Bonjour from Paris because one of our Soldiers is here~
The mood is Spring. It’s unusually warm. Pink and white obscene trees are having sex. Revolution is afoot. Protestors took the streets all day Saturday in the form of yellow jackets: bright yellow vests are worn as a sign of distress—reflective yellow gear that is bright and stands out. There is a huge protest here about high taxes and insane gas prices. Last night in the taxi with my lover, I asked about the strip clubs here (or really, my lover who speaks French did this for me) and I was told about The Crazy Horse, which is more of a cabaret. I’m looking for a lap dancing club so I can report what stripping is like here. There is a Moulin Rouge-type club, The Crazy Horse where tourists pay more to see nude and topless girls and then there are gritty places. I hope to see both while I’m here. Lots of sirens, bicyclists and dancing in the street at night. I’ve been warned of extreme police brutality. Paris doesn’t operate under the same rules when it comes to peaceful protesting. We are lucky in that way.
Speaking of protesting at home, we have urgent news:
I (all of us) have been getting an alarming number of reports from dancers of a new sign hanging in the dressing rooms of their corporate clubs this week. They are using our language and phrases to confuse dancers into thinking that being an IC means more rights. This is simply untrue. We suggest checking out the Misconceptions page on our website (soldiersofpole.com.) There you can find information on why this sign is false propaganda by corporate clubs intended to confuse and fool us. Just go to the top right drop down tab and scroll to the last one, Misconceptions.
Soldiers of Pole is planning a counter-protest to show these corporate clubs we are not buying their lies, we know our rights, and we aren’t scared to fight for them. Join us Tuesday, April 2, at 12 noon in front of Los Angeles City Hall to help set the record straight and show support for AB5.
Bring signs, yourselves and your work spouses. Let’s show these clubs we’re not taking their nonsense lying down. We’re all in this together. Let’s win, unite and let’s win.
They’re hoping you buy their bullshit, get angry and forget that independent contractor status for strippers only serves to line the pockets of management and keep us from our collective power as workers. As Red from STROLL PDX (@swerbookclub on instagram) so brilliantly put it, “don’t let them make you afraid. everything this flier says is carefully constructed to scare you and make you indignant from this false ‘this is your RIGHT the state is taking away’ to the notion that it’s a ‘grass roots’ protest when it’s actually started, organized, and funded by multimillion dollar club chains and the Association of Club Executives. Don’t be afraid, don’t let me rich mislead you for their own profit. Remember that you are not alone, and that there are many more of us than there are of them. WE have the power if we flex it together. Sex workers all over the world are learning our power and organizing for change. Don’t let rich white men co-opt the language of change in order to keep taking our money and controlling us.”
Here in California, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) introduced by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and friend of Soldiers of Pole, is up for vote next week, and needs all the support we can give it. The bill is designed to write into law the provisions set forth in the Dynamex decision, meaning that the ABC test used to determine whether or not a worker is an employee or independent contractor will be written into law, effectively closing the loophole that corporations have been using to cheat us strippers and thousands of other workers out of basic protections and living wages. Find the text of the bill at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB5 and more information about AB5 from the California Labor Federation here https://calaborfed.org/5-reasons-the-ca-legislature-must-say-yes-on-ab-5/ and here https://calaborfed.org/ab-5-dynamex-qa/
In anticipation of the vote on the bill, the corporate clubs are at it again, co-opting the language of workers’ movements, and posting signs in their dressing-rooms using lots of Libertarian buzzwords like freedom and choice to obscure the facts and feed fear and confusion.
Lastly about Union Organizing and training: The IWW Los Angeles GMB will be holding an Organizer Training 101 (OT101) over the weekend of April 13th and 14th, and we’d love to have you join us!The OT101 will run from 9am to 5pm both days at the Culver City Peace Center (3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230). There is a parking lot available in the back. A light breakfast and lunch will be served, and special accommodations are available upon request. To attend, please sign up here before Friday April 5th! See you tomorrow at City Hall and remember:
Immensely Yours, In stiletto Solidarity,
The Soldiers of Pole