By Robyn Maynard for The Feminist Wire:
“But by hijacking the terminology of slavery, even widely referring to themselves as ‘abolitionists’, anti-sex work campaigners have not only (successfully) campaigned for funding and legal reform; but they do so without any tangible connections to historical or current Black political movements against state violence. Indeed in pushing for criminalization, they are often undermining those most harmed by the legacy of slavery. As Blacks persons across the Americas are literally fighting for our lives, it is urgent to examine the actions and goals of any mostly white and conservative movement who deign to be the rightful inheritors of an ‘anti-slavery’ mission which deigns to abolish prostitution but both ignores and indirectly facilitates brutalities waged against Black communities.”
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
Keynote Panelists: Dayna Danger; Ed Lee; Kai Cheng; Kama La Mackerel; Rachel Zellars; Robyn Maynard
Moderators: Alan Wong & Karine-Myrgianie Jean-François
Two-Spirited activists and LGBTTQ activists of colour discuss the role of emotions in their social justice work and in the broader communities to which they claim belonging.
3680 Jeanne-Mance St.
Open to the general public
In English. Whisper translation provided.
Admission: Free (donations welcome)
TO FIGHT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, YOU MUST FIGHT VIOLENCE AGAINST SEX WORKERS
This poster was made as a collaboration between Robyn Maynard and artist Jess Mac for the International Day Against Violence Against Sex Workers, and has been used (with permission) by a new by-and-for sex workers organization in the Congo as well as several harm reduction projects across Canada. For your own copy contact robynmaynard(at)gmail.com or contact Stella, l’amie de Maime at 514 285 1599.
5:30 – 6pm, Saturday March 14th, 2015 at McGill Faculty of Law FACEBOOK EVENT HERE
Blind faith in legal reform as a strategy is to be in denial of one reality: unwanted bodies remain disposable both to the general population and to law enforcement, judges, and juries, no matter which laws are used to justify their dehumanization. If black bodies and those in the sex trade are seen by police, judges, juries and general society as disposable, can narrow legal reform projects truly address and outlaw the hate and dehumanization which make this disposability possible? Yet criminalization itself has power. It carries a stigma which helps maintain particular populations’ status on the margins of society. Drug, sex, and immigration laws perpetuate exclusion from the social fabric, and reinforce perceived disposability of those whom they target. The criminal outlawing of drugs, and women and men’s ability to trade or sell sex in Canada have morally justified massive intrusions of law enforcement into our communities, helped fill prisons and youth detention centres, and helped ‘explain away’ the state and police violence that defines all to many black lives, especially those who trade in underground economies. So what to do? Despite massive limitations to its effectivity, using the law to fight back has still been highly useful as a tool for social change when rooted in larger movements. Ending racially segregated education in Canada, more recent fights by sex workers to decriminalize many laws surrounding their ability to work safely, and efforts to decriminalize drugs or at least reduce the severity of sentencing are legal reform strategies which can and do have material effects on the lives of those targeted by these laws. Robyn Maynard’s talk will explore the possibilities and limitations of movement-led legal reform as a political strategy when used by those whose bodies consistently remain the targets of police brutality and arrest.
The forum is organized by the McGill Radical Law Student Community and several other student clubs at the McGill Faculty of Law, including the Women of Colour Collective, the Black Law Students Association, the Aboriginal Law Students Association, the Human Rights Working Group – Immigration and Refugee Portfolio, the McGill Environmental Law Club, and the Disability and the Law Working Group, among others.
Robyn Maynard will be speaking on a panel alongside Isabel MacDonald (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Martin Lukacs (The Guardian), David Koch, Devni Walpola (Journalists for Human Rights – McGill Chapter). February 19th, 5pm, SSMU Room #02.
As part of the Month Against Prisons, members of No One Is Illegal-Montreal and Solidarity Across Borders will present on issues linked to criminalization, detention, incarceration and prisons.
– Carceral Feminism: The Failure of Sex Work Prohibition by Robyn Maynard
– Ten Months In An Immigration Jail byArash Aslani
Sunday, January 11, 2015, 5-7pm
1500 de Maisonneuve West, #204
Police violence is everywhere. It is visible not just in police killings, but also in everyday practices of surveillance, profiling, harassment, and coercion. In all of this, racism and colonialism are close by – though not always in the same way.
This event focuses on the connections between racism, colonialism, and police violence. Panelists – all of them active in the fight against police violence – will talk about how violence appears in the policing of migrants; in indigenous communities; and in places like Montréal-Nord, Halifax, and Ferguson, MO.
– Robyn Maynard (Stella, No One Is Illegal)
– Nargess Mustapha (Montréal-Nord Républik)
– Clifton Nicholas (Kanienkehaka activist and filmmaker)
– El Jones (Halifax-based poet and activist)