SUNDAY 8TH MARCH 2020
START: 5PM SOHO SQUARE
On International Women’s Day we strike against the sexist, racist and criminal laws that jeopardise the lives of sex workers. On March 8th we will refuse to do sex/work for money and we will not carry out the domestic, sex and care work that we are expected to do for free: the jobs that keep our communities, families and the system we live in ticking over.
We are striking to demand decriminalisation so we can work collectively, keep each other safe and organise for better working conditions.
Many workers close to the margins fear redundancy, and migrants fear losing the right to work as a result of Brexit. Low wages, benefits cuts and precarious jobs have pushed more of us into sex work. The response of the state has not been to reduce austerity but to crack down on sex workers.
Police raid brothels, strip clubs and flats, confiscate earnings, threaten, arrest and deport us. They impose fines and prosecute those who work on the streets. Migrant sex workers are targeted as undesirable, held in detention centres and deported. On top of that, we are told we need to be rescued for our own good and are not believed when we speak out about actual cases of violence done to us.
In the last two years, strippers across the country have begun unionising their workplaces and taking on bosses and unfair exploitative conditions – and winning. Now other sex workers are joining in and unionising.
We must fight with our own voices, under the (red) umbrella of labour and human rights. We strike against the idea that sex for money has to be policed and banned by the state in order to protect women. We come together to protest laws that punish us for trying to earn a living, against bosses that want us quiet and well-behaved, against the stigma that makes our lives more difficult. We encourage sex workers across the globe to come together and create new ways of protesting, so that everyone can join the strike even if they can’t afford to take the day off.
We call on feminists organising for this year’s strike to make space for sex workers in our movement, to listen to our demands for decriminalisation and to end the stigma and harm that is perpetuated by women’s groups in the name of helping and rescuing sex workers.
The criminalisation of sex work is part of a patriarchal and class system that divides women into the Good and the Bad. Women who are not sex workers are also oppressed by our exploitation. We call on feminists of all genders to strike with us on March 8th!
Read the general Women’s Strike 2020 call to action