International Whores Day + Workshop 6/2 and 6/3

This Saturday is International Whores Day/International Sex Workers Day/PutaDei! There is a direct action being held at Daily Plaza at the Picasso Statue at noon, as organized by Miss Mercedez, Miss Velvet, Marten Katze, Sophie Bee and Leah Levine.
They are still looking for people who want to speak at the action about their lived experiences, loved ones, or general solidarity with sex workers rights movements. You don’t have to have a big speech or anything planned, we just want to offer people a platform to voice their thoughts, anger, concern and fears. Feel free to check out the Facebook event for information:
*Flyers designed by Sema Graham, an artist from Chicago*
On Sunday, 6/3 Chicago Skill Share Network is organizing a net-safety workshop for sex workers. If you’d like to get more info on this, email info@swop-chicago.org. The event is in Pilsen from 1:00-3:30, and it is free. Any donations will be given to Lysistrata funds.

SESTA Community Meeting this Sunday!

Dear sex worker family,

SWOP-Chicago is hosting a forum for workers to come together to learn about, process, and think about next steps regarding the scary law that could pass the Senate any day now: https://stopsesta.org/.  As you may know, SESTA (or FOSTA as it’s currently called in the House) would target online platforms on which many workers advertise, making our work more vulnerable and pushing many of us to the streets.

This Sunday, we want to get together to educate each other about the law, how and when it might be implemented, and best practices for continuing to work safely. We’ll be joined by lawyers from the Community Activism Law Alliance, which provides free legal representation to current and retired sex workers through the SWOP-Chicago legal clinic.  CALA will host us at their space:

5pm on Sunday March 18

17 N State St., Suite 1380

Chicago, IL 60602

 

We’ll order some pizza.  If you’re planning on coming please let Mike know at mike@swop-chicago.org so we can order enough.  But please feel free to come at the last minute even without an RSVP! And please spread the word to other workers!

Hope to see and strategize with many of you soon!

Free Legal Clinic this Sunday!

SWOP legal clinic offers free legal support for sex workers, trans individuals, and people experiencing unstable housing!

Drop by our legal clinic this Sunday, January 14, from 4-7pm at our location at Lifeworks Psychotherapy in the loop (120 W. Madison, Suite 920, Chicago, IL 60602).  If you are having troubles finding us, please call (872) 228-7532.

We can take on any issue, civil or criminal.

Contact us to complete an intake form at www.calachicago.org/swopclinic/or e-mail mike@swop-chicago.org.

Support Street Outreach with Chicago Sex Workers!

SWOP-Chicago is pleased to announce an online fundraiser to continue our street outreach efforts.
As we enter Chicago winter, consider supporting the street-based sex work community in our city! Your donation to SWOP-Chicago allows us to continue seeing over 100 street-based workers a week at three different locations.  We provide free condoms, HIV testing, clean needles, toiletries, snacks, and legal resources. By offering a consistent presence on the street, led by and for sex workers, we hope to provide a safe space for people to access resources, network, and support each other. 
 
Many of the most marginalized and vulnerable members of the sex work community are street-based.  In a time of increased criminalization of sex work—which disproportionately affects people of color, trans and gender nonconforming people, and people with undocumented status—the urgency of meeting the needs of workers has only increased.  Join us as we build community, resources, and support systems together!
 
We are thankful for donations of any size — small or large, every dollar helps the community!  We are also happy to offer special thank-yous for the following donors:
  • Donations of $20 — A SWOP-Chicago button
  • Donations of $50 — A bouquet of “Hug a Ho” Stickers
  • Donations of $150 — A SWOP-Chicago T-Shirt
  • Donations of $250 — A SWOP-Chicago Tote Bag with Handmade Sex Worker Harm Reduction Zines
  • Donations of $1000 — A SWOP-Chicago Tote Bag with T-Shirt
  • Donations of $2500 — A Tote Bag stuffed with Condoms, two T-Shirts, Stickers, Zines, and Buttons
Thank-You gifts will be available at our December 17 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers day or mailed directly to donors. 
Learn more or donate at https://www.youcaring.com/swopchicago.
 
 

Statement Regarding Eros Raid

FEDERAL RAID OF EROS-GUIDE PUTS SEX WORKERS, IMMIGRANTS AT RISK

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security raided a Youngsville, NC call center operated by Eros-Guide, a listing service widely used by adult providers to advertise their services and find work. Along with the shutdown earlier this year of adult advertising on Backpage, another listing service, this development compounds sex workers’ already-high risk of dangerous working conditions and economic precarity.

The raid was conducted under a warrant that alleged “cross-border illegal activity,” underscoring the crucial intersection of sex workers with immigrants and other groups made vulnerable by marginalization. Individuals frequently turn to sex work because their immigrant and/or other marginalized status excludes them from other jobs and sources of income. Immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQ people engaging in sex work are especially likely to be endangered by government shut-downs of resources such as Eros-Guides, which provide workers with a relatively safe forum in which to advertise and connect with clients.

Tuesday’s raid and similar law-enforcement events force sex workers into increasingly dangerous conditions, while doing little to curtail the sex trade or protect trafficked individuals. Without online spaces such as Eros to continue making a living, sex workers are forced further underground, into street-based work or organized crime spaces. This erases workers’ independence and reduces their earning potential, while placing them at greater risk of violence from pimps, clients, and law enforcement.

SWOP-Chicago joins the international sex-workers-rights community in condemning the criminalization of sex workers and their clients, and calling for the full decriminalization of the sex industry. Only decriminalization can address the endangerment and marginalization of sex workers, while keeping control of the market and working conditions in the hands of workers themselves. SWOP-Chicago embraces a harm-reduction model in advocating for the human rights of sex workers, while providing direct services to Chicago’s sex work community in the form of street-based outreach, free legal clinics, and support groups.

Free Legal Clinic 11/19 — New Location!

SWOP legal clinic offers free legal support for sex workers, trans individuals, and people experiencing unstable housing!

Drop by our legal clinic this Sunday, 4-7pm at our new location at Lifeworks Psychotherapy in the loop (120 W. Madison, Suite 920, Chicago, IL 60602).  If you are having troubles finding us, please call (872) 228-7532.

We can take on any issue, civil or criminal.

Contact us to complete an intake form at www.calachicago.org/swopclinic/or e-mail mike@swop-chicago.org.