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MASWAN & SWOP-Boston Statement of Solidarity

Massachusetts Sex Worker Ally Network (MASWAN) and Sex Worker Outreach Project (SWOP) Boston stand in solidarity with protests nationwide against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, and Nina Pope, and against centuries of enslavement, economic exploitation, political suppression, and brutal racist and transphobic violence.  We condemn the militarized and white supremacist tactics of riot suppression that attempt to silence protestors.

As a group of sex workers and allies, we know firsthand that the role of the police is to suppress black, brown, and indigenous dissent, uphold the interests of capital, and protect patriarchal and cis-heteronormative sexual ideals.  We know that the police is an institution built on the exercise of violence, not on the protection of the people.  We know that black trans people are disproportionately at risk of violence and murder by police and racist vigilantes; already in 2020, 12 trans people have been murdered, mostly black and brown.  And we know that sex workers in Massachusetts, especially those who are black, brown, indigenous, queer, trans, or undocumented, are already at disproportionate risk, medically and economically, of the effects of COVID-19, while being largely excluded from the meager forms of relief that are available.

We recognize that committing to antiracism means holding ourselves accountable for histories of racism within sex worker activist communities and working to undo their effects on an ongoing basis.  We commit to doing the hard work of confronting racism and racist violence within our own struggles and uplifting the voices of all sex workers.  We call on our allies to affirm that black lives matter and to fight for black liberation, principles that are essential to any platform for sex workers’ rights.

If you’re able to, we encourage you to support the following organizations in Massachusetts:

  • Families for Justice as Healing has led the fight to disband, disarm, and defund the police here in Massachusetts. FJAH is led by formerly incarcerated women who show us there are already alternatives to policing and that abolition is possible.
  • Sisters Unchained is a prison abolitionist organization that builds community power with young women affected by parental incarceration. They use art, activism, and radical education among other methods to break through the isolation that incarceration creates.