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December 17, 2007

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Today is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. The intention of this event is to draw attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers around the world.

It was originally created in 2003 by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and the Sex Workers Outreach Project, as a memorial and vigil for victims of the "Green River Killer" (Seattle, Washington) and now serves as a day for sex workers and supporters to empower and organize against discrimination.

Sex workers are often reluctant to report violent crimes (mainly due to societal stigma and the existing laws) and don't always get justice when they do - as we all learned from the Judge Deni controversy in Philadelphia.


Annie Sprinkle offers Ten Things You Can Do to Participate:

On December 17th, people around the world will be calling attention to hate crimes against sex workers, namely prostitutes. Here are some suggestions and options for ways to participate. Or by all means, make up your own.

  1. Do something of personal meaning alone at home; take a ritual bath, or simply think about those who have died, light a candle, make a wish, have a cry, call a friend and discuss the topic, etc.
  2. Write a short personal quote or a statement about violence against sex workers and send to the SWOP web site for them to post.
  3. Send a donation to a nonprofit group that helps sex workers stay safer.
  4. Organize a public memorial event in your town. If not, choose a place, and time, where you can gather. Make an email letter and/or flyer and get it around with news of the event. Invite people to bring writings, stories, readings, thoughts, related news items, poems, performances, etc. Make a circle at the event. Take turns sharing. This will make for a wonderful memorial and be great for consciousness raising and outreach as well.
  5. Organize a panel discussion about violence towards sex workers. You can ask a church or other community space if you can do it there.
  6. Send news of this event to any and all press you know, so the word gets out that there are people who care about murdered sex workers, and who are concerned with the safety of sex workers out there today.
  7. Attend one of the events which is listed on the SWOP web site.
  8. If you know any sex workers, send them some information about self-defense.
  9. Send a personal email letter to people telling them how you feel about violence against sex workers and the women who were murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway. Or email this letter around.
  10. Read Daisy Anarchy's poem, click here, to yourself or to friends, or at one of the public events. Or email it around.
Participants are also encouraged to carry red umbrellas on December 17th as a symbol of international solidarity for sex workers' rights.

There are a lot of events going on that you can find on the SWOP website or you can organize your own, but here are just a few events that we found out about from some of our myspace friends:



LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

This year, SWOP-LV (Sex Workers' Outreach Project) will hold a memorial march down Fremont Street, with a candlelight vigil at the end. We will meet at the Fremont Street Experience Parking Plaza on the top floor. (See map at vegasreservations.com)
www.scapa.lv.org for more info, including quotes from paste vigils and info on serial killers who target sex workers.

Please bring a red umbrella or wear a red shirt in solidarity.

Afterwards, those interested are invited to join us for dinner somewhere cheap (TBA). We plan that dinner will only cost you $10 or less.

Meet time: 7pm
End time: 9pm

For more information, email us at info@swop-lv.org
or call us toll-free at 1-866-525-7967, ext. 701.


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
December 17, 2007 7:00-8:30pm at Charis Books and More
(1189 Euclid Ave NE in the Little Five Points Business District)

December 17th is the 5th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This event was created to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe. Please join us as we celebrate this important day of action with a sex worker open mic, a few brief video screenings and inspiring conversation on the movement for sex workers rights, dignity and decriminalization! This event is free and open to everyone; however to participate as a performer in the open mic, the organizers request that you be a current or former sex worker.

For more information, please visit myspace.com/redumbrellaatlanta,
upcoming.yahoo.com/event/328271,
facebook.com/event.php?eid=6034139586



ONLINE at swopeast.blogspot.com

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
For Immediate Release Media Contact: swopeast@gmail.com

Sex Workers Outreach Project East
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Two-Part Online Event

1) Repository for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Projects/Pictures/Events …and…

2) Live Online Vigil

Who: Sex Workers Outreach Project East Two-Part Online Event

What: Repository for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Projects and Live Online Vigil

When: Repository begins Saturday, December 15th, 5:00 PM EST and continues through Monday;

Live Online Vigil Monday, December 17th, 5 – 11 PM Eastern (2-8 PM Pacific)

Where: swopeast.blogspot.com

Beginning Saturday, December 15th, at 5:00 PM EST, the swopeast.blogspot.com will be available for posting pictures, events, comments, summaries, reactions, etc., to events related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Please post any comments or artifacts that you’d like to share and visit our blogspot to view happenings related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers from around the world.

On Monday, December 17th, beginning at 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM EST SWOP East will be holding a Live Online Vigil. Please join our virtual community to share your stories, mourn our sisters and brothers, and work toward a space where this violence is no longer tolerated.

For questions or more information contact swopeast@gmail.com


Ask Us, live virtual press conference

On Monday December 17, we will be holding a live press conference. This opportunity to post a question and get a virtual/live response swopeast.blogspot.com

Currently the following activists are scheduled to be live at these times. Please note all times are Eastern Time Zone. Time differences, Chile +2 hours. Central US time zone -1 hour. Mountain US time zone -2 hours. Pacific time zone -3 hours. Hawaii -6 hours.

If you are interested in taking part in this live event as a speaker please leave your name and the time in which you will be available as we would love more to join us. Times may be different or overlap!

Current Schedule:

Amanda Brooks: 8-12pm EST
Jill Brenneman: 9-11pm EST
Jill McCracken: 7 EST to ?
Jessica Land 5-7pm EST?

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