Seattle Vigil for Atlanta Massage Workers by MPOP – Monday March 22th @ 9:15am

With rage, love, and solidarity, we invite our Seattle/King County community to remember the lives of the massage workers and clients who were murdered in Atlanta on Tuesday, 3/16/21 in an act of gendered colonial violence and white supremacy. We are honored to hold this vigil on the ancestral lands of the Duwamish and Coast Salish peoples.

🌸 Details 🌸

🌷 Monday 3/22/21, 9:30AM PST, Hing Hay Park

🌷 Food & beverages, station to send cards to Atlanta and fold cranes

🌷 Program will be presented in English, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. Featured speakers: Massage Parlor Outreach Project (MPOP), Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade, PARISOL, API Chaya, & UTOPIA

🌷 Please follow COVID safety guidelines: mask up, physical distance, sanitizer

🌷 Bring candles, flowers, small gifts for local massage workers, cards to send to Atlanta, or other memorabilia.

🌷 Be prepared for rain; we will have some canopies and seats for elders and disabled folks

As we gather to remember their lives, we also call on community to unequivocally support Seattle-area massage workers and sex workers, who deserve respect, protection, and power as beloved members of our community.

Let’s imagine a future where our massage parlor and immigrant Asian workers are safe from raids, criminalization, and terror from police and the crimmigration system. We are in solidarity with the movements for Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty. The forces that make Asian immigrant women workers unsafe are the same ones that murder and harm our Black, Indigenous, undocumented, and houseless siblings.

Donations to MPOP will go to support Seattle-area massage workers and MPOP’s outreach work, please add memo “MPOP”:
Cashapp (preferred): $mpopsea
Venmo: @MPOP_SEA

Rest in Power:

Tan Xiaojie, 49
Feng Daoyou, 44
Park Soon Chung, 74
Hyun Jung Grant, 51
Yue Yong Ae, 63
Kim Suncha, 69
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33
Paul Andre Michels, 54

(copied from Facebook event page)


Below is the text of the speech Emi gave on behalf of the Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade at the Seattle vigil on March 22, 2021.

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Thank you everyone for gathering here this morning to honor people who have lost their lives in our current climate of hate and violence toward women, Asian people as well as other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, immigrants, and people whose work is undervalued and disrespected.

My name is Emi and I am from the Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade, which has been part of the Massage Parlor Outreach Project from very beginning. I want to make it clear that not all migrant Asian women working at massage parlor do sex work, so massage workers should not be equated with sex workers. But the way the society vilifies, criminalizes, and targets sex workers for violence, as well as those that target women, Asians, immigrants, and poor people, affect all Asian massage workers regardless of whether or not they personally perform any sex work, as the recent violence in Georgia has shown, so we support and advocate for them all the same.

In February 2019, Seattle Police Department conducted the largest massage parlor raids in our city’s history. They shut down about a dozen Asian massage parlors and claimed to have “rescued” 26 Asian women. But the reality is that raids deprive women of their livelihood, displaces them, confiscates their cash savings and important documents, and abandons them. No manager or owner of the establishments have been charged with trafficking, the businesses reopened within weeks under a new management. The women would get on WeChat, a Chinese social media app, to find another massage parlor to work for in order to regain what they had lost in the police raid.

This is the exact same thing that happens to street-based sex workers when the police sweeps the street, or to internet-based escorts when they shut down Backpage: it displaces us and harms us without offering anything useful to improve our lives.

Some pro-police groups are capitalizing on the recent tragedy to increase surveillance and policing of our communities, but that is not the solution. We are indebted to the analysis of the Black-led uprising and join their call to divest from policing and to invest in community-led safety programs such as the Massage Parlor Outreach Project to protect our Asian sisters as well as all people experiencing violence. Thank you for joining our vigil today, and please connect with the Massage Parlor Outreach Project to find out how you can be part of the solution.

Rescue Hurts: real-life consequences of SPD’s raids on massage parlors & how to actually support migrant women workers

Rescue Hurts: real-life consequences of SPD’s raids on massage parlors
& how to actually support migrant women workers

DATE: August 8th, 2019
TIME: 6-8pm
LOCATION: Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall (600 4th Ave.)

In February 2019, Seattle Police Department raided eleven so-called “Asian” massage parlors in the City’s Chinatown/International District and Beacon Hill, “rescuing” 26 Chinese-speaking women from the scourge of sex trafficking, according to media reports.

But the reality of such large-scale raid is that of displacement, loss of income, housing, community, and personal belongings (including identity documents and cash savings), trauma, and abandonment. Almost none of the women qualify for trafficking-specific services or visa relief because their individual circumstances are more complicated than Hollywood image of “modern day slavery.”

In this grass-roots community event, we bring to you international expert Elene Lam of Butterfly, a Toronto-based support and advocacy group led by and for Asian and migrant sex workers, as well as local advocates from API Chaya and other organizations outreaching to and supporting refugee and migrant women who work at massage parlors.

Come learn about real-life consequences of SPD’s “rescue” missions on massage parlors and find out how to actually support migrant women workers.

Sponsored by API Chaya, CID Coalition, Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade, Pacific Rim Solidarity Network, Seattle LGBTQ Commission, and SWOP-Seattle.
Questions? Contact us!

Ms. Lam is also giving a training on supporting migrant massage parlor workers earlier on the same day. If you are a service provider or community leader (Asian American, sex worker, or other communities) and interested in attending the training, please see our EventBrite page.
Download PDF flier here

Support Aileen’s, our new community organizing and hospitality space for women working along the Pac Hwy

Aileen’s is a new peer-centered organizing and hospitality space for women working along the Pac Hwy. This is the area south of Seattle stretching from around SEATAC airport to the south end of King County that is home to many women who trade sex and where Gary Ridgeway, a.k.a. Green River Killer, sought his victims.

We are fed up with the lack of services and resources for empowerment in south King County. Pressing concerns include homelessness, legal issues, CPS involvement, substance use problems, domestic violence, police harassment and brutality, sexual assault and harassment, racism, transphobia, among others.

Women along the Pac Hwy need a safe place to get off the street, even for temporarily, a place to get and give support without being hated or judged, a place to share safety information like the bad date line and receive life saving harm reduction tools.

We are currently forming a steering committee of peers to guide Aileen’s as we envision and create our space. Initial plans include a kitchenette with hot drinks and snacks, a dressing room and clothes closet, lounge area, computer and phone access, and an office space offering peer counseling, harm reduction and overdose prevention services, and community resources and referrals.

Aileen’s is by and for women in the sex trade, women who are homeless or unstably housed, women doing survival sex, coming out of prison, having their kids taken by CPS, struggling to make ends meet, as well as women with former lived experience, and sex workers from all walks of life. We welcome volunteers/allies willing to complete our training.

Please support the work of Aileen’s by making a generous donation online at www.gofundme.com/aileens or to: Church of Harm Reduction, PO Box 3484, Federal Way, WA 98063. Aileen’s is a joint project of community groups including Church of Harm Reduction and Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade.

Also: Join Aileen’s Open House on May 7th at 6-9pm. Please visit www.aileens.org or email info@aileens.org for location.

April 24: Emergency Community Gathering for Trans & Gender-Diverse People in the Sex Trade

Emergency Gathering for Trans & Gender-Diverse People in the Sex Trade
Earn $150 on April 24 @ 3-6pm
Call: 206-538-0423 for location & to RSVP

Since the passage of the law targeting websites people in the sex trade use to connect with their clients and the sudden closure of such websites, many people in our trans and gender-diverse communities are struggling for our survival.

If you have been trading sexual services to make ends meet and are looking for support and resources to get through these difficult times, please join our Community Emergency Gathering for Trans & Gender-Diverse People in the Sex Trade.

We will have coffee/tea and hot food, and provide a $50 gift card from Gender Justice League as a thank you for your participation. In addition, Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade will be conducting a survey for those who wish to take part in it, which will come with a compensation of a $100 gift card.

Please call (206) 538-0423 to find out the location and to RSVP! And please share this info with your friends who engage in sex trade!