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Remembering Gabriela

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This week marks one year since Gabriela left us physically. She is missed terribly everyday, but this week, and October 10th in particular, perhaps more than usual. There are many ways to honor Gabriela. Using the word “puta”, fighting for sex worker rights, eating Ceratti Mortadela, using Chanel perfume, circulating her texts and videos, talking politics over beer in neighborhood bars, and perhaps most importantly, saying, standing by and fighting for what you believe. Gabriela was political down to her daily …

Sending a kiss: lessons learned from our outreach campaign

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More than two years ago when we began thinking about how to tell the world about the film A KISS FOR GABRIELA we knew only a fraction of what we know now about what works when doing social media and other forms of outreach tailored for media made about an amazing sex worker rights leader. We wanted to inspire real action, allowing people to not only learn more about sex workers but to become involved in steps to defend rights. “Do we know how …

“We demand the inclusion of sex workers”: the 2014 International AIDS Conference

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A KISS FOR GABRIELA was shown as part of the Sex Worker Networking Zone organized by Scarlet Alliance (the Australian sex worker host committee) in partnership with sex worker organizations from around the world. Our application to the conference itself–to present the film, a DASPU t-shirt fashion show, and to host a “minute of noise” in honor of Gabriela– was not successful, but with the help of organized sex workers we were offered a screening space in the Global Village at …

Thank you from “Isabel” to those who supported IndieGoGo Campaign

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I would like to thank all who have collaborated and supported my activism. Know that it is because of your help that I continue in the fight for sex worker rights. I am not going to give up. The help of each one of you made an enormous difference for me, as the Brazilian government doesn’t support my activism and doesn’t have any resources to work with prostitutes in situations of danger like the one I currently find myself in …

Support Isabel: Sex worker activist from Niterói threatened after denouncing violence violence

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For the past three months, we’ve been accompanying the resistance and fight of sex workers in Niterói after the illegal police raids that started in March of this year. The most recent of which occurred when Isabel (not her real name), a sex worker rights activist with Davida had her life threatened after publically denouncing egregious sexual violence and human rights abuses against her and her colleagues during a completely illegal police raid on May 23rd of this year. After denounding …

“Look for the Red Umbrellas” at AIDS2014: A conversation with Jules Kim of Scarlet Alliance

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Jules Kim is a Korean Australian sex worker who is the Manager of the Scarlet Alliance Migration Project.  The Migration Project is staffed and led entirely by migrant sex workers and includes a partnership with Empower Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Recently Jules has been working on coordinating some of the networking zone activities at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne Australia otherwise referred to as AIDS 2014. A well curated list of sex worker events at AIDS 2014 created by Jules and …

PubIic Hearing on Niterói Case Confirms Illegal Actions and Egregious Police Abuses against Sex Workers

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“Everything was wrong, we just want to work, nothing else”. (Summary of blog post written in Portuguese by Soraya Simões and Laura Murray posted on June 6th). On June 4th, sex workers from Niteroi participated in a public hearing at the Rio de Janeiro state legislature regarding the rights violations and abuses committed by the police during the illegal police raid on May 23rd. The public hearing was organized by the Human Rights Commission and the Commission for the Defense …

Serious rights violations against Prostitutes in Niteroí: Urgent Action demanded

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Official letter sent to the Director for the Promotion of Human Rights, State Secretariat for the Monitoring of the Social Welfare and Human Rights of Prostitutes The facts reported below relate to human rights violations and arbitrary acts committed against women and citizens, many of which were witnessed and denounced by the victims themselves and other accompanying parties who were present during the case. On Friday, May 23, 2014 at approximately 2 pm, officers of 76th District police precinct and the Police Unit for the Assistance of Women – Delegacia Especializada …

What to watch and do on International Whores Day (June 2, 2014)

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International Whores’ Day —also referred to as International Sex Workers’ Day–has been celebrated on June 2nd each year since 1976. The day honors all sex workers. The event commemorates the occupation of Église Saint-Nizier in Lyon by more than a hundred prostitutes on 2 June 1975 to draw attention to their situation. Given this history, many take the day as a moment to recognize that sex workers often face poor working conditions, and to consider how to make radical change. Each year in the spirit of Gabriela’s reclaiming of the word …

Police raid in Niteroi, damaging work places and homes

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On May 23, 2014 police in Niteroi, aided by agents of over 13 police stations in the state of Rio de Janeiro, illegally stormed the building where more than 300 prostitutes work. Approximately 100 were arrested and taken to the police station for questioning. The police prevented lawyers from being present during the questioning. These are the tactics of a military dictatorship. There were reports of rape, robbery, physical and psychological violence and also that the police planted “evidence” in …