On May 1st, SWOP-Seattle coordinated a peaceful protest in conjunction with Seattle’s annual May Day march, hosted by El Comité. Dubbed “A Funeral for the Death of Safer Sex Work”, the march was intended to raise awareness about the direct and dangerous impacts of FOSTA and SESTA on sex workers. Click here for recent articles about FOSTA and SESTA.
In essence, FOSTA and SESTA have prompted the rapid closure of multiple sex worker online advertising sites, forcing sex workers to find alternative (and often less safe) ways of connecting with clients. As of the 2018 May Day march in Seattle, our community had already suffered the death of a young woman who started working outside as a result of losing online platforms for advertising, and a suicide connected with anxiety around the ramifications of FOSTA and SESTA.
Our funeral was attended by 15+ members of SWOP. We were supported by our allies at the Democratic Socialists for America, who also posted this statement in support of sex workers rights on May Day. We garnered media attention, and handed out fliers to potential allies and supporters. All in all, this was a successful day of action! Thank you to everyone who came out.