Tuesday, DECEMBER 17TH, Tucson, AZ
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Each year, December 17th marks the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This year sex workers will gather in cities throughout the U.S. as well as in South Africa, Montreal, Canada and London to remember and honor sex workers who have been victimized by virtue of their chosen profession.
You are invited to join us in Tucson, Arizona on December 17, 2013
We invite you to join us on Tuesday, December 17th for our IDEVASW event (free)!
4:30 pm Main Library at Stone & Alameda: Die In/Art/Performance
5:00 pm Processional (Wear red, bring red umbrellas, candles, an open heart)
6:00 pm El Tiradito Shrine, Meyer & Cushing Street: Remembrance/Stories/Music/Poetry
Please also join us for our WINE & CRANE FOLDING FUNDRAISER on Sunday, December 15th, 5:00-7:00 pm. Donation $5-10. Splinter Bros. Warehouse, 901 North 13th Avenue. We fold origami cranes for each of the past year’s fallen victims.
El Tiradito Shrine is a national historic site tucked away in one of the many old downtown Tucson barrios (neighborhood). Often called the wishing shrine, the story associated with it involves broken hearts, crimes of passion, and a lover’s triangle. It’s the only shrine in the United States dedicated to a sinner and sex workers in Tucson have long held this place dear to our hearts. We will have live music, poetry, a ritual and remembrance circle where we light candles on shrine as we speak the names of fallen sex workers, and a few other things to make this event special. Refreshments. Cameras not allowed without prior permission.
About the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Each year, December 17th marks the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. The event was created in 2003 in response to the horrific case of Gary Leon Ridgway aka The Green River Killer, who pled guilty to aggravated first degree murder for killing forty-eight (48) prostitutes in the Seattle, Washington area over a period of twenty years. He was given life in prison instead of the death penalty in exchange for confessing to the details of the 48 murders in order that the victim’s families could have closure from the knowledge of their loved ones last moments. December 17th was the date Gary Ridgway was sentenced.
In 2011, sex workers from around the globe met gruesome deaths and endured unspeakable violence. Some died at the hands of a solitary perpetrator; others were victims of serial prostitute killers. While some of these horrific stories received international media attention (Long Island, Boston, Grand Rapids, Albuquerque, Tijuana, Cape Town, New Zealand just to name a few), other cases received little more than a perfunctory investigation. Many cases remain unresolved, sometimes forever. In fact, most violent crimes against sex workers remain unreported. Stigma and criminalization facilitate this violence; when sex work is criminalized, prostitutes can’t turn to the police for protection without risking prosecution themselves. Sex workers remain one of the largest marginalized populations in existence without the benefit of the basic civil rights that everyone else takes for granted.
How You Can Help!
1. Attend the IDEVASW event in Tucson, Arizona on December 17th and Phoenix on December 18th; we have plenty of resources for free housing and transportation.
2. If you can’t join us in Arizona, organize your own IDEVASW event in your hometown.
3. If you’re a business or organization who’d like to help the Tucson event by sponsorship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We need both money and volunteers.
4.Circulate this letter to your own listservs and use social media to get the word out – blog about this, add this letter to your website, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc.
5. Donate to the Sex Workers Outreach Project. Visit http://swop-usa.org to find out more.