The chapter has become recognized as an authority on harm reduction and sex work in Chicago and presented at the Midwest Harm Reduction Conference, the Battered Women’s Network, and over a dozen local agencies this year.
SWOP-Chicago has also made headway, building relationships with other activist organizations. The chapter spoke at Slutwalk and wasrecognized as the march after party beneficiary
. SWOP is also is partnering with trans* and youth rights organizations and will be one of three organizations offering tailored legal services and advocacy support with CALA
, a new community activist law clinic.SWOP Phoenix:
SWOP-Phoenix is basically kicking major ass as of late. In May of 2014, we had our third Project ROSE protest at Bethany Bible Church which is the command post where the Phoenix PD take apprehended community members as apart of Project ROSE’s stings (to read more about Project ROSE see the following links). We recently got word that Project ROSE is officially inactive! According to statistics, the numbers of workers that are arrested have been cut in half due to the intense outreach our chapter does in the weeks leading up to the stings. Yay!In April of 2014, Monica Jones was found guilty of manifesting an intent to solicit prostitution
. During her trial Dan Pochoda, the legal director of the Arizona chapter of the ACLU, gave a lengthy argument in regards to the manifestation statute stating that many courts in other states have overturned similar statutes. Monica has filed an appeal with pro-bono appellate attorneys. As a means to gain momentum and support for her appeal, on August 5, the Arizona ACLU, SWOP Phoenix and the appellate attorneys had transgender actress and activist Laverne Cox come out for a conversation with Monica at the Herberger Theater
in Phoenix. This was a great success and the event was completely booked!
In the shadow of the 2015 Super Bowl which will take place in Glendale, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix), our chapter has been working hard to create a community of workers. This has proved to be extremely difficult because of the high levels of distrust and hostility. The newfangled Human Trafficking Task Force, spearheaded by Governor Jan Brewer and Cindy McCain, has been conducting monthly stings and raids targeting backpage ads, escort sites like Eros, and street based workers. In December these stings and raids will take place weekly.
To combat this, and as a means to create community, SWOP Phoenix has teamed up with a local harm reduction organization as well as a local and free healthcare clinic in order to do harm reduction outreach. We are extremely excited about this new endeavor and are welcoming any advice about fundraising, harm reduction outreach, community building, etc. Love and Solidarity, SWOP PhoenixSWOP-Tampa Bay:
SWOP Tampa Bay Area was founded November 2013, on Transgender Day of Remembrance. A few sex workers and allies had vigil at a local coffee shop. Since then, we have gathered weekly at this same coffee shop to discuss issues important to the sex work community and build our group. Outreach has been a challenge, as Tampa Bay covers a huge area, public transportation is not readily available and the culture in the area is such that while Tampa is one of the biggest players in the adult entertainment industry, many sex workers here are uncomfortable or do not identify with the term “sex worker”. SWOP Tampa Bay has been experimenting with different outreach language and trying to connect with street-based workers. We had a slightly larger gatherings for the March 3 Sex Worker’s Rights Day. Celebrating Pride was difficult because the LGBT community in the area seems way of the idea of SWOP.Recently, Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan
, was in town, and we held a potluck and book-signing at a sex workers home. Several people from surrounding areas attended and there now seems to be some new greenery for building SWOP here. Go to our website
to be in touch with us and please spread the word to anyone who lives along the Gulf coast of central FloridaSWOP-Philadelphia: Project SAFE
of Philadelphia has joined the SWOP-USA national network. We will work with SWOP-Philadelphia to advocate for discrimination of sex work in all forms, but are maintaining the name “Project SAFE” as not all of our members identify with the term sex worker. Check us out on Facebook
for more information.
SWOP-NYC: is redesigning their website in order to focus on new member recruitment, media advocacy, and original resource development. The group has plans to facilitate a self-care day for December 17th and to participate in intersectional remembrance activities on that day as well as to launch the new site.
SWOP Sacramento: Founded by veteran activists Stacey Swimme (co-founder of SWOP USA and Desiree Alliance) and Kristen DiAngelo (Executive Producer of the award winning documentary American Courtesans) in response to the needs of area sex workers following My Redbook’s closure, SWOP-Sacramento has begun to assess and provide much needed services to sex workers in Northern California through street, parlor and online outreach. Hitting the ground running, DiAngelo and Swimme have created a hotline, attended and spoken at numerous conferences, and worked with SWOP-Chicago to oppose the SAVE Act, legislation that would dramatically increase requirements for placing online ads.