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:
- Massachusetts Bail Fund helps pay cash bail up to $2000 to free people held while fighting their cases.
- To find other bail funds or a local bail fund near you, we recommend using the Community Justice Exchange National Bail Fund Network, which is an abolitionist network of organizers and bail funds that coordinate resources and information.
- To share the link easily: bit.ly/localbailfund
- Boston Black Lives Matter
- Donate directly here: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=6SS3_j19I6sbDBXHQ0lLVCUSKT0rLqdpkXEkTBlaZ_sRQZjgt85KwS0n6AoBMsdfQVDBc0&country.x=US&locale.x=
- To stay involved with protests and find your local chapter go to: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
- 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.
- Muslim Justice League was founded by and is run by Muslims here in Boston. They advocate for all communities that are impacted by government surveillance and policing.
- 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.
- MassACT works to demand the fair treatment of people in Massachusetts state psychiatric institutions, hospitals, and group settings.