Tag Archive | politics

Ottawa sex workers rights organization wins award

An Ottawa-based activist organization that works with sex workers has won an Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) award for a resource kit it created to look at issues facing sex workers in Ottawa and Gatineau.Representatives from Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau, Work, Educate and Resist (POWER) will be presented with the Jay Browne Living Legacy Award on Nov 15 at OHTN’s annual conference in Toronto.Frédérique Chabot from POWER learned about the award on Nov 3.

“This is such a prestigious award — an award I thought a group like POWER could never win,” she says.

Lara Purvis (left) and Frédérique Chabot hold POWER’s banner.
(Noreen Fagan)

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Why does the left want prostitution to be ‘a job like any other’?

The go-to perspective on prostitution from many progressives in Canada these days seems to be a fairly hard and fast vote for decriminalization or legalization. Even many of our beloved East Vancouver lefties  seem convinced that the most progressive position to take is one of “sex as work,” arguing that debates around prostitution should prioritize labour rights, allowing women to come out from the underground and”‘into the light” as free and autonomous workers.

Marxist Feminism

The gaps in this logic are all at once complex and simple. While I have long been a supporter of labour rights, of unions, and have counted myself as a fighting member of the working class who has waivered somewhere between socialism and Marxism from the moment I understood the concept of class struggle, I’ve found myself suddenly misaligned with some of those with whom I share my end of the political spectrum.

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Vulnerable witnesses to be shielded at Pickton inquiry

Squamish Nation elder Eugene Harry, right, blesses the Missing Women Inquiry headed byWally Oppal as it got underway Tuesday in Federal Court in Vancouver.

Squamish Nation elder Eugene Harry, right, blesses the Missing Women Inquiry headed

by Wally Oppal as it got underway Tuesday in Federal Court in Vancouver.

VANCOUVER — Vulnerable witnesses, including some who may have witnessed events at the B.C. farm of serial killer Robert Pickton, will be able to give evidence in sworn documents instead of testifying at a Vancouver inquiry.

The names of the potential witnesses — some of whom the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry has been told fear reprisals by pimps, drug dealers, other sex workers and even police officers — will be banned from publication.

Commissioner Wally Oppal, a former judge, made that ruling on Thursday morning, following Wednesday’s application by lawyer Jason Gratl for special arrangements at the inquiry to protect sex workers by banning their names and allowing them to testify by affidavit.

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Activist looks to bring plight of deadly sex trade to UN

by Caroline Zentner, Lethbridge Herald

The hundreds of murdered and missing women who have worked in the sex trade to survive inspired a Vancouver woman to work towards nationwide change.
Jennifer Allan, a First Nations human rights and sex worker activist, knows the dangers these women face firsthand. At 18, she became involved in the sex trade to escape violence and addiction at home and had been sexually exploited as a child. Her pimps moved her to Alberta where she worked for various madams. Then she got a criminal record for assaulting a police officer and was unable to work as an escort anymore because she couldn’t get a licence. She also couldn’t work at other jobs she had experience doing such as security and telemarketing. That forced her to work on the street.

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Homewood stroll battle heats up COMMUNITY NEWS / Activists call for decriminalization of sex work

A sex-work advocacy organization says residents living on or near Homewood Ave should take their complaints about sex workers to those politicians who continue to criminalize prostitution.

About 30 local residents blamed sex workers for damage to private property and late-night noise at an Oct 12 meeting with Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.

“The problem here is the law, not sex workers,” says Chanelle Gallant, a sex worker and the communications coordinator for Maggie’s, a Toronto sex workers’ organization. “Residents should take their concerns up with the lawmakers who have put sex workers in the situation where they can’t exert any control over their work.”

The owners of Banting House Inn say problems connected to sex work on Homewood Ave forced them to close their business.
(Andrea Houston)

Sex work and Anarchism

This is a response to the authors of the leaflet distributed at the “Sex work and Anarchism” workshop at the London Anarchist Bookfair 2011. The leaflet was written and distributed by people who were in no way connected to the organising of the workshop. It did not clarify on the leaflet who the authors were or from what organisation they were from and merely said “London Anarchist Bookfair 2011” under the title. As it was handed to people coming into the room my comrade asked the woman handing it to her who had written it and the woman responded “We did.” This response was at best vague and at worst misleading. Most people handed the leaflet assumed it was written by the organisers and consequently it skewed the discussion until we were able to clear this up. I am a sex worker and was part of organising this workshop. The content of this leaflet concerns me and I would like to respond to some of what is written in it. I’m writing this purely in an individual capacity.

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Majority of UK Sex Workers Not Forced or Trafficked, Says Report

By IBTimes staff Reporter | November 1, 2011 7:23 AM GMT

In a shocking revelation, the large majority of interviewed migrant workers in the British sex industry are not forced or trafficked, suggests a report.

The International Union of Sex Workers warmly welcomes the publication of “Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry” by Dr. Nick Mai

This is the largest ever qualitative research into the experience of migrants selling sexual services inLondon, and reports suggests that immigration status is by far the single most important factor restricting their ability to exercise their rights in their professional and private lives.

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