Left Out In The Cold: Sex Workers at Notts Women's Conference

What happened when SWOU tried to attend #NWC2013

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  1. We have argued, in our open letter to the conference organisers, that if they want to discuss sex work, they should have sex worker-led organisations there, as well as pro-criminalisation orgs. It isn't enough to say "sex workers can come in as individuals!" - we need collective solidarity in order to be able to speak in relative safety. Organisations led by current sex workers should have a say in any conversation pertaining to further criminalising sex work in the UK. This shouldn't be controversial. 
  2. We were not allowed to come in, share Feminist Fightback's stall, or stand inside the foyer to speak to people (we were told we could leave our resources on the front desk, but we couldn't stand beside them). Feminist Fightback offered to give us their stall and tickets: they weren't allowed to. Determined to talk to people, we set up camp outside the entrance. You'd probably want to talk to people if they were debating your lives without you, too. 
  3. We were genuinely not welcome in the building even once anger began to rise on twitter.
  4. Being sex workers, we're self-evidently not the experts on anything pertaining to us. Despite being very clearly denied access by the organisers, one woman told us ...

  5. Meanwhile, inside the conference...

  6. And, back outside, we began to engage with the women who came to see what we were about.