End Unjust Arrests, Sentencing and Sex Offender Registration of Sex Workers

The DC Trans Coalition signed the following Statement of Support with community organizations in New Orleans, and we want more people to know about this. It’s time to build an international movement to end violence and criminalization of sex workers which, as the authors of this statement recognize, disporportionately affects low income transgender women of color and other marginalized communities.

We stand in solidarity with trans women and all others in New Orleans and elsewhere who are affected by these archaic, draconian anti-sex work laws! Here in DC, we face similar laws such as the Prostitution Free Zones and a “three strikes” policy that makes the third arrest for solicitation a felony offense. These policies drive rampant police profiling and the over-incarceration of many trans women, especially trans women of color.

Individuals can sign the General Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/desiree1/petition.html )
To add your organization, send org. name, contact name, and contact info to belltoweroverflo@hotmail.com.
More info: www.colorlines.com/article.php?ID=673

Statement of Support for Resistance in New Orleans
End Unjust Arrests, Sentencing and Sex Offender Registration of Sex Workers

We the undersigned extend our support for Women With A Vision’s No Justice Project, a campaign to combat the sentencing of people arrested for sex work under the 203-yr-old “crimes against nature” felony-level law in New Orleans, LA. We believe that the unjust application of this law, which requires those sentenced to register as sex offenders for 10 years, and places ‘sex offender’ on their photo identification cards, among other prescribed penalties, further marginalizes and wrongfully criminalizes vulnerable communities.

It is apparent that the application of this law is gender-biased and reflects a broader problem of over-criminalization of low-income people and people of color. The overwhelming majority of those sentenced under the law are African-American, and nearly all are women, with transgender women also being disproportionately impacted.

We believe that no person should be arrested, let alone charged as a sex offender, for selling sex. We also hold that marginalized communities; including people of color, sex workers, transgender people, and drug users; must have greater access to health care, education, housing, general economic wellbeing, safety, and freedom from state violence such as imprisonment.

We will work together, under the guidance of organizations and individuals in New Orleans to support this important campaign. We encourage all other organizations concerned about racial justice, gender justice, economic justice, health, human rights, and sex worker rights to do so as well.

Current Organizational Signers Include:
BAYSWAN, Challenging White Supremacy, COYOTE, Critical Resistance New Orleans, Desiree Alliance, Different Avenues, Dr. Mary Frances Berry- Former Chair of US Commission on Civil Rights, International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe, New York Harm Reduction Educators, NOW Nevada, NOW Southern Nevada, Peter Cicchino Youth Project, Prostitutes of New York, Sex Workers Interests Organization (Denmark), Sex Workers Outreach Project-Chicago, Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, TAP Communications, Women’s Organisation Network for Human Rights Advocacy (Uganda), Women’s Reentry Network, Woodhull Foundation

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