap labor undermine human rights-based solutions to exploitation in all industries, including the sex industry?

Confirmed participants include:

Melissa Gira is a co-founder of the sex worker blog Bound, Not Gagged, the editor of Sexerati.com, and reports on sex for Gawker Media’s Valleywag.
Chris Hall is co-founder of Sex In The Public Square and also writes the blog Literate Perversions.

Kerwin Kay has written about the history and present of male street prostitution, and about the politics of sex trafficking. He has been active in the sex workers rights movement for some 10 years. He also edited the anthology Male Lust: Pleasure, Power and Transformation (Haworth Press, 2000) and is finishing a Ph.D. in American Studies at NYU.

Anthony Kennerson blogs on race, class, gender, politics and culture at SmackDog Chronicles, and is a regular contributor to the Blog for Pro-Porn Activism.

Antonia Levy co-chaired the international “Sex Work Matters: Beyond Divides” conference in 2006 and the 2nd Annual Feminist Pedagogy Conference in 2007. She teaches at Brooklyn College, Queens College, and is finishing her Ph.D. at the Graduate Center at CUNY.

Audacia Ray is the author of Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads and Cashing In On Internet Sexploration (Seal Press, 2007), and the writer/producer/director of The Bi Apple. She blogs at WakingVixen.com hosts and edits Live Girl Review and was longtime executive editor of $pread Magazine.

Amber Rhea is a sex worker advocate, blogger, and organizer of the Sex 2.0 conference on feminism, sexuality and social media and co-founder of the Georgia Podcast Network. Her blog is Being Amber Rhea.

Ren is a sex worker advocate, a stripper, Internet porn performer, swinger, gonzo fan, BDSM tourist, blogger, history buff, feminist expatriate who blogs at Renegade Evolution. She is a founder of the Blog for Pro-porn Activism and a contributor to Bound, Not Gagged and Sex Worker Outreach Project – East.

Stacey Swimme has worked in the sex industry for 10 years. She is a vocal sex worker advocate and is a founding member of Desiree Alliance and Sex Workers Outreach Project USA.

Elizabeth Wood is co-founder of Sex In The Public Square, and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nassau Community College. She has written about gender, power and interaction in strip clubs, about labor organization at the Lusty Lady Theater, and she blogs regularly about sex and society.

To read or participate in the forum log on to http://sexinthepublicsquare.org

For more information contact Elizabeth Wood at elizabeth (at) sexinthepublicsquare (dot) org.

BBC: The men who sleep with prostitutes

Awww, ‘Punters!’ I think we should adopt that term here in the US.

A few snippets from Finlo Rohrer’s article in BBC News Magazine:

Fantasy

“She doesn’t know. I don’t believe it’s changed my relationship with her in any way. To some extent I feel closer to her.

“I don’t have to demand things that maybe I was demanding from her, like oral sex and things like that. She didn’t like doing that. Now I no longer have to ask.”

Forming friendships

“It is a mixture of the convenience and the time aspect. I work very, very long hours.”

He recognises there is a stigma, but it is one he utterly rejects.

“Some of my friends are fully aware that I visit prostitutes. Many of them do themselves. There is this fear that it is in some way abusive. I would disagree with the idea that nobody chooses to do it for a living.”

Patrick views it as a totally mundane transaction between adults.

Silhouette of man's head
They seem to enjoy my company, several have moved onto more of a friendship aspect
Mark

“I see us as adults. I want to pay and someone wants to sell. As long as I’m not hurting them in any way what harm am I doing. I’m distributing my wealth to people who don’t have it.”

Patrick, Mark and Pete say they have never encountered a trafficked woman and that conversations with prostitutes lead them to believe it is rare.

“The perception is that everybody is trafficked,” says Mark. “The figures bandied around for the numbers of trafficked women are absurd.”

Mark’s position is clear. If he did meet a woman he suspected was trafficked he would do something about it, there and then.

Our friends in the UK are experiencing the same hostility that has produced terrible ‘End Demand’ policies here in the US and in Sweden. They need our support. Go leave some comments at the end of the article if you have a moment! We’ll post related info here at the site.

Sexies Awards

Here’s a contest for honoring the best in sex-positive journalism. The nominations are for 2007 and close on March 23, 2008. Self-nominations are allowed. The only catch is that the piece must have been published in print. Maybe next year they’ll add an online category.

Event at the UN Commission on the Status of Women

“Empowering Sex Workers to Ensure Safety, Health and the Protection of Human Rights”
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
52nd Session
Parallel Event Sponsored by
Sex Workers Project, Urban Justice Center &
International Women’s Health Coalition
February 27, 2008
Time: 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Church Center
(Across the street from United Nations, 44th and 1st)
Hardin Room (11th Fl.)
777 United Nations Plaza
NY, NY 10017
As leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS and trafficking, sex workers are integral to educating their clients, their communities and the public about safe sex practices and to helping prevent forced sex work. Panelists will discuss how sex workers rights must be protected to ensure access to health, legal, educational and social services.
Taking the Pledge, a short film about USAID funding restrictions in regards to sex workers, will also be shown.
Moderator:
Supriya Pillai, Program Officer, International Women’s Health Coalition
Panelists:
Sapna Patel, Staff Attorney, Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center
Elaine Pearson, Deputy Director, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
Melissa Ditmore, Ph.D., Coordinator, Network of Sex Work Projects
Editor, Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work
Video:
Taking the Pledge

Whore stigma, buttressed by law enforcement

Bob Herbert identifies the Whore stigma, buttressed by law enforcement in his piece yesterday

“If no money is involved, the youngster is considered a victim. But if the man pays for the sex — even if the money is going to the pimp, which is so often the case — the child is considered a prostitute and thus subject in many venues to arrest and incarceration.”

 This is clearly because prostitution is considered so low that even a child forced into it is sullied by its nature. He goes on to say:

“What’s needed is a paradigm shift. Society (and thus law enforcement) needs to view any adult who sexually exploits a child as a villain, and the exploited child as a victim of that villainy. If a 35-year-old pimp puts a 16-year-old girl on the street and a 30-year-old john pays to have sex with her, how is it reasonable that the girl is most often the point in that triangle that is targeted by law enforcement?

A measure of how far we still have to go is the fact that some enlightened officials in the state of New York tried to shift that paradigm last year and failed. The proposed Safe Harbor Act would have ended the practice of criminalizing kids too young to legally consent to sex. Under the law, authorities would have no longer been able to charge children with prostitution, but would have had to offer such youngsters emotional counseling, medical care and shelter, if necessary.

Legislative passage was thwarted in large part because prosecutors made the case that it was necessary to hold the threat of jail over the heads of these children as a way of coercing them to testify against pimps. In other words: If you don’t tell us who hurt you, little girl, we’re going to put you in jail.”

Sadly, this is common across the country, and children are not the only victims of violence in these situations. Herbert identifies the trouble with threatening jail to those who would not turn in their pimps. Have they considered that some of the violent men who control females of any age in these situations would be certain to have any witnesses against him hurt badly? That to insist that the girl turn in her pimp coulod mean a death sentence- or at the least an act of violence against her?

As much as I dislike the fact that Herbert is far too uncritical of the likes of Farley and her “research,” I think he has a point here. Sadly, he may be too blind to notice his own subscription to the whore stigma.

From the Courtesan Connection

Feed The Need to Read – Two Blogs of Note

Bound, Not Gagged, the activist group blog of the Desiree Alliance, has over the past year become the hub of on-line Sex Worker Advocacy in the United States. Demure and deferential it is not. Posts on Bound, Not Gagged (often referred to as “BnG”) are passionate, strong, and at times, unapologetically angry peals against abuse, injustice and ignorance about Sex Work and Sex Workers. This is a blog by people demanding and working to create change, and not willing to wait another generation for it to come about. Discussion and debate are lively on BnG, and honestly, not always thoughtful about the full impact and import of the positions staked out, a fault of many idealists and advocates and some very famous and influential people. BnG though is not a one-dimensional rant limited to politics and news of the latest outrage, it often carries notices and invitations to events and conferences such as the Desiree Alliance’s “Pulling Back the Sheets: Sex, Work and Social Justice” Conference scheduled for July in Chicago. While BnG is USA-centric in much of its writing and point of view, it has repeatedly highlighted and brought attention to the actions and activism of Sex Workers in other countries, and has not shied away from reporting on the abuse and difficulties they face as well. For anyone with an interest in Sex Work, it has become a must read. Informally, the Twitter posts of many of the contributors to BnG often act as a shadow blog to BnG, carrying on many of the discussions in a near real-time format that can be equally engaging.

Of course Bound, Not Gagged and Sex Worker organizations could not accomplish much with out good information, and one of the best news hounds of this community has turned out to be Amanda Brooks. Posting News Bits on the off-the-main-site-SWOP-East blog, Amanda serves up a daily digest of the news of note culled from her own web searches and Google Alerts. But this is not just dry headlines – her summaries are often targeted commentary on the hypocrisy, absurdity, and sheer idiocy of those that report on and act against sex workers with out doing any research or looking beyond what reinforces their own biases and assumptions. This lady will not go quietly into the night. Indeed, much like Napoleon conquered Europe on four hours of sleep a night, noting the time stamp on her News Bits has me wondering if General Brooks is training some stiletto-heeled Valkyries she will unleash as the Vanguard of the Sex Work Revolution & Empire. Don’t forget she is a Texan, and while their speech may have a slow musical drawl to it, they are not really known for their patience, as that fellow in the White House has clearly taught us. Regardless of any future need to prepare your own personal bomb-shelter, SWOP-East is not limited to what Amanda shares, and there is interesting and valuable commentary and updates on the main SWOP-East Blog from their extraordinarily literate and prolific staff and other contributors. Along with many of the other sites and blogs of organizations and individuals in Sex Work, these blogs are an excellent way to keep updated on news and issues that are relevant to the lives and actions of Sex Workers and other interested individuals.

Nina Hartley on Feminists against Pornography

An interesting little video in light of the recent Dines stuff.

We Can Do Better Than This

Ummmm…. so, I’m hearing that some of my trans friends are having trouble connecting into both formal and informal safety networks!?!?!?!

WTF???

I’ve been hearing (second-hand, of course) that people are saying: “We don’t have the same kind of clients that you see” or “If you were born a man you are not welcome here.”

So what, now we’re following suit with the feminists? “You are not us, so you have to fight for yourself.” Uh-uh, nope. I’m not down with that strategy.

In a conversation with a dear friend tonight we discussed how violence translates into individual’s lives in relation to their gender and we concluded that we, as in us, ALL of us, are on the same team here. Does anybody actually think that they can keep themselves safer by engaging in the very same gender discrimination that violates female born (whatever fucking difference that makes when it comes to SAFETY) sex workers??? I mean really, can somebody make a case to me as to why it’s alright to exclude our trans sisters in the name of our own safety? I’m really not buying it.

Maybe this conversation doesn’t need to happen in-depth here at this blog- but this does need to be discussed further- somewhere, I’m open to suggestions. I know that the vast majority of people actually engaged here at BnG are of many different genders and are already in solidarity with trans workers. So I wanted to post this here and invite some positive input. I really do think that this is an issue that can be addressed and resolved among us with education and awareness.

I don’t think this is a whole-heartedly evil discriminatory thing. NO disrespect is acceptable and ignorance is not an excuse. However, I do think that as trans allies we have to reach out to other workers to inform them that ‘yes, we do share the same clients with trans workers’ (and it’s often fun when we are literally sharing them 😉 and ‘one’s gender when born does NOT exclude them from the right to BE SAFE’ C’mon women, we do get that don’t we?

All the best,

Karly

Writing About the Oldest Profession

A friend sent me a link to this magazine who currently has a call for submissions (poetry/prose) on “the oldest profession.” Due date March 15.

One thing that jumped out at me: “Poems and stories do not have to be written by sex workers or even from the perspective of a sex worker.” Well, I think it helps. At least, if this magazine wants some honesty, instead of glorified stereotypes from someone who has had no contact with sex workers except through the media and college lectures. They do try to be broad and inclusive, so I’ll give them credit for that.

BnG readers/writers, submit something.

Dines, Jensen, Wheelock

July 16-20th, funds willing and hell aside, I will be in Chicago for the Big Sex Workers Event.  However….
 
funds willing and hell aside, July 8-11th, I want to be in Boston.  Where Wheelock is holding another of their anti porn things.  To protest…you know, with signs and everything.  I’d like to NOT be alone.  This is another of thier slide show training things…a slide show with images of porn performers used without the performers consent, which is not USDJ 2257 compliant, and which they are profiting from.  This program now also gives college credit.  These people, Dines, Jensen, et all, are profiting most effectively off of their anti-porn gimmicks, and are doing so off the backs of the porn performers they are using.  They went to the AVN awards in Vegas and harassed various performers there, they will not let opposing view points participate in their forums, on their web sites, in their events, and further more, as they are not 2257 compliant, they are breaking a law they worked to have put into place.  These people are heavily funded by everything from university circles to the government, and have a lot of sway….and frankly, at this point, are not only a serious road block to sex workers rights activists, but have the ear of various government officials and could in fact effect legislation which would, ahem, effect the 1st Amendment coverage of porn and other graphic or erotic art and entertainment. 
 
Ernest Green (partner of  Nina Hartley) has written about this over here….(in the comments), and I think he is right.  The industry itself has lawyers. The people in it?  Not so much.  And the only way people like us are going to get heard on issues like this is to make some damn noise.  And not just on blogs. 
 
Now I pretty sure I am not the only one who hates Bob Jensen’s “I am a man speaking to men, yet over and for all women” attitude, or the aggressive tactics of Gail Dines….so….
 
Any of you care to go to Boston and make some noise?

Amsterdam closing down sex industry?

This article makes me sad.

Turn Out the Red Light?

Amsterdam plans to close down its most famous district, citing sleaze, criminal activity and human trafficking. Not everybody is happy about it.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/109373

Got Something to Say???

~Desiree Alliance Presents~

In partnership with BAYSWAN, Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA, SWANK, H.I.P.S. Different Avenues, COYOTE, Best Practices Policy Project, $pread Magazine, St. James Infirmary, Harm Reduction Coalition, PONY, SWOP-Chicago, SWOP-Las Vegas, SWOP-Los Angeles, SWOP- Northern California, SWOP-Arizona, SWOP-Portland, & SWOP-EAST
“Pulling Back the Sheets: Sex, Work and Social Justice”
July 2008 Chicago, IL
Deadline for submissions: Friday March 21st, 2008
Email submissions to: dasubmissions@yahoo.com  or call: 1-866-525-7967 extension 702 for assistance.
All presentations will be considered, and confirmation will be provided by April 11th for all submissions.
The Desiree Alliance is a diverse, volunteer-based, sex worker-led network of organizations, communities and individuals across the US working in harm reduction, direct services, political advocacy and health services for sex workers. We provide leadership development and create space for sex workers and supporters to come together to advocate for human, labor and civil rights for all workers in the sex industry.
This convergence will create space for dialogue between hundreds of sex workers and their allies to share their personal experience and skills, identify workers’ most pressing needs, share training and networking skills for developing solutions, and to collaborate on strategies for social and political change on local, state, national and international levels.
We prioritize sex worker leadership in creating an informed, cooperative community. We invite proposals for workshops and presentations addressing social, cultural, economic, political and strategic issues related to sex work. All backgrounds, experiences, and genders are part of the social justice movement towards the human rights of sex workers, therefore we emphasize diversity among our organizers, presenters and participants.  Your presentation is an opportunity to share your skills, as both a sex worker and an activist, so that we may bring together our collective knowledge and experience to empower our movement.
We come to this conference because we believe sex workers have the solutions.  You are the expert.  Come share it with others.
A Proposal should include:
Title for your presentation
Affiliation with an organization or social justice movement you’d like to have listed
A short paragraph with your background and experience in sex work or the sex workers rights’ movement
A one paragraph summary of the workshop or presentation (four to eight sentences)
The time frame needed to present, whether 15 minutes, half-hour or an hour.
Please include whether or not you will need any technical support, such as a projector or AV, etc.
We are accepting practical workshops from all genders and working backgrounds including, but not limited to the following subjects:  Advocacy/Outreach, Court Support and Solidarity, Fundraising/Grant-writing, Self-Defense Training, Planning for Retirement, Protecting Our Families, Health & Safety Issues, How to Run a Business, Direct Services, Substances in the Workplace, Strategies for Alternatives to Criminalization, Policy Reform, Grassroots Organizing, Building Community, Labor Organizing, Lobbying, Media Training, Wellness Leadership from Sex Workers, Technical Training for the Web, Marketing Strategies for Organizing and Sex Work, Screening Clients, Policies related to Sex Work and, Bridging International Sex Work Communities, Workshops about Clients, Allyship with the Prison Reform Movement, Impacts of Criminalization and Incarceration on Our Community, John Schools, Impacts of End Demand and Anti-Trafficking Policies, Media Advocacy Toolkits, Federal Law and Sex Work, Issues Specific to Trans Sex Work Communities,  Organizing and Communication: Issues of Class, Race and Gender in Sex Workers Rights Movements, Resisting Oppression, How to be an Ally to…. Sex Workers.

Desiree Alliance is a Project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit.Visit us at: http://www.DesireeAlliance.org