Sex Worker Outreach Coalition – Dec 17 (Ending Violence Against Sex Workers) @ Red & Black

From anonaminita:

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IUSW‘s international day to end violence against sex workers is December 15th – Portland local sex worker organizing with SWOC are hosting some events at the Red & Black Cafe. December 17, Red and Black café, 400 SE 12th, 7-10PM

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In Portland, SWOC (Sex Worker Outreach Coalition):

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/263043610410948/

Description:

During the week of December 17th, sex workers’ rights organizations will be staging actions and vigils to raise awareness about violence that is commonly committed against sex workers. This year, in Portland, Oregon, we want to highlight the inordinate violence that transworkers face while in the sex industry. Please join us at the our events in solidarity against violence.

Red and Black Vigil:

We invite you to an evening of remembrance and healing. We will have community speakers, an open mic, and screening of the film A Safer Sex Trade. We will also make origami cranes to remember victims. Please bring new/used tents, sleeping bags and flashlights for Our Mother’s House. (December 17, Red and Black café, 400 SE 12th, 7-10PM)

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A few words from a capitalist sponsor in London…

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From The Economist. Dec 2:

Vegan Stripping

ON A recent Sunday night the Devil’s Point, a cosy dive bar in a slightly gritty neighbourhood, drew a characteristically stylish crowd for its weekly karaoke event: women and men, tattooed hipsters and older hippies, in groups and couples. The announcer offered an unusual warning: singers should be careful to stay in the corner of the stage, lest they get kicked in the head by an acrobatic stripper. It was a spirited scene. At one point a dancer offered her leg as a prop for a quick round of air guitar.

Peaceful, green, and liberal, Portland has a reputation for being unusually socially conscious. So visitors are sometimes surprised to learn that it is a plausible contender for the title of lewdest place in America. It has more strip clubs per head than any other city; in its compact downtown, sex shops are scattered amid the bookstores, coffee bars and social services. This is apparently down to the combined influence of west-coast liberalism and frontier manners. (In the 1960s, there was a public outcry in Oregon when the Bureau of Land management briefly renamed one “Whorehouse Meadow” with the euphemistic “Naughty Girl”.)

One of the results is that Portland has been a leader in what might be described as the small but growing industry for ethical adult entertainment. There is a vegan strip club, for example; another, owned by a cattle rancher, sells locally-sourced steaks. In addition to the more or less traditional strip clubs, the city is a hub for burlesque, which many feminists endorse as theatre. In 2001, a local couple launched an alt-porn website called Suicide Girls; it is now considered a prominent indie alternative to the bleached-out aesthetic of the San Fernando Valley, although operations have moved to Los Angeles and several years ago there was a dust-up when several former models charged that the site’s owner is just as exploitative as any other pornographer.

The ethics of all of this are debatable. But the adult entertainment industry is legal. There is no reason to think that the people who work in it are any less concerned with working conditions and labour standards than any other employees, even if the standards in question are unusual.

And some consumers prefer the more salubrious approach. The most famous strip club in San Francisco, the Lusty Lady, is famously unionised and worker-owned. Online and on video, there is a notable though small demand for explicitly feminist or “sex-positive” pornography. Vegetarians can find vegetarian porn sites; last month, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced plans to launch one of their own.

None of this is shocking. Socially conscious people can be deviant too. The size of this niche, however, remains murky. The industry’s stigma makes research difficult. There is, at least, an easy way to tell if a club or site is catching on outside the usual punter pool: Are women buying it? If so, the entrepreneur may have found a rare bird.

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Info about organizing with the International Union of Sex Workers

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From International Union of Sex Workers / iusw.org (in London):

International day to end violence against sex workers 15 December

[…]

At the occasion of the international day to end violence against sex workers, a candle vigil walk through Soho is organised to remember our colleagues who were murdered or victims of violence. The walk will start from Piccadilly circus and end in Congress House, Tottenham Court Road. There will be free drinks offered with speeches from sex worker activists and trade unions people as well as a presentation about sex workers’ unionisation and a short movie about Sex Worker Open University 2011.

The theme of the event is “unionisation as a means to stop violence”

from 7pm in TUC Congress House
Speakers will include:

  • GMB branch I50 (sex workers)
  • English collective of Prostitutes
  • Ava Caradona, X-Talk
  • Member of STRASS, french union of sex workers
  • Short movie from Sex Worker Open University 2011
  • SERTUC women rights committee
  • John McDonnell MP
  • and a presentation by Dr Kate Hardy about sex workers’ unionisation in Argentina.
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