Posted by: swopboston | February 19, 2010

The International Day for Sex Workers’ Rights is March 3rd…

The International Day for Sex Worker’s Rights is fast approaching and SWOP-Boston is making sure that for once, our city is in on the action!  We are hosting an array of FREE events, at different times and in different places around the city, and we hope to see you at all of them!!

SWOP-Boston’s Know Your Rights and Self-Defense Training

Tuesday, 02 March

2:30 – 5:30

Community Church of Boston

565 Boylston Street

Do you know what to do if a cop pulls you over?

How about if the police visit your home or stop you on the street?

SWOP-Boston will be giving a workshop on what protections you have under the law when dealing with law enforcement.

While the police do not inform you of your rights, they do exist and can be the difference between getting arrested and staying safe.

We will also be facilitating workshops on Self-Defense and Security Culture (i.e. how to avoid self-incrimination)

So come on down to the Community Church of Boston in Copley Square for an interactive and informative afternoon!

SWOP-Boston’s Film Screening of ‘Happy Endings?’

Thursday, 04 March

7:00 – 9:00

The Lucy Parsons Center

549 Columbus Avenue

An intriguing exploration of the Asian massage parlor industry in Providence, RI, where a 25 year-old loophole has made the exchange of sex for money legal — as long as it happens behind closed doors.  As the documentary follows a recent Korean immigrant, “Heather”, working to operate her spa, the city’s mayor fights to change the law that allows her business a legal existence.

The film includes interviews with Korean women who work in spas, clients who frequent the spas, politicians from 1980 and today, police, local news footage, radio call-in shows and “voiced” reviews from internet escort review boards.

for more information go to:

SWOP-Boston’s Safe and Sexy Saturday Social

Saturday, 06 March

11:00 – 2:00

93 Mass Ave


This brunch is an opportunity for members and allies of the community to come together for a bite to eat and some productive conversation.

FREE & Confidential HIV Testing will be available!

There will also be a FREE raffle for AMC Movie Theater gift cards!



***All of SWOP-Boston’s events have a zero-tolerance policy regarding harrassment or violence of any nature.***

See you soon!!

Posted by: swopboston | December 18, 2009

Dec 17 report

Over 20 people were in attendance at SWOP Boston’s first observance of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, held at Lucy Parsons Center. Our event began with a moving speech by Melora Marshall, founder of SWOP Boston. This was followed by a brief speech by Rhode Island sex worker rights advocate, filmmaker Tara Hurley and then an audio creation by Sex Workers Internet Radio Library. There were many moving statements of support in our community speak-out. The reading of the names was emotional, especially as we heard the names of those who had died from our area. Afterward, almost everyone from the event braved single-digit wind chills to join in the memorial walk. We paused for a moment of silence near the Marriot Copley, where Julissa Brisman was murdered in April of this year. Then we entered the Prudential mall (where it was much warmer) and walked the length of the mall with our red umbrellas. Back into the cold, our stalwart group marched back to Lucy Parsons Center, where, after a brief disaster with the coffee maker, we were rewarded with hot chocolate, hot tea and hot coffee.

We would like to express our gratitude to Lucy Parsons Center for being so welcoming and accommodating, to Dan and the other LPC volunteer for setting up chairs and tables and working the front desk, to everyone who bravely stepped forward to share their stories in the speak-out, to our hardy marchers who walked a long way through unbelievably cold weather for our cause, to our new friend from the neighborhood who had the brilliant idea to walk through the Prudential Mall, and to our anonymous benefactor for footing the bill for emergency hot drinks from Dunkin Donuts.

Posted by: swopboston | December 11, 2009

December 17 Observance in Boston

Join SWOP Boston for our observance of “International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers” on December 17th a 7pm at the Lucy Parsons Center . We will remember and honor sex workers murdered this year in Massachusetts and around the globe. Speakers and an open forum precede a brief memorial walk through Back Bay with red umbrellas, the international symbol for sex worker rights and safety. (If possible, please bring a red umbrella.) Dress for the weather, but look forward to warm drinks and time together as a community after the stroll.

In 2003, communities internationally came together to observe what has become the first annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. The day was conceived by parent organization SWOP-USA in response to the conviction of serial killer Gary Ridgway, known for his comment that he “picked prostitutes as victims because…I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.” This year, four sex workers have been murdered in Massachusetts.

A memorial observance for these and other victims will be held at the Lucy Parsons Center. The event will include excerpts from the Sex Workers Internet Radio Library, commentary by Tara Hurley of the documentary “Happy Endings?” that explores the Asian Massage Parlors that were, until recently, legal in Rhode Island, and a reading of the names of each sex worker who was murdered this year. Following, we will take a meditative walk with red umbrellas, a common symbol of sex worker rights and safety, and will observe a brief moment of silence. Afterwards, we’ll gather back for coffee, tea, snacks, and a chance to network and socialize with the community.

Check out more information on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Thank you to Lucy Parsons Center for hosting our event and F NICE RECORDS INC. for printing our flyers.

In addition to December 17th, there will be a December 18 Call To Action in Arizona for Marcia Powell of Arizona at the AZ Dept. of Corrections, and while Bostonians won’t be able to travel there, we will be there in spirit and solidarity.

Posted by: swopboston | November 21, 2009

A powerful beginning for SWOP-Boston

Thank you so much to everyone who came out today for the Transgender Day of Remembrance.  The event was emotional and expertly organized. And SWOP-Boston marched, of course, with our red umbrellas. In fact, we have SWOP supporters come from as far away as Maine and D.C. to join us in mourning our lost. It was also wonderful to meet so many new, wonderful, and enthusiastic kindreds. We are grateful to have been a part of something so meaningful with so many other activists and members of the trans and sex worker communities. For those of you unable to attend, the speech we read is included below.

Unfortunately, it is time to plan another day of mourning. December 17tH is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and we are organizing an event to honor sex workers killed this year and to celebrate and rejuvenate the resistance of sex workers to violence and discrimination Please contact us to join in creating Boston’s first organized observance of December 17th.


The 11th Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today there is a group of us marching with red umbrellas. We are the Sex Workers Outreach Project-Boston, and we carry the red umbrella as a symbol of our beauty, strength, and resistance to abuse, violence, and discrimination.

We are here today because many of those murdered this year experienced multiple forms of discrimination as they were also people of color and sex workers. We are concerned by the heightened threat of oppression experienced by those judge for multiple reasons such as gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race and type of employment.

Another concern is that the sex industry is often marginalized, dangerous, or criminal. Because of discrimination in the workplace (not to mention society at large), members of the trans community often get denied their employment choices, and come to work in industries such as sex work for lack of other options. We want to see safety and rights granted to all sex workers – those in the industry by choice as well as those in the industry who want out. And we want to see an end to the violence that society so often tolerates against both sex workers and the trans community, all because of stigma and myths attached to our identities.

Only until these falsehoods are corrected and our identities are legitimized will we be able to effectively prevent and minimize the pervasive violence that we often experience. Until we are truly free: safe from all forms of physical, sexual, and emotional harm, we will stand in solidarity and strength with our red umbrellas, and we will unite for justice. Because only rights will end the wrongs.

Posted by: swopboston | October 31, 2009

Join us and show your support!

TDOR candlelights

It’s the 11th Annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance and SWOP-Boston will be marching in solidarity with red umbrellas.   This is a symbol for our beauty, strength, and resistance to abuse, violence and discrimination.  This march is a memorial for the many transgender people murdered this year, the majority of whom were sex workers on the job at the time of death.  The event is a non-worship, non-denominational program of invited speakers, including a statement from SWOP-Boston.  The march stops in Union Square for a candlelight vigil where it will be read aloud the names of those murdered this past year.

THE DATE:  November 20


THE PLACE:  St. Luke’s & St. Margaret’s church in Allston at 5 St. Luke’s Rd.





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