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.


  1. I’m happy to locate this site and find that there is something happening in Boston in regards to this Observance. I missed the Transgender Day of Remembrance observation in Allston, due to a work commitmment. I am looking forward to being with you all on the 17th! Peace, Pleasure, and the Pursuit of Happiness! D. J. Perez

  2. A suggestion to all Supporters of the “International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers”: You can heighten the awareness of December 17th’s observance by putting the “12/17 Red Umbrella” up as your profile picture on Facebook, plus providing links to information about the observance. let’s create a Virtual “Red Umbrella March” on Facebook to bring attention to the event, and to highlight the issues important to Sex Work & Pleasure Activists. Peace, Pleasure, and the Pursuit of Happiness! D. J. Perez

  3. I’m thrilled to hear there’s a Boston chapter of SWOP! I’ll try my best to make it on Dec. 17, but are there other upcoming actions or events?

    • hi eva,

      will add you to our mailing list! anyone else interested, please chime in!



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