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 year, strippers across the country have begun unionising their workplaces and taking on bosses and unfair exploitative conditions – and winning. 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. 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.
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. Therefore we call on feminists of all genders to strike with us on March 8th!
Sex Worker Advocacy Resistance Movement
English Collective of Prostitutes
The x:talk project
United Voices of the World – Strippers United
East London Strippers Collective
Sister Not Cister
Sisters Uncut Edinburgh
Sisters Uncut South East London
Sisters Uncut North London
Brazilian Women Against Fascism
Ni Una Menos – UK
Plan C London