Events Across the Country Where You Can Support Sex Workers This Weekend

After the passage of SESTA/FOSTA, sex workers need support more than ever this International Whores' Day.

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May 30 2018, 6:51pm

Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images 

This weekend is a big one for sex worker advocacy, and it comes at a crucial time when sex workers are being targeted by policy that puts their lives in danger. This Friday, June 1, marks the first national day of action and lobbying on behalf of sex workers' rights, followed by International Whores' Day, also known as International Sex Workers' Day, on Saturday, June 2.

It's been over a month and a half since the SESTA/FOSTA bills were passed into law. SESTA (the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) and FOSTA (the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) mean that websites will soon be accountable for what users say and do on their platforms, causing sites like Backpage to preemptively shutter or censor pages where sex trafficking could feasibly happen (including the Craigslist personals page). Since these laws were first introduced in August of 2017, sex workers persistently warned of the bills' dangerous potential consequences: forcing sex workers to return to pimps, forcing them to find clients on the streets (rather than online where they can vet them), and leaving sex workers more vulnerable to abuse.

The passing of these laws has been devastating for sex workers throughout the country, many of whom believe this is only the beginning of a larger attack on people in the industry. As such, sex workers and their allies are taking to the streets this weekend, holding nationwide workshops, marches, and rallies in order to protest SESTA/FOSTA and advocate for safe, legal sex work. Below is a list of events in major cities on both Friday and Saturday that you can attend to lend a hand to the cause.

If you're not near any major cities, you can still participate this weekend by phoning your representatives to voice your support for the repeal of SESTA/FOSTA, and asking that they listen to actual sex workers when making laws impacting their livelihood. If you'd like to do more, consider organizing your own rally or march, donating to organizations that support sex workers, and/or showing your support for sex workers on social media and tagging your state representatives.

June 1:

New York

What: Organizers in New York are holding a Know Your Rights panel hosted by SOAR and Legal Aid. Attorneys will be present to explain how the enactment of FOSTA/SESTA affects sex workers. There will be a Q&A at the end of the panel and you can RSVP by emailing mbroudo@soarinstitute.org.

When: Friday, June 1, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Where: 14 Dekalb Avenue #3, Brooklyn, NY 11201

You can find more details here.

Washington DC

What: Organizers in DC are lobbying for sex workers by meeting with representatives. Make sure to RSVP here if you plan on going, whether you're a sex worker or an ally, so organizers can plan accordingly—they’re making special accommodations for trans/GNC POC, rural sex workers, parents, and more.

When: Friday, June 1, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Where: Washington, DC

You can find more information here.

Las Vegas

What: Organizers in Las Vegas are holding a day of workshops focusing on sex work advocacy. The workshops will teach attendees how to protest safely, conduct effective political outreach, and know their rights.

When: Friday, June 1. 8:00 AM Protest Safety Workshop, 10:00 AM Know Your Rights Workshop, 11:00 AM Political Outreach Workshop

Where: All workshops are being held at Gender Justice Nevada (2441 Tech Center Ct #113, Las Vegas, NV, 89128)

You can find more information here.

Denver

What: For International Sex Worker's Day, sex worker advocates will have a booth at Denver's People's Fair where they'll be raising awareness about the dangers of SESTA and offering resources to sex workers, as well as answering general questions about the community.

When: Friday, June 1 - Sunday June 3

Where: Denver's Civic Center Park (Colfax and Bannock, Denver, CO 80202)

You can find more information on the Facebook event page here.

Chicago

What: Advocates in Chicago are organizing groups to meet with local government officials and state representatives to share stories about sex work and how its criminalization and SESTA/FOSTA affect the community. More info can be found here.

When: Friday, June 1, 12:00 - 3:00 PM

Where: Open seating area on the first floor of the Center on Halsted (3656 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60613)

You can find more information on the Facebook event page here.

June 2:

New York

What: International Whores' Day Direct Action, a rally to "to assert collective power and make demands" supporting sex workers.

When: Saturday, June 2, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Where: Christopher Park across from Stonewall Inn

You can find more information on the Facebook event page here.

Los Angeles

What: Let Us Survive March and Rally advocating for sex workers.

When: Saturday, June 2, from 3:00 - 9:00 PM

Where: Boardner's by La Belle (1652 N. Cherokee Ave Los Angeles, CA)

Washington, DC

What: Sex Workers Rise Up for Safety, a rally in support of decriminalizing sex work and resisting SESTA/FOSTA.

When: Saturday, June 2, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Where: Eastern Market Station (701 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003)

Chicago

What: Rally in support of sex workers and in protest of SESTA/FOSTA.

When: Saturday, June 2, from 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Where: Daley Plaza Chicago Loop at the Picasso sculpture.

You can find more information on the Facebook event page here.

Bay Area

What: Press conference, march, and celebration in support of sex workers. Organizers are encouraging attendess to wear red and bring signs. (This will likely be the biggest event in the country in support of sex workers on June 2!)

When: Saturday, June 2, 12:00 - 4:00 PM

Where: Oscar Grant Plaza (14th Street and Broadway, Oakland)

You can find more information on the Facebook event page here.

Las Vegas:

What: March in support of sex workers.

When: Saturday, June 2, meeting at 9:00 AM, march begins at 10:00 AM

Where: Starting at Llama lot N. 10th St. Downtown Las Vegas and marching to the Federal Courthouse.

You can find more information here.

Dallas

What: International Whores' Day March

When: Saturday, June 2, at 10:00 AM

Where: City Hall (1500 Marilla St, Dallas, Texas 75201)

You can find more information on the Facebook event page here.

Seattle

What: March and Funeral for the Death of Safer Sex Work. Organizers from Seattle's Sex Workers Outreach Project plan to "mourn the loss of safety tools that sex workers use to stay alive."

When: Saturday, June 2, 2:00 - 5:00 PM

Where: Starting at Merchants Cafe (109 Yesler Way), marching through Pike Market, and ending at Westlake Center

You can find more information on the Facebook event page here.

Providence, RI

What: Take Back the Neighborhood: Rally 4 Decriminalization

When: Saturday, June 2, 12:00 - 2:00 PM

Where: Roger William Memorial Park (282 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903)

You can find more information on the Facebook event page here.

If we've missed any events, please send us an email at broadly.editor@vice.com.

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