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SWOP-Chapter News:

SWOP-Seattle: We’ve started out street outreach program in conjunction with RASE (Rise Againt Sexual Exploitation) and have been training sex worker peers to offer harm reduction supplies. We are also starting a once a month drop-in center. SWOP-Seattle is hosting the Seattle Annual Sex Worker Symposium Dec 12-14.


SWOP-Chicago: Is celebrating one year of weekly street outreach and over 8 years of activism. SWOP-Chicago 's program of training metro area social service providers on how to provide unbiased, relevant services to people involved in the sex trade received media attention late this spring.  Building on their successes of educating and building relationships, they will held their first meeting with local 
agencies to discuss sex worker needs and ways to organize together in September. 
The chapter has become recognized as an authority on harm reduction and sex work in Chicago and presented at the Midwest Harm Reduction Conference, the Battered Women's Network, and over a dozen local agencies this year.
 
SWOP-Chicago has also made headway, building relationships with other activist organizations. The chapter spoke at Slutwalk and was recognized as the march after party beneficiary. SWOP is also is partnering with trans* and youth rights organizations and will be one of three organizations offering tailored legal services and advocacy support with CALA, a new community activist law clinic.


SWOP Phoenix: SWOP-Phoenix is basically kicking major ass as of late. In May of 2014, we had our third Project ROSE protest at Bethany Bible Church which is the command post where the Phoenix PD take apprehended community members as apart of Project ROSE’s stings (to read more about Project ROSE see the following links). We recently got word that Project ROSE is officially inactive! According to statistics, the numbers of workers that are arrested have been cut in half due to the intense outreach our chapter does in the weeks leading up to the stings. Yay!


In April of 2014, Monica Jones was found guilty of manifesting an intent to solicit prostitution. During her trial Dan Pochoda, the legal director of the Arizona chapter of the ACLU, gave a lengthy argument in regards to the manifestation statute stating that many courts in other states have overturned similar statutes. Monica has filed an appeal with pro-bono appellate attorneys. As a means to gain momentum and support for her appeal, on August 5, the Arizona ACLU, SWOP Phoenix and the appellate attorneys had transgender actress and activist Laverne Cox come out for a conversation with Monica at the Herberger Theater in Phoenix. This was a great success and the event was completely booked!

In the shadow of the 2015 Super Bowl which will take place in Glendale, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix), our chapter has been working hard to create a community of workers. This has proved to be extremely difficult because of the high levels of distrust and hostility. The newfangled Human Trafficking Task Force, spearheaded by Governor Jan Brewer and Cindy McCain, has been conducting monthly stings and raids targeting backpage ads, escort sites like Eros, and street based workers. In December these stings and raids will take place weekly. To combat this, and as a means to create community, SWOP Phoenix has teamed up with a local harm reduction organization as well as a local and free healthcare clinic in order to do harm reduction outreach. We are extremely excited about this new endeavor and are welcoming any advice about fundraising, harm reduction outreach, community building, etc. Love and Solidarity, SWOP Phoenix


SWOP-Tampa Bay: SWOP Tampa Bay Area was founded November 2013, on Transgender Day of Remembrance. A few sex workers and allies had vigil at a local coffee shop. Since then, we have gathered weekly at this same coffee shop to discuss issues important to the sex work community and build our group. Outreach has been a challenge, as Tampa Bay covers a huge area, public transportation is not readily available and the culture in the area is such that while Tampa is one of the biggest players in the adult entertainment industry, many sex workers here are uncomfortable or do not identify with the term "sex worker". SWOP Tampa Bay has been experimenting with different outreach language and trying to connect with street-based workers. We had a slightly larger gatherings for the March 3 Sex Worker's Rights Day. Celebrating Pride was difficult because the LGBT community in the area seems way of the idea of SWOP.

Recently, Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan, was in town, and we held a potluck and book-signing at a sex workers home. Several people from surrounding areas attended and there now seems to be some new greenery for building SWOP here. Go to our website to be in touch with us and please spread the word to anyone who lives along the Gulf coast of central Florida


SWOP-Philadelphia: Project SAFE of Philadelphia has joined the SWOP-USA national network. We will work with SWOP-Philadelphia to advocate for discrimination of sex work in all forms, but are maintaining the name “Project SAFE” as not all of our members identify with the term sex worker. Check us out on Facebook and twitter for more information.


SWOP-NYC: is redesigning their website in order to focus on new member recruitment, media advocacy, and original resource development. The group has plans to facilitate a self-care day for December 17th and to participate in intersectional remembrance activities on that day as well as to launch the new site.


SWOP Sacramento: Founded by veteran activists Stacey Swimme (co-founder of SWOP USA and Desiree Alliance) and Kristen DiAngelo (Executive Producer of the award winning documentary American Courtesans) in response to the needs of area sex workers following My Redbook's closure, SWOP-Sacramento has begun to assess and provide much needed services to sex workers in Northern California through street, parlor and online outreach. Hitting the ground running, DiAngelo and Swimme have created a hotline, attended and spoke
n at numerous conferences, and worked with SWOP-Chicago to oppose the SAVE Act, legislation that would dramatically increase requirements for placing online ads. 






December 17 - A Call to Action: 

On December 17th,
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, sex workers and sex worker rights organizations around the world gather to host vigils acknowledging those from our sex worker community who have been subjected to violence and murder. 

This is an important awareness-raising initiative, and we appreciate your support.

Donate to support December 17th events across the United States. SWOP-USA aims to raise $4,500 dollars to support events across the country this year, and we appreciate your direct support or support in sharing the campaign.

Organize an Event in your city, and share details with us to publish on the December 17th Website. If there is a SWOP Chapter in your city, reach out and ask how to get involved!

Submit Memorial Names: We are collecting memorial names for December 17, 2013. If there are individuals who you would like to include, we would be honored to remember them in numerous vigils and events across the globe. The list will be publicly available on our website and distributed to organizers of December 17 Events, so if you would prefer to use a pseudonym, that is, of course, welcome. If you have names to contribute, please send them to dec17@swopusa.org.

SWOP Members Kicking Butt:
SWOP-NYC Member and Lead-Organizer Kate D’Adamo recently joined the Urban Justice Center-NYC as the Sex Workers Project National Policy Advocate.

SWOP-Phoenix Member Monica Jones is currently in Australia and interning with the Scarlett Alliance.

SWOP-Chicago lead organizer and long-time SWOP member Serpent Libertine was just voted in as the North America representative for the Global Network of Sex Worker Projects [NSWP]. Serpent will be the first NSWP representative from the United States in over a decade.
 
SWOP-Bay Member Kristina Dolgin worked with the National Legal Guild to create a comprehensive “Know Your Rights” manual for sex workers in California. She is also working to launch Red Light Legal, which will provide direct legal services, legal representation, and policy advocacy to sex workers and their communities in the San Francisco/Bay Area.

Connect with a Chapter Near You! 
Chicago http://swop-chicago.org
Denver http://swopdenver.com/
Las Vegas http://swoplasvegas.com/
Los Angeles http://swoplosangeles.wordpress.com/
New York City http://www.swop-nyc.org/
Phoenix http://www.swopphoenix.org/
Philadelphia http://swop-philly.com/
Tampa/St. Petersburg http://swoptampabay.org/
Tucson http://www.swop-tucson.org/
Sacramento http://sacramentoswop.org/
Seattle http://swop-seattle.org/
SF/Bay http://swopbay.org/



 

End Demand: The New Prohibition on Sex Work

 

“End Demand” is a method of prohibition on sex work that is gaining popularity around the globe. “End Demand” rhetoric asserts that harsher criminalization and stigmatization of sex work clientele will reduce sex trade transactions, and ultimately eliminate the sex trade. SWOP-USA and many other sex worker rights organizations maintain that prohibition of sex work only serves to drive erotic commerce further underground, increasing risk for sex workers and making actual victims of exploitation harder to reach. The following articles are included to offer insight to how the “End Demand” strategy will cause more harm than good.


Read more: 


End Demand Fact Sheet from Desiree Alliance


Summary of of the harms of “End Demand” by Desiree Alliance, Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA (SWOP-USA), the Woodhull Foundation, and Bayswan


Sex Work in The News


Is Female Sex Work Empowering, Enslaving… Or a Lot More Complicated than That?Check out amazing contributions from SWOP-NYC members Akynos and Kate D’Adamo in this Ravishingly Feature!

How the SAVE Act will Turn Digital Platforms into the Arms of the Law View SWOP-NYC member Alana Massey’s Op-Ed on the SAVE Act, and also check out SWOP-Chicago’s succinct summary of the bill and how it would impact sex worker communities.

Check out SWOP-Chicago member Ruby Rue’s article on
Intimate Partner Violence and Sex Work
 
In Defense of Johns by Jim Norton
Best selling author and comedian Jim Norton calls for the legalization of sex work. 

Lies, Damned Lies and Sex Worker Statistics by Maggie McNeill Why statistics citing abuses in the sex industry are not to be trusted.

Decriminalize Sex Worker to Curb Aids Pandemic
Research from the Lancet Medical Journal at the International Aids Conference in Melbourne has revealed that decriminalization of sex work could reduce infection rates of HIV by 33-46% over the next decade.

Confrence Roundup 

Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit

Kate D'Adamo (lead organizer - SWOP-NYC) diagrams about intersectionality at the Woodhull Sex Work pre-conference.

D'Adamo organized the Sex Work Pre-Conference, and SWOP-USA funded travel expenses for 5 SWOP members to present at the Summit.

International Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Worker Confrence


SWOP-Chicago lead organizer Serpent Libertine and SWOP-Sacramento co-founder Kristen D'Angelo detail the negative impact of anti-trafficking legislation on sex workers. 

SWOP, along with HIPS and Red Umbrella Project, brought harm reduction and sex worker rights to Toledo, Ohio this summer. Our collective presence had a huge impact, and changed many attendees' perspectives on how to address labor exploitation in the sex trade. 
 

Harm Reduction Conference

Board members Lindsay Roth and Katherine Koster table at the HRC.

SWOP-USA provided funding to ensure sex worker representation at the conference, and 15 SWOP members were able to attend. 
 
Copyright © 2014 Sex Workers Outreach Project USA, All rights reserved.
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