The St. John’s Status of Women Council/Women’s Centre’s Annual General Meeting will be held at the St. John’s Community Market (245 Freshwater Road). Join us in their Community Room from 2-4 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The building is fully wheelchair accessible. Parking is limited. The meeting is open to all; full SJSWC members have voting rights and new members are welcome. Learn more about our Mission, Vision, and Board of Directors here.
Rally to End Family Separation
June 30, 2018 – 1 p.m.
In the spirit of equality, diversity, and inclusivity, Canadians across the country will rally in protest of the Trump Administration’s Zero Tolerance and Family Separation policy in the United States – and to demand a strong response from our government here in Canada.
Despite the Executive Order signed by Mr. Trump last week, there is no plan to reunite the 2300 children who have been separated from their families since early April. The administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy is still in effect, meaning that all undocumented asylum seekers continue to be detained. Adherence to this policy means that the threat of continued family separation is very real.
The Rally in St. John’s will be held at 1 PM on JUNE 30th, 2018, at the COLONIAL BUILDING.
The Rally will target Canada’s response on three fronts:
1. A demand for a strong official statement from Canada on the human rights violations going on the U.S.
2. A demand for Canada’s withdrawal from, or the elimination of, our Third Safe Country Agreement with the U.S.
3. A demand that Canada examine and fix our own family separation policies, which affect both migrants and Indigenous families.
Speakers in St. John’s will include:
Details are still coming together – expect three speakers, and a musical guest TBA. Confirmed speakers:
Barbara Barker is a member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. She has worked across the country, including in Indigenous communities along BC’s Highway 16 or, more familiarly, the Highway of Tears and the Downtown East Side in Vancouver. As a staff lawyer with the NL Legal Aid Commission, Barbara has worked in the Provincial Director’s Office, taking files all over the Island and The Big Land, including Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Nain. She is a member of the Law Society of NL’s Indigenous Education & Action Committee, as well as its Education Committee, and serves on the Expert Advisory Panel for the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability. She was recently employed by Memorial University as the Aboriginal Cultural Education Coordinator in the Aboriginal Resource Office, and presently works as the Legal Services Solicitor for the NL Legal Aid Commission.
City Councillor Maggie Burton grew up in Brigus, Newfoundland and Labrador. She moved to St. John’s in 2009 to study music at Memorial University. She is a musician, violin teacher, poet, and leadership coach. She was elected to St. John’s City Council in 2017. Maggie is a mother of two young children, Jack and Ursula, who teach her so much every day.
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For More Information:
March On St. John’s:
Media Contact, St. John’s:
Elisabeth de Mariaffi
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SHOP provided a statement to be read at the St. John’s Women’s March on Saturday, January 20, 2018:
Safe Harbour Outreach Project is a program of the St. John’s Status of Women Council, where our two-woman team supports and advocates for sex working women and their rights, in and around St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Our work is rooted in harm-reduction, human rights, social justice, and decriminalization.
We at SHOP are eager to participate in the St. John’s Women’s March 2018. The involvement of sex workers is incredibly meaningful; it was only last year that sex workers endured the erasure of their lives and rights at the Women’s March on Washington. We are proud that our city recognizes that sex workers belong here, because we know that sex workers have been historically left out of international women’s movements.
We know that sex workers are strong advocates, policy makers, and labour rights activists. Sex workers are mothers, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, and fierce business women. Sex workers have been pivotal in the work against human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and must be included in this work. Sex workers have been pioneers of women’s rights, civil rights, and LGBTQ2I rights.
Sex working women must be included in our feminisms. Incarcerated women, Indigenous women, women of colour, immigrant and refugee women. We must look for these voices in the Times Up movement, and in the Me Too movement – and if they aren’t included, we must ask why, and do better. In the name of sharing sex workers voices, and honouring the role sex workers play in the women’s movement, we champion their words:
Last month, trans sex worker Hailey Heartless in B.C. eloquently said, “when we speak about violence against sex workers, we need to tie it back to the core reasons why we’re at risk. Stigma, on top of slut shaming, and whorephobia, is piled on top of other oppressions we disproportionately face: sexism, transphobia, ableism, racism, colonialism and homophobia, to name a few… As an ally, it’s your responsibility to create spaces, not movements. Please speak with us, not for us. Stand beside us, not in front of us. Include us in your movements and let us tell you what we need. Nothing about us, without us.”
And a sex working woman in our city of St. John’s said, “We pay income taxes. We vote. We promote and project equality, empowerment, independence, and self-worth. Our work is consensual. Our work is real work.”
Sex workers have been part of the women’s movement throughout history, even when their work and presence hasn’t been recognized. But let it be known,
We hear you.
We see you.