SAN FRANCISCO — Sex workers are planning to protest next week in front of the California Supreme Court in San Francisco.
Next Tuesday, sex worker organizations from the ESPU (Eroric Service Providers Union), SWOP Bay (the Bay Area chapter of Sex Workers Outreach Project) and the US PROStitutes Collective will be marching over the closure of online sites that offer classified advertising for sexual services.
“First the government went after the ‘adult services’ section on Craigslist,” said Claire Alwyne of ESPLER Project. “Then they took down sex-ad forum MyRedbook.com, the gay prostitution site Rentboy.com and escort review forum The Review Board.”
Alwyne noted that Backpage could be next. About two weeks ago, the CEO of Backpage.com arrested in Texas under a California warrant for pimping, conspiracy, pimping of a minor, and attempted pimping of a minor.
“This is not about trafficking or the sexual exploitation of children — indeed the charges make no mention of that. Instead it is just the latest attempt to shut down online sex work advertising,” Alwyne said.
She noted that the closure or the attempts to close such websites will not stop sex work.
“Instead it makes sex work less safe,” she said. “In effect Calif. Attorney General Kamala Harris is making the lives of sex workers more dangerous to boost her senate hopes and political career.”
“Sex workers have had enough. We will be demonstrating outside the California Supreme Court to make the point that shutting down online sites carrying ads for sexual services makes sex work less safe.”
Alwyne said that sex workers in major cities across the U.S. will also be demonstrating on the same day.
The protest in front of the California Supreme Court will be held at 350 McAllister St., San Francisco, from noon to 1 p.m. on Oct. 25.