December 17th Protest & Vigil

Each year on December 17th, sex workers and our allies join together to honor sex workers whose lives have been lost and to recommit ourselves to the struggle to end violence, stigma, and criminalization of sex workers. This year, we are observing December 17th with a protest followed by a community gathering and vigil. Information and links to Facebook events are below. Please join us!

Solidarity with Queens Sex Workers: No More Raids!

Sunday, December 17th 12-1:30pm @ Daley Plaza

Chicago sex workers and allies are outraged at the murder of a Queen’s massage parlor worker, Yang Song, this past weekend at the hands of the NYPD. We will gather to lift up one of our lost and express our collective rage.

If these massage parlor raids continue more workers will die, be incarcerated, deported. Stop criminalizing sex work. Stop criminalizing working people. Stop targeting parlors. Get out of parlors and stay out!

How can these massage parlor raids be justified when women are dying?!

Meet at Daley Plaza, by the Picasso Statue at 12PM. This meeting location is symbolic, it’s right outside Sheriff Tom Dart’s office. Tom Dart conducts stings and raids against sex working people and our clients all the time, resulting in incarceration, deportation and loss of income and life.

December 17th is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, join us to demand an end to police terror.

***We will have bandanas on hand if you need to protect your identity, send us a message before the event. Mask up as you feel comfortable.

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Community Vigil

Sunday, December 17th 5-8pm @ Peanut Gallery (902 N California Ave)

Community *** Candlelight Vigil *** Speakers *** Food *** Music *** Art

Free, all ages, & everyone welcome!

For more info on this important day, check out: www.december17.org

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Please donate here to support our important street outreach efforts!
https://www.youcaring.com/swopchicago-1005658
“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!”

 

Monthly Community Meeting Tomorrow **at our new location

Wednesday, December 13th 7-9pm @ Read/Write Library (914 N. California Ave.)

We have a ***New Location*** for our regular monthly meetings. Thank you to the Read/Write Library Chicago!

Join us as we look ahead to plans for activism and community in the coming months. We’ll be discussing the upcoming International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (Dec 17), our legal clinic, street outreach, support group, and upcoming events.

We meet every second Wednesday at 7pm. All sex workers and allies are welcome!

New volunteers may email mike@swop-chicago.org for more info on how to get involved.

Exotic Film Screening

17218684_10154995692486878_1853715409651811150_oJune 11th, 2017 at 2pm at the Leather Archives and Museum

6418 N Greenview Ave., Chicago IL, 60626

Join SWOP Chicago, the Leather Archives & Museum and Producer/Director/Editor Amy Oden for a screening of the film “Exotic“.

Dotted with palm trees and coral reefs, Guam is United States territory where military men and Japanese tourists abound. A seemingly perfect backdrop for a strip club, the island should sound ideal to any girl coming from Portland, Atlanta, or Anchorage to work as an exotic dancer. But is it? Exotic foregrounds the stories of workers, as they discuss this fluid and secretive world…

View the trailer : http://exoticdocumentary.com/                                                           Facebook event  HERE

Tickets available at the door:                                                                                                    General admission : $10                                                                                                            Students / 65+ : $5                                                                                                                        LA&M / SWOP Chicago members : Free

SWOP-Chicago Responds to Backpage Shutdown

Please join SWOP-Chicago and Support Ho(s)e in protest.

Noon on Wednesday, January 18th

Picasso Sculpture, 50 W Washington Blvd.

Details are here on the Facebook event page.

The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Chicago protests the United States government pressure that caused Backpage.com to censor its Adult content section on January 9th.  Many members of our community will no longer be able to pay their rent, purchase food, or afford medical bills because a crucial source of their income has been eliminated.  This Wednesday, we will be sharing our shock and dismay with Sheriff Tom Dart, who has been an integral part of this dangerous drive to force the sex industry underground.

Backpage was a low-cost and low-barrier means through which many sex workers advertise.  Because it did not discriminate based on gender, race, or class, it was an especially important place of advertising for the most marginalized members of our community: LGBTQ sex workers, sex workers of color, and unstably housed sex workers.  These individuals may now have to rely on third parties or on street-based venues to work.  With Backpage no longer an option to advertise, they may be working on the Chicago winter streets during the writing of this press release.

SWOP understands the need to address sex trafficking.  But Tom Dart and the United States government have made it clear that pressuring Backpage is not really about trafficking.  Their narrow focus on sex has too often eclipsed other forms of human trafficking, such as trafficking in the agriculture, domestic labor, or garment industries.  Moreover, as sex workers, some of us may be able to recognize victims of trafficking and get them the help they need.  The government should be working with us to target trafficking, not working against us as we attempt to make a living with our work.

Though disappointed by the recent government actions, we are not surprised by them.  In Chicago, Tom Dart has long declared an all-out war on Backpage, without any consideration of how this may affect how and where people work. Tom Dart’s efforts to criminalize johns and shutter advertising for sex workers are misguided.  They will only serve to push the sex trade further underground, distancing workers from human, legal, and economic services.  His actions may also ramp up secretive efforts by organized crime.

Sex workers are nothing if not resourceful.  We will find new advertising venues and new resources.  But in the meantime, many members of our community are sadly struggling just to survive.

Celestial Smut: An Intergalactic Celebration and Benefit

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SWOP – Chicago invites you to an intergalactic celebration on Saturday, November 19th! Celebrate SWOP – Chicago’s 10th anniversary at a fabulous fundraising event!

Celestial Smut is a decadent and dirty space-themed extravaganza. Join your favorite sultry space sinners at Cafe Mustache for a night packed with performances, DJs, raffles, tarot readings and more.

Suggested donation is $10, and 10% of all drinks purchased will go to SWOP Chicago.
Get a free raffle ticket if you bring 1 winter coat, pair of new socks, or bra or 3 toiletry items (our toiletry needs are: razors, shaving cream, lotion, tampons + pads, deodorant, soap, shampoo, conditioner)

All toiletries will go toward our street outreach efforts in Garfield Park.
All donations SWOP Chicago receives will go toward various efforts we have including our street outreach efforts, quarterly brunch/round table events, legal outreach clinics, 12/17 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Work event and more.
To learn more, please visit our site at swop-chicago.org

Contact LeahLev4@gmail.com with questions, donations, or if you’d like to perform/DJ!

Walk-In Legal Clinic June 15th

This month’s free legal clinic in conjunction with CALA is on Wednesday, June 15th 6-9pm at Coalition Impact, 405 W. Superior Ave., 7th Floor.

All services are free of charge for low-income individuals with current/former experience in sex trade or street economy.

The clinic accepts Walk-Ins, and you can also pre-schedule an appointment via our online intake form (or call 312-999-0056). If the clinic times or dates don’t work, we can do intake and offer general legal consultation, advice and education via phone at other times.

Got Questions? Call 312-999-0056 or email board@swop-chicago.org!