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Whore Week Statement

One June 2nd we’re proud to celebrate International Whores’ Day, remembering the 1975 demonstration in Lyon, France where hundreds of sex workers launched an 8-day occupation of Saint-Niziner Church to protest dangerous working conditions, police harassment, and discriminatory laws that violated their human rights. In 2019 sex workers and our allies continue the fight for safe working conditions, dignity and respect on the job. In Canada, our Federal government continues to uphold legislation that endangers sex workers. Across the Province of Ontario, law enforcement continues to degrade, assault and target our communities. QT/BIPOC (Queer and Trans, Black and Indigenous People of Colour) sex workers continue to face disproportionate abuse and stigma prevents access to key services, and migrant sex workers are subject to raids and deportation.


Every day the movement for sex workers rights grows stronger. There has been every effort to silence us, but we’ve made important gains and built a solid community of support for sex work. Maggie’s was formed by a bold group of sex workers who refused to accept violence against our community. Our founders fought against the stigmas imposed by a moralizing government and whorephobic society, and created programming, resources and outreach materials designed to lift our community up. We’re proud to carry on in this tradition as Maggie’s continues to thrive and expand. We are a core source of support for sex workers, prioritizing the safety, well-being and dignity of our peers. We continue to show up for our community in a number of capacities through our drop-in programming, harm reduction materials, networking and skills-building spaces, social and political advocacy work. Our community fought to hold law enforcement accountable following the disappearance of our friend Alloura Wells. Our community is leading the fight to amplify the voices of sex workers who are assaulted and subjected to an unjust justice system, demanding justice for Moka Dawkins. We dream of a movement that demands justice for all sex workers, and as we follow in the footsteps of fierce sex workers rights activists, we’re committed to seeing this struggle through.


Through all these efforts to silence our community members, our collective power has seen our movement for justice thrive. We know that sex work is legitimate work and that all of us have the right to work with safety and dignity, free from discrimination and laws that jeopardize our wellbeing. Until we see justice for all sex workers, we continue to demand decriminalization and destigmatization of our industry. After all, there are no bad whores, only bad laws.