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SIGN OPEN LETTER against arrests and outings of sex workers in Kingston

Open Letter in Support of Sex Workers Who Were Arrested
Posted on September 4, 2012 by Sex Workers Action Group

" Some extremely concerning events have recently taken place in this communty in regards to the street based sex workers. Mid-August, Sault Ste. Marie Police Service’s Street Team with the assistance of Patrol Services have wrapped up an initiative targeting street based ‘prostitution’ in the city’s downtown core. This initiative included an undercover operation running from Monday, August 13 to Thursday, August 16. As a result of this initiative, nine females have been arrested and a total of 19 criminal charges have been laid.

In reviewing the media coverage, we were shocked and disturbed to see that the women’s full names and home addresses had been published. Reportedly fuelled by community complaints about ‘aggressive solicitation’ and ‘women residents’ being mistaken for ‘prostitutes’ in the long stigmatized Albert and Gore Street neighbourhood (where the main stroll is located), the arrests and articles continued. An all-time low coming when one of the women was scoped out and rearrested by an undercover officer in the same neighbourhood, with local media republishing not only her name and address, but also the ‘nitty gritty’ of her alleged offers of sexual services and attempts to negotiate safer sex (this in a relatively isolated Northern community of 75,000 people).

It has become a full-out police supported publicly fueled and media backed witch-hunt. We are very concerned about the safety of these 9 women, and the street sex working community at large. Major violations of sex workers rights and privacy have been committed without any public outcry!

How You Can Help:

We are asking for your support and solidarity. We are sending out to all our contacts a request to sign on to this campaign to STOP THE ARRESTS NOW! We want to do a press release on our demands on Monday September 10th, Therefore this is time sensitive and requests your immediate response. Please respond to this email to let us know if we can add your name and or organization to our open letter.

Remembering on Labor day that Sex Work is Real Work!"

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO SIGN THE LETTER http://swagkingston.com/2012/09/04/open-letter-in-support-of-sex-workers-who-were-arrested/#comment-63