Coyote’s Letter To Women’s March 2017

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Coyote’s Letter To Women’s March 2017

Call off Your Old Tired Ethics (Coyote RI) appreciates the support of the Women’s March for sex workers’ rights.  We represent the many intersections that cross this profession and continuously strive to include those voices in our work.

We have concerns over the erasure of the entire statement of your support.  We are also deeply concerned about the added trafficking statement that was quietly inserted back while sex worker advocates slept (there was a 5 AM screenshot and screenshots during the entire day of this unfolding).  We supported the initial statement until this add-on was inserted.  The problem with this symbiotic enmeshment of trafficking is harmful to our work against laws, policies, targeting, hyper-criminalization, etc., that has put sex workers at risk due to the anti-trafficking narratives that are being tangled up with consensual sex work.  I have spent a great deal of my time refuting these narratives and to see what played out yesterday is very disheartening and quite frankly, insulting.  No sex worker rights organizations were asked to assist in the design of the Unity statement and again, all inclusive is in fact, not inclusive when the entire statement was erased in the dark.  Appending a sentence to the original support statement regarding trafficking exploitations has not been added under any other group mentioned, and specifically targets those who work in alternative underground economies.

We agree wholeheartedly that trafficking exists in all forms of human, labor, and sex.  We do not promote nor endorse these heinous forms of clandestine markets in any way, shape, or form.  However, with your add-on sentence, you cherry-picked how you were going to support our rights.  We hope this will be resolved as our community is an important asset to your march.

We urge the Women’s March to retract this add-on sentence in your support for sex worker rights.  “Urge” is a gentle word with how I’m feeling right now about this support fiasco.  Rearranging that statement would have made all the difference in how we view this march.  You chose to erase, then piecemeal your support for us, and this is the very reason I will not be marching at your event.

We hope lessons are learned here and we support all women who struggle, fight and demand their human rights as equal citizens.  I am a 52-year old woman and have been fighting for my equality for just as long.  I looked forward to this march and wanted my children to understand the struggle, that we as women are still fighting just to exist in this world.  Sadly, this will not happen with the way you have come out in support of sex workers; I will not be marching with the generations of women in my family.  We ask you to reconsider your statement that fully supports our rights and rescind the trafficking add-on sentence.

Sincerely,

Bella Robinson, executive director of

Coyote RI

Coyoteri.org