Tuesday, June 02, 2009


It was June 2nd, 1975. Lyon, France. A bunch of sex workers occupied a church in an act of protest against discrimination and failure by police to investigate or prosecute crimes against them. The cops responded by threatening to take their children away if they did not vacate the church.

Once this threat was uttered, the situation changed dramatically. Non sex working women from the town were shocked from their complacency, and joined the sex workers in the church, rendering the police unable to tell who was and wasn’t a sex worker. Bit of an “I am Spartacus” moment, that.

International Whore’s Day is held every June 2nd, to commemorate this action. It is considered to be one of the formative moments of what we now know as the sex worker’s rights movement. This year, Scarlet Alliance is holding a Red Umbrella protest march.



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