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Scarlet Alliance notes the rise of violent fascist tactics against trans & queer community, reaffirms the need to curb anti-trans and anti-sex work criminalisation

Mar 28, 2023 | News

Scarlet Alliance acknowledge and pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the land on which sex workers live, work and prosper.

In racist immigration policies on stolen land, implicit in “anti-trafficking” laws within the criminal code, entrenched in police powers against sex work, obvious in the discriminatory implementation of “modern slavery” policies, among misplaced anti-porn sentiment leading to blanket censorship of sexual expression, between the lines of redundant debates about toilets and womens sport, in the swift and violent rise of anti-trans protest and punching-down political weaponisation of trans bodies, the global validation of what are also fascistic views is understood within the sex worker community as an urgent concern. Scarlet Alliance condemns this trend and commits to continued solidarity with trans, queer, refugee, migrant, Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities.

A recent speaking tour has spread harmful rhetoric against trans women. Violent protests in support of homophobic One Nation candidates took place during the NSW election. Scarlet Alliance reaffirms solidarity with queer and trans communities, and expresses concern with violent fascistic tactics by people who use “protection of women” arguments against the rights of trans people, the queer community and sex workers.

Queer and trans women, including trans women sex workers, particularly queer and trans women sex workers of colour, migrants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trans women sex workers, already face discriminatory policing and disproportionate amounts of harassment every day. Anti-discrimination law protects trans women in some jurisdictions. Homophobia is included in some of these laws. Nationally there is a push to ensure “sex work and sex workers” are protected attributes. Scarlet Alliance campaigns hard for legislation to better protect against discrimination.

High profile people involved in recent events have claimed “protection of women” when decrying alleged “violence” used by marginalised communities to defend ourselves. The “protection of women” argument deliberately ignores systemic institutional violence committed by the state against queer communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, sex workers, migrants and trans people. A visible presence of nazi’s and right-wing religious groups at recent events is an obvious example of how those who claim to “protect women” undertake fascist tactics themselves. Allegiance between anti-trans and anti-sex work campaigners and the extreme right wing is not new, recent events just make it more visible.

Scarlet Alliance, sex worker organisations and the sex worker community, unites in solidarity with members of trans, queer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and migrant communities to reject fascist tactics. An attack on one is an attack on all. Scarlet Alliance and sex workers have been campaigning against the anti-trans and anti-sex work rhetoric and laws for many decades, and will strenuously continue to do so. 

People who voice anti-trans and anti-sex worker views falsely claim to be pro-women while simultaneously advocating for the policing and criminality of sex work and trans bodies. The promotion of unfounded anti-trans moral panic and invented social ‘dangers’ to ‘women and children’ is hate speech and, as has been seen recently, can result in vigilante violence. Such hate speech also tends to promote criminalisation, policing, incarceration, segregation and punitive punishment of bodies that do not conform to western binary views of gender and gender-based roles. These views are dangerous, and should be treated as such. 

Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers Association today draws a line against carceral feminism in so-called Australia, their malicious trans and sex worker exclusionary politics, shameful pro-police stance, presumed implicit support for anti-migration policies that discriminate against migrant sex workers traveling from South East Asian countries (under the guise of anti-trafficking) and recent association with right wing fascists and religious bigots.

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