Google announced last week that they are making the largest-ever corporate donation to “ending modern day slavery”: an impressive $11.5 million dollars. We applaud and support Google’s desire to fight slavery, forced trafficking, and exploitative labor conditions, but Google’s funding recipients include three NGOs that cause serious harm to sex workers around the world: International Justice Mission, Polaris Project, and Not for Sale. As front line sex worker support services struggle for funding to serve their communities, it is offensive to watch Google shower money upon a wealthy faith-based group like the International Justice Mission, which took in nearly $22 million dollars in 2009 alone. (In contrast, the St. James Infirmary, a San Francisco clinic that provides free healthcare to sex workers, operated on only $335k in 2010.)
Archive | December 2011
High whore holy day: A San Francisco tradition turns nine
PHOTO BY JOHN BONNAR
Sex workers call for hate crime law, end to violence
As the Missing Women’s Inquiry continues, sex workers and supporters lit candles on the steps of a police detachment yesterday, part of a global day of action.
Sex workers and their allies rallied outside the Downtown Eastside (DTES) police station Saturday, calling on Vancouver police to treat women in the neighbourhood with respect, and to put a stop to violence against people in the sex industry.
Sex workers won’t be ‘victims’
Protest draws attention to recent violence against prostitutes
Ottawa-based sex workers and their allies called for an end to prostitution sweeps Saturday during a protest held on Parliament Hill.
About 50 people participated in the protest, which took place just more than a week after Ottawa police chief Vern White issued an unprecedented public safety warning to women after police investigators discovered a pattern in homicides among city prostitutes.
Sex workers squeezed out as once-debauched Montreal neighbourhoods go mainstream
BY ALLISON LAMPERT, POSTMEDIA NEWS DECEMBER 17, 2011
MONTREAL — Megan huddles in the doorway of a St. Laurent Boulevard bar, her bare, blackened hands turning red in the Saturday morning cold.
The petite 19-year-old emerges onto the sidewalk to greet Jack and Mitch, two regulars of Montreal’s Main district who’ve been out drinking since Friday night and are ready for another round.
The dangers of sex work in Canada
Ottawa police warn sex-trade workers after finding pattern in unsolved murders
OTTAWA— The Canadian Press Published Friday, Dec. 09, 2011
Women working in the sex trade in Ottawa are being warned by the city’s top cop to watch out for their safety.
Chief Vern White issued the warning Friday, saying police have found a pattern in unsolved homicides in Ottawa involving sex trade workers.
Police aren’t saying how many homicides have been linked, what the pattern is or how far back it goes. But they’ve confirmed a link and they want the community to know, Chief White said.
All women, especially those who work in the sex trade, should “be vigilant and exercise good safety practices,” he added.
Who gets a say? The sex work lobby and the silencing of feminist voices
Megan Murphy has been writing about sex work on rabble.ca and has been causing a bit of a stir… Please visit the site to post on the comments!
It’s become so predictable that, now, I just sit back and wait. I’ve written several pieces about prostitution and the abolitionist movement, and several more that don’t directly address these issues, but perhaps mention the word “prostitution.” And really, that’s all it takes these days.
What I’ve come to realize is, no matter what I write, no matter what argument I make, no matter the points I bring up, the sex work lobby doesn’t care. Because if you aren’t agreeing with them, you must be stopped.
Public use of the word “prostitution” is enough to justify skimming right past the contents of any article and heading straight to the silencing. The silencing is the most important work, after all. It is the goal. “If we can bully them into shutting up, maybe we’ll win,” is what they seem to be thinking.
Fighting violence against women in Vancouver’s sex trade
It’s been 22 years since the Montreal massacre. We talk violence against women, and ways to end it, with survival sex work organizer Jennifer Allan, founder of Jen’s Kitchen. She experienced violence in the survival sex industry first-hand, but today, she supports those in the trade and pushes for change. By David P. Ball.
Jennifer Allan knows first-hand what it’s like to sell one’s body in order to feed it.
About ten years ago, the 34-year old founder of Jen’s Kitchen – an advocacy, outreach and food relief service for women in Vancouver’s survival sex trade – found herself pacing the streets of Calgary and Vancouver, the pain of hunger in her belly.
Analysis: What is Canada to do about its sex trade?
by Melissa Martin
THE spotlight swings around and the debate, once hushed, grows loud: What happens to sex work in Canada now?
There’s only one thing everyone knows for sure. “The public does not want to see any more bodies in pig farms,” said Nikki Thomas, executive director of the Sex Professionals of Canada. No more Picktons and no more exploitative pimps. But how best to stop the violence?
This is where the dialogue, even in exclusively feminist circles, suddenly diverges. Split into passionate but incompatible paths it goes: abolitionists on one side and the sex-worker rights advocates on the other.
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