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Thread: Sex workers' fundraiser Saturday

  1. #1
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    Sex workers' fundraiser Saturday

    Sex workers' fundraiser Saturday

    http://www.thestar.com/News/article/220560

    Jun 01, 2007 02:54 PM
    Sheila Dabu

    A Toronto-based sex workers' advocacy group kicks off its inaugural
    fundraiser on Saturday in support of its constitutional challenge to
    Canada's prostitution laws.

    According to Wendy Babcock, spokesperson of the Sex Professionals of Canada,
    there is an "urban genocide" against thousands of sex-trade workers across
    the country.

    "It's really important to fight violence against women and violence against
    sex workers. I think this court challenge, if it wins, can actually save
    lives," she said.

    The group is challenging three provisions of the Criminal Code related to
    Canada's solicitation laws. The group had its first hearing at the Ontario
    Superior Court on Thursday. The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4. In
    Canada, prostitution is in legal limbo. The act of prostitution itself is
    legal, but activities related to it aren't.

    According to Babcock, the group expects to raise $10,000 overall, although
    she adds that the cost of the legal challenge would be at least $50,000. The
    funds raised will cover travel and accommodation costs for about 10
    witnesses.

    Babcock said if the legal team, led by Osgoode Hall law professor Alan
    Young, Hadn't taken the case on as pro-bono, it would have cost the
    organization about $800,000.

    Amit Thakore, one of the members of Young's legal team, said the Robert
    Pickton serial murder trial in British Columbia is a "gruesome example" of
    how dangerous sex work can be.

    According to a December Commons subcommittee report, there were 171 female
    sex-trade workers murdered from 1991 to 2004, 45 per cent of which remain
    unsolved. A 2006 Statistics Canada report said women in the sex trade are
    extremely vulnerable to violence which "often goes unnoticed."

    Detective Wendy Leaver of Toronto Police's special victims unit said
    violence is a daily threat for sex workers.

    "The real myth out there is that being physical or sexual assaulted is part
    of your job as a sex worker, but it isn't," Leaver said.

    A punk rock fundraiser will be held at the Tranzac Club on Saturday at 7 p.m.
    On June 10, "Red Light Night" at Goodhandy's bar will feature burlesque
    entertainment.

    Monthly fundraisers are scheduled to follow.

  2. #2
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    I hope some of us will be able to attend at least some of these fund raisers... we need to get rid of thes laws from the late 1800's..

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by naughtylady
    ...A punk rock fundraiser will be held...
    This will obviously appeal to a large part of the population. What a great way to raise money! (NOT!!)

  4. #4
    Why not collect at the source. You know how when you're paying for your purchases retailer's ask "would you like to add an extra dollar to your bill to support send-a-kid-to-camp day?" and you get a cute little tent you can write your name on.

  5. #5
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    Sex Professionals Of Canada (SPOC) is a recognied charity so if you wish to send a donation they will provide a tax receipt.

    http://spoc.ca/

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

  6. #6
    I'd love to see the look on my accountant's face when he sees the receipt for that one...

    That gets me thinking... If you see an SP who is a member of SPOC is there any chance of getting a "charity" receipt for your "donation"?

    Seriously though, it sounds like a very worthwhile cause. Proably much more fun at this event than at most stuffy fundraisers... I bet the eye candy is great too...

    BD

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Dover

    Seriously though, it sounds like a very worthwhile cause. Proably much more fun at this event than at most stuffy fundraisers... I bet the eye candy is great too...

    BD
    I was thinking the same thing. It would be a fun event to attend. Unfortunately many worthwhile causes don't get the support they need. I fear if the Harper Conservatives get the majority they are after in parliament we'll see their true colours and a retrenchment of the sexual freedoms our U.S. friends on this board don't take for granted.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Dover
    I'd love to see the look on my accountant's face when he sees the receipt for that one...

    That gets me thinking... If you see an SP who is a member of SPOC is there any chance of getting a "charity" receipt for your "donation"?

    Seriously though, it sounds like a very worthwhile cause. Proably much more fun at this event than at most stuffy fundraisers... I bet the eye candy is great too...

    BD
    The receipt would only show the charity number, nothing to get you introble with your wife or anyone else...

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

  9. #9
    i was looking at some of your other posts and noticed the one about the one when they refused the $ for the cancer research it reminded me of years ago when the venus in lasalle tried to donate too do you remember that? sad, you seem very dedicated to these worthy causes , good for you!

  10. #10
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    Libby Davis recently attended a fundraiser for the legal challenge against
    solicitation laws in Canada, and wrote the following opinion piece
    published on www.Rabble.ca.

    Sex work: the Charter v. the Criminal Code
    by Libby Davies
    June 12, 2007

    It may well have been the first ever fundraiser in a racy night club
    with a can-can burlesque troupe to support a Charter challenge for sex
    worker rights in Canada.

    Hosted by Goodhandy's Night Club in Toronto, and the Sex Professionals
    of Canada (SPOC), special guests included Osgoode Hall professor and
    lawyer Alan Young, the Saucy Tarts, Shemale entertainer Mandy Goodhandy
    and DJ Nik Red, who launched the Red Light Night June 10 to raise funds
    for an important Charter challenge.

    The legal challenge, led by professor Alan Young, began last week in
    the Ontario Superior Court. SPOC and others are challenging three
    provisions of the Criminal Code related to Canada's solicitation laws that
    they hope to strike down as violations of sections 7 (the right to life,
    liberty and security of the person) and 2(b) (freedom of thought,
    belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other
    media of communication) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    "Bringing this case is of utmost importance because despite the fact
    that prostitution is a legal occupation, the current Criminal Code
    provisions operate to deny sex workers safe legal options for conducting
    their legal business," says Young. The legal challenge seeks the
    invalidation of sections 210 (keeping a bawdy-house), 212(1)(j) (living on
    the avails of prostitution), and section 213 (communicating for the
    purposes of prostitution).

    "Ultimately, this fight is destined to go all the way to the Supreme
    Court," notes Young. He says modest funding from legal aid will run
    out quickly. The case is supported by several lawyers and law student
    volunteers who are providing their services pro bono.

    From 2003 to 2006, I participated in an all-party parliamentary
    committee that studied extensively the current laws pertaining to
    prostitution. After cross-Canada hearings, both in public and
    in-camera (a closed session), there was near unanimous agreement
    from the over 300 witnesses heard by the committee that the present
    regime concerning prostitution
    is unworkable, contradictory and harmful.

    Although the committee's report, issued December 2006, did not go as
    far as I had hoped in calling for law reform and decriminalization, the
    committee did agree that the status quo and application of the current
    laws is contradictory and unequal. The full report can be found at:
    (http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/Committe...ourceId=190754
    I believe that consenting adult sexual activities, whether or not
    payment is involved, and that do not harm others, should not be prohibited
    by the state.

    The federal government must come to terms with the contradictions and
    enormous harm caused by the present laws and engage in a process of law
    reform, leading to the decriminalization of these provisions.
    However, the Conservative government in its to the committee's report
    has made it clear it will not move in this direction.
    (http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/Committe...ourceId=199347)

    As we saw with same-sex marriage, groundbreaking court challenges and
    decisions compelled governments to respond and change the law. This case
    may be another example of that. Even so, political pressure must be
    maintained, as Parliament has a responsibility to ensure the rights and
    safety of sex workers. I certainly intend to continue to do all I can, to
    keep that pressure up, Conservative government or not.
    For too long, the voice of sex workers and their rights have been cast
    aside by moralistic attitudes and archaic laws that have created
    enormous harm, violence and death.

    This case and the questions it challenges us to consider, provides an
    important opportunity to improve the rights, safety, and lives of sex
    workers. It represents months of hard work by legal and community
    advocates with supporting affidavits from sex workers, academics, and experts,
    as well as parliamentary and government reports on the issue.
    The fundraising appeal June 10, at Goodhandy's was a fun, unique way,
    to literally "kick off" the fundraising drive and raise awareness
    about the issue. Mandy Goodhandy who hosted the fundraiser, hopes Red
    Light Night will become a regular event at the night club.
    Information about the case and how to support it, can be found by
    contacting www.spoc.ca

    Libby Davies is the MP for Vancouver East and the NDP Spokesperson on
    Solicitation Laws

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