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All welcome at vigil for sex workers

A vigil in Halifax to commemorate lost sex-trade workers that is usually privately held is going public this year in light of escalating violence against women in the trade, said its organizer.

A vigil in Halifax to commemorate lost sex-trade workers that is usually privately held is going public this year in light of escalating violence against women in the trade, said its organizer.

Family, friends and advocates will gather in Grand Parade Square on Friday evening to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

The public vigil, which will take place at 6 p.m., is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia, said Rene Ross, director of Stepping Stone, a Halifax organization that assists sex trade workers, adding that it will help shed light on a dark situation.

“We wanted to come together and send a message to the community that sex-trade workers are people too and they’re our mothers, daughters and friends,” she said yesterday. “As violence continues to escalate, and the stigma remains, we want to come out ... and show everybody that sex workers are people who are deserving of the same rights.”

Stepping Stone asks that attendees bring a red umbrella, which has been a symbol for sex workers’ resistance since its first appearance in Venice, Italy, in 2000.

Ross said the red umbrella signifies “resistance to discrimination and the resilience of sex workers and their advocates.”

 
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