For Immediate Release May 30th 2019
Contact Maxine Doogan 415-265-3302
Sex Workers To Hold Rally/Press Conference Outside CA Democratic Party Convention
When: Saturday, June 1, 2019, 12 PM to 3PM
Where: Moscone Center North, North/West Corner 3rd/ Howard 747 Howard Street, San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco sex workers will be rallying and holding a press conference outside the California State Democratic Party’s Convention, to urge the passing of a resolution submitted to decriminalize prostitution. The Resolution committee will decide on Saturday at 5pm if the Resolution to Decriminalize Prostitution will be put before the delegates on Sunday, June 2 at 10am.
“We want the California State Democratic Party, the candidates, delegates, elected officials, the Central Committee members and all the volunteers to know this ‘big tent’ needs to include our rights too,” said Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project.
The press conference will happen at 12 PM on Saturday June 1— with the Die In and Rally for International Whore’s Day to follow — outside the Moscone Center North on 747 Howard Street North/West Corner of 3rd and Howard.
“We want the presidential candidates attending the Convention, many of whom voted for the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), to see and hear some of the real-life effects on our already marginalized community,” said Rachel West of USPROStitutes Collective, a San Francisco sex worker activist group.
Attending the rally will be Dominatrixes Against Donald Trump, (DAD) to perform a Die In. “Gary Ridgway killed seventy one sex workers, but he can’t compete with the death toll brought about by the passing of SESTA-FOSTA,” says Tara Indiana of DAD. “Because of the bipartisan vote for SESTA-FOSTA, sex workers across the country are in danger of violence, exploitation and death. We are doing this die in to make politicians pay attention to the blood on their hands.”
This year, the Calfiornia Demoratic Party Convention coinicides with International Whore’s Day, a yearly protest — thousands of sex workers are expected to rally at cities from San Francisco to Mumbai. Rallies in the US are expected to have record-breaking attendance, thanks to the passage of SESTA-FOSTA in 2018.
In April 2018, Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation that destroyed crucial protections for sex workers. The bill, SESTA-FOSTA, was presented to the public as an anti-sex trafficking bill. But the bill destroyed crucial platforms that enabled sex workers to screen clients, talk with one another about dangerous clients, and work independently.
After the passage of the bill, platforms on sites like Craigslist and Reddit were shuttered entirely, sex worker outreach networks went underground, and social media purged accounts of suspected sex workers which continues to this day.
Prior to SESTA-FOSTA, internet and social media platforms were not legally responsible for the content generated by their users. After SESTA-FOSTA, they could be prosecuted if their networks were used for sex work. Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram reacted by deleting the accounts of anyone even suspected of being sex workers rather than risk legal jeopardy under the legislation.
Many legally operating adult websites have closed or are at risk for closing, reducing spaces for erotic service providers of all kinds. The laws are making it very difficult for clients to find sex workers, reducing their income and creating dangerous working conditions while silencing their ability to communication — a ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ scenario for sex workers.
Forcing sex workers off the internet only makes it harder for law enforcement to find victims and prosecute traffickers, because it forces sex workers back onto the streets, into the hands of the very predators this bill is supposed to stop.
SESTA-FOSTA has also had a chilling effect on educators, activists and artists who deal with issues of sex and sex work.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL WHORE’S DAY
Traditionally celebrated on June 2nd of each year, International Whore’s Day commemorates the 1975 occupation of the Église Saint-Nizier in Lyon by sex workers fleeing persecution of the French government.
We are proud to be sex workers. We take pride in who we are, our lives and our work as Erotic Service Providers. We want to stand with the historic resistance to bad laws like those that were passed in France decades ago, recently passed laws SESTA and FOSTA and the continued criminalization of our labor. We call on the California State Democratic Party to adopt the resolution for decriminalization at this years convention and reverse the effect of these bad laws. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jEhNOfR-zgTSX1Nkjlggmc2e_zP5AQeuFLQ_Pk7QZrA/edit
ABOUT THE RALLY
Ralliers will seek to educate the public about the law, while also drawing the attention of members of the California Democratic Party, including the 10 Presidential candidates that have confirmed to be in attendance.
“It would make for a great opportunity to ask presidential candidates to clarify their statements on our status, to hear about the effects of the SESTA/FOSTA law that many of them voted for, and hear the effects it has had on our lives”, said Maxine Doogan of ESPLERP. “We must stand together and let presidential candidates know that their unfair votes are being put on notice. They must stop proposing and passing these laws that impact us without asking us what we want and need. They should repeal SEASTA/FOSTA and make restitution to our community not only in terms of direct service by and for sex workers, but also for all the education and political actions to reverse the harms their actions caused us and to further our rights.”
#IWD2019 #CalDem2019 #RepealFOSTA #DecrimNowM
List of Democratic Presidential Candidates expected to be in attendance: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1a2EXpEEKFZLCaqxb5GDq41k6NI3crranM2VsTR2l8Jg/edit?usp=sharing)