PROUD, a sex workers association is organising a large demonstration of sex workers to protest against the continuing closure of window brothels in Amsterdam on Thursday April 9th.
Amsterdam city council will be debating the controversial project 1012 that evening. PROUD, who represents sex workers in the Netherlands, will deliver a list of grievances and demands to the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan.
PROUD spokesman Lyle Muns said:
Project 1012 is an urban regeneration project that wholly ignores the presence of sex workers in the city center. Instead of 'saving' sex workers, it is necessary to listen to them. And what they unanimously say is: Hands off our work spaces!
Project 1012 claims to fight abuses in the sex industry by closing windows. But displaced sex workers do not stop working. It was naive of the responsible Social Democratic party in the city council to think that this would ever work. Sex workers didn't
stay home but moved to other cities or work from the Internet. PROUD explains how closing windows leads to a worsening of the work conditions of sex workers. Window brothels are one of the safest work places in prostitution. Each window has an alarm in
case of danger. The police are always nearby. Health and service organisations frequently monitor the windows. These back up services are simply not available at other sites. By closing windows sex workers are forced to work in more dangerous
PROUD demands the immediate termination of Project 1012. It also demands the reversal of the window closures. For its primary target group Project 1012 has been an utter failure. Sex workers are victims of a costly, misconceived project that is ruining
Amsterdam's unique historical center. It is high time that stubborn officials begin to respect the rights of sex workers.
The demonstration will leave Thursday April 9 at 18.00 hours from the Oudekerksplein. Sex workers and everyone who supports them are all welcome! At 19.00 hours a statement will be submitted to the mayor at the Stopera. To respect their anonymity some
sex workers will wear masks. The media are invited to interview sex workers anonymously.
Update: Proud Protest
10th April 2015. See article
by Felicia Anna
With hundreds of sex workers marching through the streets of Amsterdam today, the sex workers made a clear statement: Stop the closure of prostitution windows!
Since 2008 the city has closed down 117 prostitution windows, and they have another 94 windows scheduled for closure. But in recent years criticism has been rising regarding the project, because the project was being sold as a project to fight forced
prostitution , claiming they would reduce human trafficking by closing down windows. In reality however about 300 sex workers have already lost their workplace, and another 250 girls are going to loose their workplace, and nobody knows where those
girls end up. I'm sure that helps possible victims a lot!
With a bigger turn up than expected, the 200 masks we provided for the girls for the demonstration weren't enough for all the sex workers that showed up. An estimated 230 sex workers turned up for the demonstration, and another large group of supporters
joined us in our march to city hall, to hand over the petition signed by sex workers and supporters to the mayor to stop closing down prostitution windows in Amsterdam.
In total 414 sex workers from the Red Light District and some sex workers from the Singel area in Amsterdam signed the petition. So if ever anyone still claims that I would be just one woman , here's the proof of all the women I represent. A
little bit more than the 40 girls from Jojanneke I'd say. And with only 354 windows in those two areas together, the signatures of 414 sex workers prove that a huge majority of the sex workers don't agree with the plans to close down the windows.
Furthermore it also proves that behind each window is at least one woman that doesn't agree with it. And an additional 524 supporters signed our online petition, bringing the total amount of people that signed the petition to 938 people that don't agree
with closing down the windows.
With a much bigger group than expected, also the media turned out to be much more than we expected. Media from all over the world came to Amsterdam to report about this unique protest in one of the world's most famous prostitution areas.