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December 15, 2009 09:03pm
Remembering Our Dead & Wounded Sex Workers
Source: Annie Sprinkle Ph.D.
by: Company Press Release

Dear Friends and Colleagues, Below is information about our Dec. 17th event to remember our dead and wounded. We’d love you to join us for this always moving event.

An hour before the memorial ritual press is invited to interview those of us who have something to say about these issues. So please come early if you can (sex workers, johns, family members, concerned citizens, etc), to speak with any press folks that may show up and help us spread our message, and do some outreach and education.

You’re invited to a a Remembrance Gathering and a Solidarity Stroll for the 7TH International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in San Francisco, (or in your city too.)

This December 17th marks the 7th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Events are being planned in over two dozen countries and in dozens of cities. In San Francisco, Annie Sprinkle, a former prostitute for 20 years, and sex worker Kimberlee Cline will host a remembrance ritual and a solidarity stroll down Market Street.

This annual event was created in 2003 in response to the Gary Ridgway trial (a.k.a. The Green River Killer) and his brutal statements about choosing prostitutes because he could ''get away with it.'' Many believe that the Green River Killer did in fact get away with it in the Seattle area for over 20 years because of law enforcement’s disinterest in solving the murders of prostitutes and society’s general acceptance of violence against sex workers.

''If the victims had been teachers, nurses, or secretaries, I suspect--as Ridgway did-- that the killer would have been caught much sooner.'' Says Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D. A former prostitute and adult film star of twenty years, turned sexologist and artist. ''While I personally feel that I came out of the sex industry a winner, I’m aware that there are those that aren’t as lucky as I was and are real victims of bad laws, whorephobic hate crimes, rape and worse. It’s so important to remember these people, to let the public know we do care.''

In 2008, San Francisco voters narrowly turned down Proposition K, an initiative that would have created more safety measures for sex workers in the City. ''There is a distinct difference between consensually providing sexual services and being forced or trafficked. Efforts by opponents of Prop K to conflate these two very different scenarios confused voters. I’m speaking out about this because I think that when voters hear real stories from people like me and understand that criminalization is doing all of us more harm than good, they will support our reform efforts,'' stated Kimberlee Cline, who works in San Francisco independently as an escort and adult film model.

Sex workers, their friends, the victims families, concerned clients, and supporters are invited to come together at Femina Potens, the art gallery owned and run by porn star Madison Young for a memorial vigil ceremony. ''as sex workers we open up our souls, our bodies, our minds and our spirits to guide others through to sexual pleasure and enlightenment.,'' says Young, ''We are educators, mentors, gladiators athletes, and performance artists using our bodies as a material for your entertainment and pleasure. We are survivors of a world that is so often ashamed by its sexual desires and frightened to engage in communication about sexual needs. This day is to acknowledge the damage that this fear, shame and hatred has inflicted upon sex workers.''

After the ceremony will be a Solidarity Stroll down Market street, with people carrying red umbrellas (the symbol of the sex workers rights movement) and signs with names and photos of some of the victims that will be remembered.

Media are welcome to a press gathering before the memorial, for the memorial, and for the stroll. Photos of past Dec. 17th events are available upon request.

For more information about the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, see Annie Sprinkle’s article ''Remembering Our Dead and Wounded'' at http://www.anniesprinkle.org/html/writings/dtevasw.html

Who: Kimberlee Cline, Swop-SF, and Annie Sprinkle
What: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
When: 6:00 PM-7:00 --Pre-Ceremony press Conference 7pm-8:30-- Ceremony 8:30pm- 9:30-- Solidarity Stroll: A group stroll down Market street to end at the St. James Infirmary

Where: Femina Potens Art Gallery
2199 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Email: Press@swopusa.org
or annie@anniesprinkle.org

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