We’re taking time today, in spite of the fear and anxieties swirling within us to take stock of the last four years. Today, we’re turning 4 years young as a collective!!!
In late March of 2016, we organized our first demonstration in solidarity with Alisha Walker and all criminalized/incarcerated sex workers who had survived violence. It was our first formal action as a collective.
Since then, we’ve fundraised, visited, developed friendships and organized alongside LeLe, protested, found pro bono legal aid for her, and launched a grassroots campaign for clemency.
We developed a syllabus for political education reading groups for our sex working comrades and accomplices in adjacent queer communities.
We’ve taken public space, held teach-ins, trainings, knowledge shares, hosted letter writing events, Know Your Rights events, and crafts workshops to demand rights, respect and protection of sex working people.
We’ve created art and print resources like zines, posters, banners and more to artistically intervene with sex workers’ resistance in visual culture.
We created toolkits for Letter Writing to incarcerated folx, as well as Media and Health & Wellness professional to become sex work competent and create ethical conditions for working with sex workers.
We’ve been honored to work closely with Alisha’s mother Sherri and family and help facilitate numerous articles to highlight her case.
Through Alisha’s inside organizing, we’ve built many comradeships with others inside at Decatur and Logan Correctional Centers/Prisons.
We saw the release of one of our comrades, Judy, who’ve we’ve co-authored a forthcoming book chapter with. We’ve engaged in mutual aid efforts to help Judy and her partner establish their new life together.
We have continued to expand our organizing work in NYC, and are helping to build radical community amongst current and former sex working people and co-conspirators. We’ve been humbled and thankful to forge bonds with Survived & Punished NY, Hacking//Hustling, Red Light Reader, Red Canary Song, Kink Out, Bluestockings, No New Jails NYC, and other renegade comrades who we learn from everyday!
We can do a lot more as a community and need to. We’ve got to keep lifting up our incarcerated sex worker family and work to get them free. Especially now amidst a global health crisis and pandemic. More people are learning about and deepening their mutual aid/care practices and it’s so hopeful to see. It’s going to take all of us to resist the death blows of capitalism and the racist whorephobia of carcerality.
Thank y’all for all your support along the way. Please keep sharing, keep writing LeLe, keep telling folx that she should be free–extend this care to all on the inside.
We’ve got a long fight ahead of us, but having these years behind us, we’ve learned a hell of a lot. We are a small, extremely small, formation, and yet we feel committed and focused. We’ve learned hard lessons, and have fortified bonds of trust and love. You can be small and make shit happen.
We know folx are giving a lot right now. If you still have the means, please consider making a contribution to Alisha’s support fund for our “birthday”: https://www.gofundme.com/support-alisha-walker