RELEASE: NJNP Activists scale to 80 foot flag poles, attempt to drop banner demanding city council decriminalizes sex work. #DECRIMNOWDC

June 3rd, 2019

Media Contact:
No Justice No Pride — Emmelia Talarico, (202) 567-7113 | [email protected]
SWAC Contact: [email protected]


RELEASE: NJNP Activists scale to 80 foot flag poles, attempt to drop banner demanding city council decriminalizes sex work.No Justice No Pride puts City Leaders on notice: pass the ‘Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019’ or expect more action.

Washington, DC — On June 3rd, 2019, a day before Councilmember Grosso introduces the ‘Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019’ — a bill if passed would decriminalized sex work — to D.C. City Council; two trans activists with No Justice No Pride who are former and current sex workers scaled two 80 foot flag poles and attempted to drop a banner in front of the Wilson Building.

Attempting to drop a banner that read “#DECRIMNOW “, NJNP activists were prevented from continuing and put in harm’s way after a U.S. Park Police Officer, jumped and threw his whole weight onto the banner as it was being raised by the two climbers and was still rigged to their harnesses.

In 2017, with the support of No Justice No Pride and other members of The Sex Worker Advocates Coalition (“SWAC”), Councilmember Grosso (I-At Large) introduced the ‘Reducing Criminalization to Promote Public Safety and Health Amendment Act’ to the DC Council. The Bill, if passed, would decriminalize sex work while creating other measures to keep our communities safe. Last year, it died in committee because Councilmember Charles Allen, who is the Chair of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, never scheduled a hearing or vote. On June 4th, Councilmember Grosso will reintroduce the bill, now titled ‘Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019,’ with Councilmembers Robert White (D-At Large), Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), and Anita Bonds (D-At Large).

Our communities are under attack, from federal housing protections to healthcare & employment protections; the devastating effects the passage of FOSTA & SESTA are still being felt. NJNP is fighting back to not only ensure the D.C. Government fulfills their promises to the D.C. Trans Community, but that they take critical steps to further protect Trans lives in the heart of the empire. Passing the ‘Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019’ is the first of those steps.

“We knew this year had to be different, with a new bill and a new opportunity we knew we had to go harder, we needed to put council on notice to take this serious this time” — Emmelia Talarico, one of the NJNP Climbers.

With only a few weeks away from the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which were led by sex workers resisting police brutality; NJNP calls on city council to take these steps to protect the Marsha’s and Sylvia’s of today; or you will be answering to them.

Who: Trans Sex Workers with No Justice No Pride and members of The Sex Worker Advocates Coalition (“SWAC”) What: Banner Drop for DECRIMNOW! Where: 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Follow these hashtags for photos and video: #DecrimNow, #SexWorkIsWork, #HousingNotHandcuffs, #SexWorkerRights, #Stonewall50



No Justice No Pride — No Justice No Pride is a collective of organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia. We exist to end the LGBT movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize queer and trans individuals. Our members are black, brown, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, bisexual, indigenous, two-spirit, formerly incarcerated, disabled, white allies and together we recognize that there can be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.

Sex Worker Advocates Coalition — The Sex Worker Advocates Coalition (“SWAC”) was formed in October 2016 as a small working working group discussing the current status of sex worker rights in the District. By January 2017, the coalition had established defined principles and guidelines. SWAC is a group of individuals and organizations promoting the human rights, civil rights and liberties, health, safety, and well-being of sex workers and people profiled as sex workers in Washington DC and advocating for legislation and other policy changes to challenge the system of criminalization of sex work.

In the media:
- Washington Post
- ThinkProgress
- Washington Blade
- Reason


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