This is both an invitation and an appeal:
I’m writing to invite you to Scotland’s event to mark International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This day is marked annually around the world on December 17th. The event this year is being held jointly by Scotland’s two sex worker-led organisations: longstanding Scottish charity SCOT-PEP, and Glasgow-based workers’ collective, the Sex Worker Open University (SWOU). We are inviting allies from various communities, including LGBTQ representatives, migrants' rights groups, and women’s groups.
It’s happening from 7.30pm onwards in the African Caribbean Centre, 66 Osborne Street, Glasgow. I know that’s a wee way away if you aren’t in Glasgow, but we’re letting you know out of hopefulness, because we’d really like to you attend. Entrance to the event is free, and the venue is wheelchair accessible. We’ll be showing some short films; some sex workers will give brief talks about what the day means for them, and some allies – NUS Scotland women’s officer, Stacey Devine, and a representative from Gay Men’s Health, among others - will also say a few words. And then we’ll do some socialising.
December 17th was first marked in 2003, to commemorate the victims of the ‘Green River Killer’, who commented in court that he knew he could kill “prostitutes” and get away with it, because nobody would care. And to an extent he was right: he killed hundreds of sex working women before anyone important enough to do anything, noticed. That case is from the USA, but of course we have plenty of similar examples here. Dec 17th was started by sex workers and allies to affirm that the Green River Killer - and all those who think like him, and target sex workers - was wrong; some people do care about the violence that sex workers experience. Our own community cares. We’d like it so much if you would join us.
Please feel free to circulate this invitation on any mailing lists you think appropriate. The facebook details for the event are here: https://www.facebook.com/events/531885706907876/. Just in case this reaches anyone for whom this information is relevant: we’re paying the travel expenses and childcare costs of any current and former sex workers who want to attend; just email SWOU back at firstname.lastname@example.org for more on that.
And if you have any questions, do get in touch, either at
email@example.com, or by ringing SCOT-PEP on (+44) 0131 622 7550.
Hoping to see you on the 17th,
Luca, on behalf of SWOU and SCOT-PEP.
P.S If you’re not familiar with the event’s co-hosts, you can read more about SCOT-PEP here: http://www.scot-pep.org.uk/, and SWOU here: