Triple-X Workers' Solidarity Association of B.C.

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3rd Annual RED UMBRELLA MARCH
For Sex Work Solidarity
, June 13, 2014

Red Umbrella March

My Rights Are Sex Worker Rights!

Now more than ever it is important to show our solidarity against Harper's unjust and unconstitutional prostitution laws. And, that's exactly what we did! Thank Gods we brought umbrellas! The sun was hot and brilliant. Red Umbrella March hard-core supporters gathered on the Art Gallery steps. Even a masked Superhero! This year's signs were more numerous and creative than ever.

Red Umbrella March hard-core supporters gather on the Art Gallery steps. Courtesy: Kerry Porth
Red Umbrella March hard-core supporters gathered on the Art Gallery steps.
Courtesy: Kerry Porth

Sex workers and allies gathered on the South Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery to listen to this year's great list of speakers.

EASE Canada came out in support. Courtesy: EASE Canada
EASE Canada came out in support.
Courtesy: EASE Canada

The Naked Truth at the Red Umbrella Rally. Photo: The Naked Truth
The Naked Truth at the Red Umbrella Rally.
Photo: The Naked Truth

Red Umbrella March hard-core supporters gather on the Art Gallery steps. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Red Umbrella March hard-core supporters gather on the Art Gallery steps.
Photo: Elaine Ayres

Red Umbrella March hard-core supporters gather on the Art Gallery steps. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Red Umbrella March hard-core supporters gather on the Art Gallery steps.
Photo: Elaine Ayres

Triple-X secretary Kerry Porth emcee'd the event. First up was Maggie McNeill, The Honest Courtesan, who drove all the way here from Seattle to speak at our march!

Maggie McNeill, The Honest Courtesan, compares the war on sex workers to the war on drugs. Courtesy: Kerry Porth
Maggie McNeill, The Honest Courtesan, compares the war on sex workers to the war on drugs.
Courtesy: Kerry Porth

Next up was Sheri Kiselbach, who joined Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV) in their Supreme Court challenge of Canada's prostitution laws. The challenge resulted in the Kiselbach decision, allowing members of the public standing in constitutional court challenges in the name of the public interest. Read Sheri's speech!

Sheri Kiselbach. Photo: Katrina Pacey
Sheri Kiselbach.
Photo: Katrina Pacey

The next speaker was sex worker, Margaret. She told us how she was denied a chance to speak about Bill C-36 in Ottawa, and how the bill was passed so quickly. Her last line: "Just say NO to Captain Save-A-Ho!"

Just say NO to Captain Save-A-Ho!. Photo: Kerry Porth
"Just say NO to Captain Save-A-Ho!"
Photo: Kerry Porth

The final speech was made by Chili Bean from Sex Workers United Against Violence. Her speech was short and powerful, as she stressed the importance of solidarity and of us standing together.

Chili Bean (left) from Sex Workers United Against Violence, gives a rousing speech about solidarity and the importance of standing together. That's SWUAV comrade, DJ on the right. Photo: Esther Shannon
Chili Bean (left) from Sex Workers United Against Violence, gives a rousing speech about solidarity and the importance of standing together. That's SWUAV comrade, DJ on the right.
Photo: Esther Shannon

Triple-X president Andy Sorfleet and secretary Kerry Porth gave the cue and we stepped off the curb on Robson Street. Our numbers grew as we headed into the street along Granville, Vancouver's entertainment district and tourist destination. There were approximately 100 marchers at the peak of the parade.

Our numbers grew as we headed into the street toward Granville. Photo: Esther Shannon
Our numbers grew as we headed into the street toward Granville.
Photo: Esther Shannon

Our numbers grew as we headed into the street along Granville. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Our numbers grew as we headed into the street along Granville.
Photo: Elaine Ayres

Our numbers grew as we headed into the street along Granville. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Our numbers grew as we headed into the street along Granville.
Photo: Elaine Ayres

Once again, we'd like to thank the Vancouver Police Department for our professional and friendly police escorts — on motorcycles.

Thank you, Vancouver Police Department for our professional and friendly escorts. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Thank you, Vancouver Police Department for our professional and friendly escorts.
Photo: Elaine Ayres

When we headed down Hastings Street the crowd got a little more rowdy. Let's just say there was a LOT of cussin'. Rave led us in a chant that rang through the street. "When I say F---!, You say Harper!" "F---!" "Harper!" "F---!" "Harper!" "When I say Harper! You say F---!" "F---!" "Harper!" "F---!" "Harper!" "F---!" "Harper!" I admit it. It was a LOT of fun!

Winding down Hastings Street. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Winding down Hastings Street.
Photo: Elaine Ayres

We took over the the intersection of Main & Hastings and formed a huge circle, stopping six lanes of traffic. We gathered in the circle to honour sex workers as marchers were led in singing the powerful Women's Warrior Song, a song especially significant to the Aboriginal women who live and work in the Downtown Eastside.

We took over the the intersection of Main and Hastings. Photo: Esther Shannon
We took over the the intersection of Main & Hastings.
Photo: Esther Shannon

Big thank you to Brenda from PIVOT for running the kitchen and having all that fresh-sliced watermelon and oranges and bottles of water on ice, ready for our arrival at CRAB Park!

Red Umbrella marchers arrive to fresh-sliced watermelon and oranges. Photo: Kerry Porth
Red Umbrella marchers arrive to fresh-sliced watermelon and oranges.
Photo: Kerry Porth

Thank you PIVOT volunteers for a great reception. Photo: Annie Temple
Thank you PIVOT volunteers for a great reception.
Photo: Annie Temple

A great finish at the Red Umbrella reception. Photo: Annnie Temple
A great finish at the Red Umbrella reception.
Photo: Annie Temple

The Red Umbrella March is part of a national day of action, with events in cities across Canada, including Montreal, Québec City, Saint John's, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg.

The Red Umbrella March is organized by the following Vancouver groups: Triple-X Workers' Solidarity Association of B.C., Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence, Pivot Legal Society, PACE Society, B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities, FIRST: Feminists Advocating for the Decriminalization of Sex Work.

For an analysis of the laws by Triple-X president, Andrew Sorfleet, please read How Harper's new prostitution law violates Canada's Rights and Freedoms at The Naked Truth.

Red Umbrella March HOT in the Press!

Radio:

Print:

Patrick Clark with Triple-X director, Anna Smith.
Patrick Clark with Triple-X director, Anna Smith.
Courtesy: Anna Smith

Red Umbrella March Promotion Materials

Triple-X president, Andy Sorfleet and secretary, Kerry Porth. Photo: Elaine Ayres
Triple-X president, Andy Sorfleet and secretary, Kerry Porth.
Photo: Elaine Ayres

Contact Us

  • Triple-X Workers' Solidarity Association of B.C.
    3075-349 Georgia Street West
    Vancouver, B.C.  V6B 3X6
  • Web: Triple-X.org
  • E-mail: info@triple-x.org

Last modified: July 1, 2015
Created: March 9, 2012
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E-mail: info@triple-x.org