ISWRD 2015: SWOP SWAP and CRAWFISH POTLUCK in the PARK EXTRAVAGANZA
PATOIS Film Fest – NOT YOUR RESCUE PROJECT: Sex worker rights minifest
Know Your Rights – Sex Workers Rights Group Launches ‘Know Your Rights’ Card
Press Inquiry from Cosmopolitan Magazine
Well, because we like to do our own thing, we at SWOP-NOLA decided that, instead of celebrating International Sex Workers’ Rights Day with the rest of the world today (March 3rd), we’re gonna celebrate this Saturday, March 7th.
At 3pm, to be exact. At City Park. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the exact location.
Free Crawfish/Potluck/Clothing Swap!!
There will also be other food. It’s a potluck, but you’re not required to bring shit (other than your sexy little/big self, you!).
Bring clothes you don’t want anymore. One harlot’s trash is another’s treasure. We should have a variety of sizes, from petite to voluptuous.
From the Facebook event:
“Hi everyone, It’s that time again. We are having our annual meet and greet for sex workers and allies in the park.
The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend so feel free to bring a dish or a beverage or just bring yourselves!
Since Lent is our ‘official’ New Year here in NOLA we figured now would be a good time to clean out the closets, bring the clothes or costumes you no longer need and maybe find a new treasure.
We will be meeting in City Park. PM or email us for the location (email@example.com), and for screening purposes, please include a sentence or two about yourself. Hope to see you there!”
Also SWOP-Shreveport/Bossier City is having its first meeting tonight. Here’s the Facebook event:
“We’ll have the inaugural meeting of our chapter, with some take-away projects and committee assignments. Can follow meeting a sex worker film screening or social after the meeting.”
Happy International Sex Workers’ Rights Day 2015!!
- There’s a SWOP chapter in Shreveport/Bossier City now! Their FB page is more active than their website at this point. So, if you’re based in North Louisiana, or if you occasionally visit, you should reach out!
- SexWorker Writing Group: One of our members would like to start a writing group specifically for local sex workers. Anyone interested? Email us and we’ll connect you with the person in charge of that.
- We finally have a way to accept tax-deductible donations! The donation goes to SWOP-USA, but it’s labeled SWOP-NOLA, and the funds come to us That way, SWOP-USA’s 501c3 status applies. Here’s a direct link, or there’s a Paypal button on the “How You Can Help” page of our website.
- Eros discount: Eros is offering SWOP members a 20% discount for 2015. If you use EROS, contact us for the coupon code!
- T Shirts: We know they’re awesome. We know you want ’em! WE want ’em! Unfortunately, they were in limited supply (I think there were 10 total). But we have more on the way, and we’ll have a selection of sizes to fit as many people as possible. So stay tuned! We’re all volunteers, and getting the resources, time, and talent together in the right combination all at once can take some time, so we appreciate your patience. We promise that as soon as we have new ones, we’ll let y’all know.
- Check out the pics of IDEVASW 2014 in NOLA and our rundown of what we did in 2014.
- March 3rd is International Sex Workers Rights Day. We’re still tossing around ideas about what we’ll be doing for that, but we’ll (hopefully) know within the next week or so. If you have a great idea, let us know about it.
- Support Group? We’re currently gauging interest in a sex-worker support group. If you think this is something you’d want to participate in, let us know. We’ve had a lot of people ask us if we offer one, and we haven’t so far, but if there’s enough interest…
- Scheduled Meetings: We’re working out some details re: the meeting schedule and format for this year. Ideally, we’d like to make meetings more comfortable and welcoming for people who are currently working locally, and this means we need to re-think how we go about meeting up. Stay tuned, and we’ll hopefully have the details worked out within the next few days. Thanks for your patience on this!
- VICE journalist seeking interview: If anyone’s interested, here’s his info:
Hi, my name is Mason Miller and i’m the New Orleans correspondent for VICE. I’m working on a story about how the recent spikes of violence in the French Quarter may be affecting sex workers. I’m really looking for statistics or some kind of log that chronicles issues of violence against workers in the quarter. If you have a moment to talk today, you can reach me through this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at 985-320-6361, Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
- SWOP-USA has a snazzy new website!
What we accomplished in 2014
- Held official meetings about once monthly.
- Held several unofficial, often impromptu meetings throughout the year.
- Offered our input via our responses to an Amnesty International-distributed questionnaire about experiences of sex workers. This questionnaire was part of an attempt by Amnesty International to listen to sex workers themselves before making an official decision regarding their position on the decriminalization of sex work.
- Sponsored a FREE film screening for International Sex Workers Rights Day 2014
- Participated in the NOLA Pride Parade (see June update)
- Started on list of Legal resources for sex workers
- Added to the existing list of Sex Worker-friendly healthcare providers/counselors
- Provided a FREE Sex-workers-only self-defense workshop at NOLA Shaolin-Do
- Co-sponsored (with Patois New Orleans International Human Rights Film Fest) screening of Lizzie Borden’s “Working Girls” at the Zeitgeist
- Supported (via donation, promotion, and attendance) BreakOut’s TDOR Kiki for a Cause – Benefit Show for BreakOut! at Lucky Pierre’s
- Held IDEVASW (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers) 2014 event in NOLA. Marched through French Quarter, engaged with the public, distributed ~600 promo packs of safer sex materials, instructions for use, and SWOP-NOLA promo flyers
- Updated and reorganized general info related to the safety of sex workers.
- Maintained various info and resources about safety issues specific to NOLA and the places local sex workers work, made that info available to verified sex workers. Facilitated exchange of safety info among local sex workers.
- Overdose prevention (can’t get too specific with this, but look up “opioid overdose prevention”): distributed supplies and instructions
- Helped local sex workers (at their request) transition from criminalized to non-criminalized form of sex work
- Social support of local sex workers
- Public outreach through flyering, social media, etc.
- Recruitment of local sex workers through word-of-mouth
- Educated local sex workers about lesser-known aspects of Louisiana law as it relates to sex workers.
- Assisted local sex worker in choosing and enrolling in inpatient rehab program.
- Directed local current and former sex workers seeking help we don’t/can’t provide to other organizations or programs that could provide the help they needed.
- Drove over and hand-delivered condoms and lube to sex workers taking last-minute appointments 😉
Well, Bourbon Street didn’t let us down. Our 2014 December 17th IDEVASW (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers) event was bigger and maybe even better than IDEVASW 2013 (I only say “maybe,” because we didn’t get to see any miniature horses).
Blurry phone pics below! It’s hard to take phone pics while walking and handing out hundreds of these things to locals, tourists, and everyone in between.