Call for Stories!

In anticipation of International Sex Workers Day, we are asking Bay Area workers to share stories based on the question: “What are the issues sex workers face?”

To share your story, please fill out the form below.

By submitting a story you are agreeing to have your words shared at the rally on 6/2 and on our website. Anonymous & pseudonym submissions are perfectly ok.

Optional
Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley etc.

Failed Films Fundraiser for BAWS

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May 23, 2019, 7-10pm (program starts at 8pm)

Dungeon Art Gallery, West Oakland, CA

$10-100 sliding scale. NTAFLOF

• Donate online to save your spot: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4236340 

Join us for an outdoor movie night, showcasing a dozen local sex worker artists. This event seeks to subvert the long-held ideals and traditions that leave many excluded from traditional film festivals. Failed Films is here, ready, and waiting to embrace the radical self-expression and wildly imaginative antics that you and yours dare to share.

All proceeds go to BAWS’ Emergency Grant Fund.

This event is part of the Bay Area Sex Worker Film Festival.

For more info abut Failed Films: instagram.com/failedfilmsfest/

International Sex Workers Day June 2nd 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2019

CONTACT: June 2nd Planning Committee, BAWSinfo [at] protonmail.com

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Bay Area Sex Workers invite you to “sit with us” -- because sex work justice is public health, community safety, racial justice, economic justice.

OAKLAND, CA: On June 2, International Sex Worker’s Day, communities all over the country will gather to advocate for the health, safety, and protection of sex workers. Last year, our gathering took place in response to the passing of FOSTA / SESTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act), legislation which has further criminalized and endangered sex workers throughout the United States. This year, the Bay Area sex work community is convening to advocate for justice in the context of this continuing struggle, while also celebrating how the sex work community and its allies have organized and strengthened themselves over the course of the past twelve months.

Bay Area Workers Support (BAWS), a peer-to-peer support organization for and by sex workers, invites you to join us at Oscar Grant Plaza in Downtown Oakland, CA on June 2nd from 12-4pm to advocate and celebrate all those working within the sex trade and their allies. The event’s theme is “Sit With Us,” an invitation to our larger community to rally with us to table about our respective and overlapping work, celebrate, and strengthen the intersections between issues that impact sex workers, women, people of color, LBTQIA+ folks, low-income communities, immigrants and more. We would like to work across sectors and identities on our shared issues at a common table - please come sit with us. This event is family friendly, all ages welcome.

Activities will include tabling by community organizations (listed below). Brunch and coffee vended by Coffee Not Cops and others, an altar to honor those in our community who have passed, as well as performances by sex worker artists and musicians like Copy Slut and Atomic Allure Pole. Speeches and spoken word by Cat Brooks, Raul Hernandez, Lisseth Sanchez, Celeste Guap, representatives from Axis Dance Company, and Gina Stella dell’Assunta. The event will be emceed by local worker and comedian Reiko Rasch, with programming taking place on stage from 1pm to 3pm.

Sex Worker Rights Rally & March,

Saturday, June 2, 2019, 11am-4pm

Oscar Grant Plaza, 1 Frank H Ogawa Plz, Downtown Oakland, CA 94612, b/t San Pablo Ave & 15th St.

FB invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/453839412016968/

Partnering Community Organizations: Public Health Justice Collective , St. James Infirmary, Anti Police-Terror Project, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Public Health Awakens, Centro Legal, Do No Harm Coalition, Harm Reduction Coalition, Berkeley Free Clinic, DSA, Critical Resistance, Punks with Lunch, ACLU, AXIS Dance Company, API Legal Outreach, See You Next Tuesday, TGI Justice Project, Coffee Not Cops.


Bay Area Workers Support (BAWS) is a group of Bay Area advocates that fight for the health, safety, and livelihoods of sex workers post-FOSTA/SESTA legislation. We are organizing our community resources, skill-sets, knowledge, and power to provide: Support & resources for Bay Area workers; Immediate relief/connections for emergency needs; as well as Strategic actions around sex worker safety, media advocacy, and policy. bayareaworkerssupport.org

Call to Action (Originally published Sept 2018)

CALL TO ACTION:

Calling all Bay Area sex workers & allies!

Oakland City Council is proposing legislation that further criminalizes sex work and puts Oakland workers in danger. Council Member Abel Guillén is introducing a policy that would attempt to cut down on "demand" for purchasing sex by allowing police to tow the cars of men who are suspected clients of sex workers to the Public Safety Committee. This approach is misguided. Let city council know that this is not how we keep our Oakland residents safer.

  1. EMAIL YOUR OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL Rep to oppose this legislation. Find your Council Rep Here.

    Sample letter below

  2. SHOW UP TO SUPPORT SEX WORKERS At the Oakland City Council Meeting: Tues 9/18

    Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA 94612

  3. Sign Up to speak at the meeting Here.

    POC, trans, outdoor sex workers, folks who live near international blvd to the front. We are also explicitly asking for allies who are public health professionals, health care providers, harm reductionists, emergency responders, social workers, policy makers, community organizers, etc to speak at the hearing. We need your support.

    Since the meeting is now postponed, if you are able to speak please email BAWSinfo@protonmail.com so we can start organizing speakers.

  4. Share this call to action on your social media accounts & email lists: bayareaworkerssupport.org/call2action

    Tell all your boos & neighbors about sex worker justice. Rinse & repeat.

  5. Are you a part of a BAY AREA Public health, POLICY, or social justice organization?

    Please email BAWSorg@gmail.com to co-sign the letter BAWS is drafting to Oakland City Council, asking them to:

    • Stop criminalizing & arresting sex workers, including ‘End Demand’.

    • Help us distance police from interacting with sex workers.

    • Work WITH us. We have a coalition of knowledgeable sex workers, survivors, and public health professionals ready to share information and help you create policy that actually keeps Bay Area residents safer. Brings us to the table when creating policy about the sex trade.

//

Sample Letter to your Council Rep (please feel free to copy & paste):

Dear __________________,

I am writing to express my concern about Abel Guillén's proposed legislation that would attempt to cut down on "demand" for purchasing sex by allowing police to tow the cars of men who are suspected clients of sex workers.

As someone who cares about the health and safety of our Oakland residents, I am concerned that this legislation will endanger sex workers by pushing their industry further underground in the attempt to evade criminalization. Previous laws criminalizing clients, introduced in the name of “ending demand,” have proven to fail to ever deter prostitution, and create a hostile environment for sex workers all over the world.

As you are probably aware, SESTA-FOSTA has forced many sex workers onto the streets since it is now harder for them to find clients online. Further criminalizing sex work will not reduce demand for the service and will not protect children from child trafficking. What it will do is make sex work a more dangerous and difficult job than it already is. Criminalizing suspected clients will also subject more men of color to racial profiling and make it harder for sex workers to earn a living, which is often vital to them supporting themselves and their families.

The best way to have fewer sex workers working on the streets is to make it safer to do sex work in other venues (like indoors and online) and to address the root causes of street-based survival sex work: poverty, job insecurity, racial economic inequality, unstable housing, and discrimination against women and trans people.

The global public health community (including the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and Amnesty International) has reached a consensus that decriminalizing sex work is the best way to protect sex workers from violence and STIs. Council member Guillen's legislation would be a step backward for Oakland in terms of community safety, social justice, and public health.

(Feel free to add something about yourself and why you oppose this legislation)

Respectfully,

(Your name, district, & title if applicable)

//

Current members of the Oakland City Council:

·     Council District 1 - Dan Kalb || dkalb@oaklandnet.com || @DanKalb

·     Council District 2 - Abel Guillen ||  aguillen@oaklandnet.com || @Abel_Guillen

·     Council District 3 - Lynette Gibson McElhaney (Council President) || LMcElhaney@oaklandnet.com || @LynetteGM

·     Council District 4 - Annie Campbell Washington || acampbell-washington@oaklandnet.com || @annieforoakland

·     Council District 5 - Noel Gallo || ngallo@oaklandnet.com

·     Council District 6 - Desley Brooks || dbrooks@oaklandnet.com || @desleyb

·     Council District 7 - Larry Reid || lreid@oaklandnet.com

·     At Large - Rebecca Kaplan || atlarge@oaklandnet.com || @Kaplan4Oakland