Tag Archives: IDEVASW / Dec 17th

IDEVASW (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2014 in NOLA!

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).

And check out the awesome writeup by Missy Wilkinson with the Gambit: Blog of New Orleans: “Sex workers are human.”

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.

IDEVASW 2014 - b

IDEVASW 2014 - c

IDEVASW 2014 - d

IDEVASW 2014 - e

IDEVASW 2014 - f

IDEVASW 2014 - a

Also! Check out the SWOP-Shreveport/Bossier City‘s pics from their December 17th event!

Join us for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 12/17/14

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 4pm

Facebook event page

December 17th - International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2014 in New Orleans

December 17th – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2014 in New Orleans

December 17, 2014 4:00 pm
Canal St. at Bourbon
New Orleans, Louisiana
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International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2013 in NOLA

Did you see a crowd of red umbrellas on Bourbon St. this past Tuesday? Did someone give you one of these:



If so, then thanks so much for making our International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2013 a success!

A couple of our members made a huge banner that we can reuse for other events (one side says SWOP-NOLA, and the other says International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers):

SWOP-NOLA Banner on Bourbon St. Dec 17 2013

SWOP-NOLA Banner on Bourbon St. Dec 17 2013
We knew we were off to a good start when, before we even started making our way down Bourbon, some guy slowed his car, unrolled his windows, and cheered us on, yelling “STOP THE VIOLENCE!” and “YEAH, SEX WORKERS!” Thanks, guy in the white car!

We had a lot of fun and talked to a lot of people along Bourbon St. about SWOP-NOLA and December 17th, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Everyone was super cool and supportive.

I took a few pictures, but they’re not very good because I was busy and carrying a bunch of stuff. Other members took better pictures, as did people on the street. When we got to the Oz and the Pub, we met some miniature ponies (!!!!!!) and a photographer from Ambush Magazine.






Afterwards, we met up at the AllWays Lounge for refreshments, discussion of the significance of December 17th, and of course, good old social drinking.


If you didn’t see our writeup by Missy Wilkinson in the Gambit online, you can read it here.

If you were there and you took pictures, please email them to swop.nola@gmail.com, or send us a link to them. Thanks!

Our next BIG event will be for International Sex Workers’ Rights Day, which is held annually on March 3rd. This presents a bit of a problem for us, as Mardi Gras is on March 4th this year. But it’s nothing a little brainstorming and rescheduling won’t solve. Stay tuned for more info!

Thanks again to EROS.com, XR Brand Passion Lubes, awesome individuals who made generous donations, AllWays Lounge & Theater, and everyone who came out!

December 17th – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (2013)

December 17th - International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2013 in New Orleans

December 17th route

December 17th route (back of flyer)

Facebook Event for December 17th – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2013 in New Orleans

We plan to honor and remember those we’ve lost with an event similar to a traditional New Orleans funeral.

A second line (when it’s in the context of a funeral) is a funeral procession, usually from the church to the cemetery, in which the attendants publicly celebrate the life of the deceased.  The scale of it varies depending on the community, the resources of the family/friends/community, and the popularity/importance of the deceased person, but it may be anything from a small group with a couple parasols or a handkerchief to a brass band and memorial t-shirts.

Sometimes, in cases where you can’t have an actual funeral for the person, you just have a second line.  That was the case with my roommate, who died earlier this year.  So, we had a second line that started at his favorite bar, and then we went down Bourbon St., stopping at several of the places he’d worked and partied at over the years, and ended up at another bar near my house that was a favorite of his.  Since we didn’t have his actual body and we weren’t burying him, we instead had a rickshaw-type thing with a huge picture of him, a sound system, etc. etc. When we arrived at our final destination, we hung out, had drinks, and told stories about him.

In the past few years, people have also occasionally had second lines for causes they support that are somehow at risk (Second Line for Sustainability, Second Line for Literacy, etc.)

So, our plan is to have a second line for December 17th.  We’ll start at one end of Bourbon St. and go its entire length and end at AllWays Lounge.  We’ll be carrying red parasols and wearing red.  As we make our way down Bourbon, we’ll be handing out:

1) SWOP-NOLA flyers explaining what December 17th/International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is (including a list of sex workers murdered in New Orleans in the past few years)

2) Promo flyers for SWOP-NOLA

3) Safe-sex kits (click for example), which contain:

We feel it is important to do this on Bourbon street because:

1)  It’s the most crowded street in the city, so we we’ll have the most public exposure

2)  People are already in a setting of debauchery, and they’re happy and partying, so we are not likely to be confronted by angry, moralistic jerks

3)  Proximity to sex workers themselves:  the majority of the strip clubs downtown are on or within a block of Bourbon, and there are always street-based sex workers around

4)  Variety of populations:  one end of Bourbon is mostly bars and clubs that cater to the LGBT customer base, and the other end of Bourbon is mostly straight-male-geared strip clubs (featuring cis women exclusively)

5)  Here in New Orleans, we’ve had two relatively high-profile cases of murdered sex workers (Jaren Lockhart, who was murdered, dismembered, and thrown into the Gulf of Mexico in 2012, and Angela Erin Ball in 2009) who were employed by strip clubs on Bourbon.  There have also been several murders in the past few years of full-service sex workers, but those haven’t drawn nearly as much attention (race and gender factors probably contribute to the media’s relative non-coverage).  We therefore think that Bourbon Street is an especially appropriate setting.

The event will no longer be open to the public when we reach Krave Bistro.  We’ll have a private gathering for sex workers and allies, and we will provide a safe-space for those attending to share as they see fit.  We did an open-share-type event like this last year, and it went really well.  Musicians performed, people gave readings, people spoke, and we read a the list of names from the December 17th website.

We believe that both parts of the event are necessary.  We want to honor those who have passed and treat the subject with the solemnity it deserves, and we are sensitive to the fact that some local sex workers cannot risk the consequences that could result from a public, visible display of alliance with sex workers (hence the private, non-festive event).  But we also want to engage the public in a non-threatening, familiar, New Orleans-specific way (second line).

Any funds we receive will go to supplies:

  • about 10 cheap red parasols for us to carry during the second line (a nod to the red umbrella, obviously)
  • printing of December-17th-specific info to hand out on Bourbon
  • refreshments to provide at Krave
  • something to give the owner of Krave as a thank-you
  • promo materials for the event itself

So, that’s our plan.  Please feel free to request more info or to offer suggestions.

News: Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Dec 17th event, CANS Law, Fundraiser, Google Group

In this Update:

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Monday, December 17 2012 7pm-9pm
at the Mudlark Public Theater
in New Orleans
Facebook Event Page for IDEVASW in New Orleans

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers event New Orleans

Flyer for event: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in New Orleans


Come for an evening of paying respect to life by honoring those who have fallen victim to the institutional and physical violence committed against sex workers worldwide.

This will be a candlelight vigil and open mic speak out so bring yourself, bring a friend, bring solidarity, and please bring any words/music/dance you’d like to share as part of the speak out, as well as an item of veneration to add to our community altar.

Refreshments by donation. Snacks provided.

Fill the Court For Oral Arguments In the Case To Overturn Louisiana’s Crime Against Nature Law! Weds, Dec 19th at 10am

From the Facebook event page:

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
10:00 a.m
Federal District Court, 500 Poydras Street
Judge Feldman’s Court—Room C551

Please help us fill the courthouse for oral argument!

Doe, et al. v. Caldwell, et al. is a federal class action lawsuit seeking to remove from the sex offender registry the hundreds of people who are still forced to register solely as a result of a CANS (Crimes Against Nature by Solicitation) conviction.

On March 29, 2012, the Court unambiguously ruled that it is unconstitutional to require someone to register as a sex offender solely because of a CANS conviction. Yet almost 500 people remain on the registry. So we’ve sued the state again, and we need your support.

In Louisiana, people accused of soliciting sex for a fee can be criminally charged in two ways: either under the prostitution statute, or under the solicitation provision of the Crime Against Nature statute. This archaic statute, adopted in 1805, outlaws “unnatural carnal copulation,” which has been defined by Louisiana courts as oral and anal (but not vaginal) sex. Individuals convicted of a Crime Against Nature are forced to register as sex offenders.

Those on the sex offender registry must carry a state driver’s license or non-drivers’ identification document which brands them as a sex offender in bright orange capital letters. They must disclose the fact that they are registered as a sex offender to neighbors, landlords, employers, schools, parks, community centers, and churches. Their names, address, and photographs appear on the internet.

Many have been unable to secure work or housing as a result of their registration as sex offenders. Several have been barred from homeless shelters. One has been physically threatened by neighbors. And another has been refused residential substance abuse treatment because the facility does not accept sex offenders.

Almost 40 percent of registered sex offenders in Orleans Parish are on the registry as a result of such a conviction. 76 percent of these individuals are women, and 80 percent of them are African American.

Being forced to register as a sex offender because of a Crime Against Nature conviction serves no legitimate purpose whatsoever. It is unjustifiable and unconstitutional. The only reason our clients are registered sex offenders is that they were convicted under the provisions of a 200-year-old statute that condemns non-procreative sex acts and sex acts traditionally associated with homosexuality, solely on grounds of moral disapproval.

More info: http://ccrjustice.org/crime-against-nature
Please join us!

Fundraiser Party

We’re currently in the early planning stages of a super awesome fundraiser event party to raise money so we can apply for 501(c)(3) status. Once we’ve met that goal, we’d like to fund resources for local sex workers–legal guidance for those who need it; a fund to pay for sex-worker friendly healthcare for those who otherwise would have to deal with Dr. Judgey McJudgerson; badass superhero costumes; the possibilities are endless! But first we need to party. Stay tuned, and let us know if you’d like to help plan.

Google Group

We’ve set up a Google Group for those of you who would like to be more involved in decision-making/planning/ideas/etc., or who would just like to lurk and see what we’re about. Let us know you’d like access (email us, or contact us through this form) and we’ll give you access. I have the member list set to invisible, so no one will be able to see your name/email address when you join. Current conversation topics: new name, fundraiser party, last-minute Dec 17th event planning.