March 3 – International Sex Workers Rights Day Picnic

7 Mar

The 3rd of March is International Sex Worker Rights Day. The day originated in 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a sex worker festival. The organizers, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group whose membership consists of somewhere upwards of 50,000 sex workers and members of their communities. Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3 March as International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.

History of March 3rd, International Sex Worker Rights Day

SWOP-LA member Lindsey enjoying a hot dog fresh off the grill

March 3rd, 2012 was a perfect day for a picnic. Los Angeles is beautiful in the spring, and this past Saturday it was 85 degrees and sunny down in MacArthur Park. Throughout the afternoon about 35 sex workers, partners, and allies came down to celebrate the struggle for sex workers’ rights with donuts, hot dogs, and good company. It is a day where we not only recognize our local achievements as a community, but also stand in solidarity with sex workers and sex work activists across the world.

While there was political talk and coalition building, there was also a lot of discussion about professional development among the sex workers present. Resources were traded, industry tips were shared, and it was a great opportunity for people to meet new colleagues and friends. But above all, we had fun hanging out with each other in a casual and friendly environment.

It is our firm belief that building a strong community is at the heart of our activist efforts. And that means celebrating our lives, struggles, and triumphs. It was thrilling to see everyone come out and connect with each other on Saturday afternoon, and we are happy and proud to contribute to the movement for sex workers rights.

Serene Sin, Anthony, and Jessie Nicole proudly wear their SWOP-LA t-shirts at the picnic

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