Demonstration Against the Policing and Crime Bill

:: urgent: to be distributed to all networks and allies::
:: please sign on to the statement below with your name and organisation in the comments section ::

SEX WORKERS NEED SAFETY AND RIGHTS, NOT CRIMINALISATION
Demonstration Against the Policing and Crime Bill
12-2pm, Tuesday 3 November, Parliament Square

Bring placards and red umbrella’s and join the demonstration to demand:
- an end to the criminalisation of sex work
- safety and other rights for all workers in the sex industry, including the right to unionise
- the right to stay and not be deported
- the right not to have a criminal record so we can apply for other jobs
- decent wages and benefits for all so that we can refuse violence and exploitation in any industry

If passed the Policing and Crime Bill will push prostitution further underground and sex workers into more danger. It would increase arrests against street workers, introduce compulsory ‘rehabilitation’ under threat of imprisonment, close premises where sex workers work together in relative safety, boost police powers to seize worker’s hard won earnings, and reduce rape against prostitute women to a lesser offence while criminalising clients who may not be guilty.

The government justifies their latest clamp down with claims that prostitution is rape and that most sex workers have been trafficked. Instead of enabling victims of violence to come forward, they victimise and criminalise women working in the sex industry. Most violent men, including bosses who profit from exploiting ‘illegal’ workers in the agricultural, domestic and sex industry, will continue to get away with it, while sex workers working together, especially migrant women, will be raided, imprisoned and deported.

At the same time the Welfare Reform Bill proposes to abolish Income Support and drive all claimants into work or to ‘work for their benefits’ i.e. £1.60 an hour. Many are already being asked to scab on postal workers by applying for their jobs. Those who won’t or can’t manage on slave wages and decide to work in the sex industry risk being criminalised and consequently denied entry into other work in the future.

We are mothers and grandmothers supporting loved ones, young people keeping a roof over our heads and getting some independence, migrants sending money home, asylum seekers made destitute by immigration laws that deny us both support and the right to work, students paying for our education, women or men who can’t get jobs in the recession or want a better standard of living.

Like any other workers, some of us like our jobs, many don’t. But we all know the difference between forced and consenting sex, whether in a relationship, casual or paid for. Most people support the decriminalisation of prostitution so women can work more safely. But, as with privatisation and everything else, the government ignores the workers and the public; they only listen to the ‘experts’ they fund to sing to their tune.

Whatever our situation we need rights & safety, not criminalisation.
Catch rapists and exploiters, not clients.

Organised by:

English Collective of Prostitutes, ecp@allwomencount.net, 020 7482 2496, contact Cari Mitchell: 07811 964 171;
International Union of Sex Workers, www.iusw.org 0795 802 0432
x:talk project: xtalk.classes@googlemail.com Ava Caradonna 0791 470 3372

Supported by:

(please add your name and organization)

Category: praxis

Tagged: , , ,

12 Responses

  1. admin says:

    Please add my name at the statement

    Licia Brussa
    TAMPEP International Foundation
    The Netherlands

  2. admin says:

    People can also contribute to the debate on the House of Lords Blog

    http://lordsoftheblog.net/2009/10/29/prostitution-and-the-policing-and-crime-bill/

  3. admin says:

    Please add STRASS,
    Syndicat du TRAvail Sexuel
    http://www.strass-syndicat.org

  4. admin says:

    We would like to sign up:

    Petra Timmermans, Coordinator
    on behalf of the Advisory Group to the
    Intl. Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe

  5. admin says:

    Please add
    collectif Droits Prostitution
    Paris

  6. admin says:

    Nos solidarizamos con vuestra lucha, que es también la nuestra.
    Un saludo de las compañeras de Hetaira (Spain)

  7. admin says:

    Prostituertes Interesseorganisasjon i Norge, Prostitutes Interest Organisation In Norway.
    Morten Sortodden (outreach worker).

  8. admin says:

    Please add the following signatures:

    Aoife Swane, Germany, Ludwigshafen am Rhein – sex worker, sexual healer, safer sex educator,
    Christian Knappik, Vienna – Austria, admin http://www.sexworker.at,
    JennyHN, Offenbach, Germany – ModeratorIn des Sexworker.at, Vorstandsmitglied des Sexworker Verein e.V., Sexworker und Sexualbegleiterin,
    Marc of Frankfurt, sex worker, admin http://www.sexworker.at – sex work information clearing house in the German internet – est. 2005,
    Sina, Switzerland, Zurich, Sex worker.

    http://sexworker.at/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1132&start=132

  9. admin says:

    Please add:

    Veronica Munk, Amnesty for Women, Hamburg, Germany

  10. admin says:

    We support our collegues against discrimination
    Pia Covre & Carla Corso
    Comitato per i Diritti Civili delle Prostitute Onlus
    Italia
    tel. 0039 0434 551868
    http://www.lucciole.org

  11. admin says:

    please add Marianne Schweizer,
    ASPASIE, Geneva

  12. [...] apparently ‘practically no opposition was brooked against’ (see examples of such opposition here and here). No mention of the fact the very abolitionists lobbying intensively for Clause 14, the [...]

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