End your sex worker stings!
This petition made change with 262 supporters!
Prince George's County Police recently announced their plan to live-tweet stings on sex workers and clients and then publicly post photos of those arrested, a voyeuristic practice that has been popularized in recent years by anti-sex work advocates like New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof. The raids are scheduled 'somewhere' in the county this week at an unspecified time, but activists have sent a clear message to the department that raids and other sex work criminalization practices promote violence, stigma, lack of healthcare access, dehumanizing sex worker tropes and disproportionate profiling and targeting of trans women of color. Residents engaging in sex work are criminalized and their voices silenced by external agents like the PG County Police Department (and others that conflate sex work with trafficking) that insist on speaking for them. Police claims that the stings are meant to fight human trafficking are a cynical attempt to deflect attention.
We call on Chief of Police Mark Magaw and Prince George's County Police Department to uphold the dignity, respect, and self-agency of sex workers by ceasing their plan to live-tweet sex worker raids immediately. Instead, the PG County government should work to uphold the human rights of people in the sex trade and address economic issues like quality jobs, affordable childcare, and housing. This petition will also be sent to PG County executives and other representatives.
*Follow this news on Twitter via the hashtag #PGPDVice, and take it over with your own messages!
**HIPS in DC provides compassionate care and health services to sex workers. Those affected by these raids can call HIPS’s 24/7 hotline to receive emotional support, information sharing, and resource referrals, or to get connected to the HIPS Crisis Intervention Team: 1-800-676-HIPS
**You can also pledge to donate to HIPS for every PGPD sting tweet here: http://hips.nationbuilder.com/pgpd_vice
**Photo credit: Cheryl Overs (http://theconversation.com/hiv-drugs-for-prevention-a-game-changer-for-sex-workers-6508)
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