Sex workers and their supporters marched and rallied in several Canadian cities Saturday to call for the decriminalization of prostitution, days before a Supreme Court hearing on whether laws restricting the sale of sex should be tossed out.
Dozens of demonstrators brandished red umbrellas — a symbol for sex workers’ rights — and chanted “Sex work is real work, decriminalize now” at a Toronto march, saying the laws subject street sex workers to harm by forcing them to make snap decisions about whether a client could turn violent.
“All over Canada today women are demonstrating for their freedom and safety,” retired dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford told the crowd in a downtown park, steps away from a stretch of sidewalk where the city’s sex workers often ply their trade.
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