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December 17th, 2014     by Jessie Hale     Comments

Today is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Recognized since 2003, the day of remembrance encourages sex workers and their allies to “come together to remember those we have lost this year, and renew our commitment in the on-going struggle for empowerment, visibility, and rights for all sex workers.” In Toronto, there will be a vigil at 519 Community Centre.

The day of remembrance is particularly significant in Canada, as it comes just after the passing of Bill C-36 which criminalizes the buying of “sexual services.” It will also indirectly prevent sex workers from advertising their services in print or online by penalizing media that would host the ads. Although the government claims the law will help prevent human trafficking, critics say that it will actually cause more danger for sex workers, particularly migrant and racialized sex workers. Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne has asked the province’s attorney general to investigate whether the new law is constitutional.

Last week, Rinelle Harper delivered a speech to the Assembly of First Nations, calling on them to support an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Harper is a survivor of violence; she was brutally attacked in November in Winnipeg. In her speech, she asked the members of the Assemly to remember “a few simple words — love, kindness, respect and forgiveness.” You can view the entire speech here.

A group of dentistry students at Dalhousie University in Halifax might be expelled after making misogynistic, violent comments about their classmates on Facebook. The university has postponed dentistry exams and is investigating the incident.

Tens of thousands took to the streets of Manhattan over the weekend to protest police violence and racial profiling. This incredible timelapse video lets you see just how many people were involved.

Ava DuVernay has made history by becoming the first Black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director. Her film Selma dramatizes the 1965 voting rights marches led by Martin Luther King Jr. DuVernay says: “t’s a little bittersweet since I’m not the first black woman deserving of the award…I hope women in the coming years don’t have to think about firsts or seconds or thirds, that they can just make their best work.”

Tags: activist report, body politics, news flash, race and racism, recommended reading

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