SWP na Wirtualnym Festiwalu Osób Pracujących Seksualnie organziowanym przez ICRSE

W dniach 7 – 11 grudnia Międzynarodowy Komitet na rzecz Praw Osób Pracujących Seksualnie w Europie (ICRSE) zorganizował wirtualny festiwal osób pracujących seksualnie. W czasie tego intensywnego tygodnia mogliśmy spotkać się z organizacjami zrzeszającymi osoby pracujące seksualnie z całej Europy, poznać sytuację i wyzwania, z jakimi mierzą się wspólnoty osób pracujących seksualnie w różnych lokalizacjach, ale też obejrzeć performansy artytyczne etc.

Wszystkie wydarzenia dostępne są na kanale You Tube ICRSE.

W środę 9 grudnia poczas sesji Intersectional Feminism & Sex Workers wsytąpiła Emilka reprezentująca Sex Work Polska i opowiedziała o sytuacji osób pracujących seksualnie w Polsce, protestach związanych z kryminalizacją aborcji, a także o Funduszu Kryzysowym, który zorganizowaliśmy w czasie pandemii COVID-19. Całą sesję można zobaczyć na kanale You Tube ICRSE (wystąpienie Emilki zaczyna się 25:37)

Poniżej publikujemy prezentację i tekst przemówienia Emilki

Sex work, radical emphaty and radical solidarity during times of crisis

Since 2015 people in Poland have been learning civil disobedience while protesting against the current government. With more and more arrests of the protesting people, solidarity became more visible among people who did not agree with the decision makers.

The bigger the repressions, the more solidarity, the more people on the streets.

After political arrest of the LGBT+ activist Margot in August, a spontaneous protest of queer movements began, under “You will never walk alone” slogan. It turned especially intense after 48 people had been detained for the simple fact of participating in it.

3 months later, right in the middle of covid-19 pandemic, Polish government started to repress the rights of the people with uteruses. In October the doubtfully legal Polish Constitutional Court, made the already very strict anti-abortion law – stricter, and decided that abortion will no longer be allowed when the fetus is irreparably damaged.

We stormed the streets to show that we will not accept this decision.

Huge number of people got to the streets spontaneously and walked together through capital city as well as other cities and towns under the simple “FUCK OFF” and, again, “you will never walk alone” slogans. During the following days more mass protests took place all over Poland, even in the smallest towns of a few thousand inhabitants. Those were and are mostly spontaneous gatherings, which are allowed by constitution even during pandemic. Right now, almost 1,5 months later, both protests and repressions go on.

We all act together with feminist, LGBT+ and anti-discrimination movements. We are pissed off, but thanks to wide spread protests the phone number of grass-roots pro-choice Abortion Without Borders initiative is probably the best known phone number in Poland

. It’s on thousands of protest banners, social media profiles and posts, shouted in the streets. People with uteruses in the whole country have learned, where to seek safe abortion. Protests against political arrests of the LGBT activists, or those defending reproduction civil rights have shown how huge is our frustration and how strong our solidarity is. We’re pissed off but solidarity is our strength. (strenth)

These protests are part of a new wave of feminism in Poland. This feminism is intersectional. It’s postulates are radical solidarity, empathy and care. This feminism supports sex workers rights as we support each other in our fights. 

Some feminist organziations support the sex workers rights movemment directly. 2 years ago Fundusz Feministyczny (Feminist Fund) granted us small funding for our activities (outreach work, legal advice, medical support, psychological support). It’s a 3 year grant that provides us with 8800zl (around 2000€) yearly. Fundusz Feministyczny also funded a publication created by Informal Sex Workers Group that includes information about different types of sex work, about legal aspects, and work safety in the context of Poland.

Since many years we have been collaborating with feminist online platforms where we publish our manifestos and comments.

We experience strong support from pro-choice movement and organizations (just to mention Aborcyjny Dream Team/Abortion Dream Team) and from LGBT+ community.

We work closely with academics to advocate and inform about the realities of sex workers lives and the sex workers rights movement. We work with the feminist movement in Poland in order to gain allies and not to let the abolitionists take over the topic of sex work.

However, there are some groups of abolitionists who are present mainly in the social media and academia and are very loud and very hostile towards sex workers. They present themselves as radical feminist and identify with second wave of feminism, ignoring all the progress feminism has done during last 30 years. 

Polsh abolitionists are both SWERF and TERF/FART. They actively discriminate against trans and non-binary people. Those persons are well known and some of them are connected to the most pro-workers’ political party Razem, what causes barriers in communication with the party members about sex workers rights. However, we notice that grassroots movements recognize sex work as work and we hope to get the visibility and funding to develop our activities and challange main-stream left wing and liberal politicians.

During the first wave of COVID-19 epidemic we have started an Emergency Fund to support our community. So far we have managed to collect over 9500 Euro and to support 180 persons with direct transfers (and other types of help). Our support was instant and unconditional: no application forms, no certificates were necessary to get it.

We have managed to support persons who we meet regularly during outreach, both outdoor and indoor sex workers. Once the news of the fund spread thanks to media coverage, a lot of persons emailed us and some called us to get financial support. This action not only allowed us to support persons who faced very diffucult situation during lockdown but also became an opportunity to get in touch with a huge group of sex workers who weren’t aware of Sex Work Polska and the types of work we do. It also strengthen (strengten) the sense of community among sex workers – there were spontaneous actions from within the community as many sex workers supported the Emergency Fund through their work – offering videos, photos, art and services and helping to spread the news of the Fund via the social media.

We need your support on so many fronts right now. In 2020, in the middle of Europe, we are fighting for our basic rights. Stand in solidarity with us. Stand in solidarity with people in Belarus (Zive Belarus!), in Ukraine.

Where’s oppression, there’s resistance!

Resist, act up and fight back together with us!

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