Moral High Ground RSS

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You're standing on PJ's version of "Moral High Ground."
Video and creative projects by PJ Starr. Works in progress, retrospective, eye-spy with my little eye.

PJ Starr is a sex worker rights activist and friend of transgenders everywhere.

Archive

Sep
8th
Mon
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Tiny fundraiser (my child) wanted to write, “Help PJ Starr collect lots of money.” She donated her pocket money at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-tell-marcia-powell-s-story

Tiny fundraiser (my child) wanted to write, “Help PJ Starr collect lots of money.” She donated her pocket money at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-tell-marcia-powell-s-story

Sep
4th
Thu
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Filmmaker and advocate PJ has been working on NO HUMAN INVOLVED since 2010. The film is now being edited and she seeks finishing funds to make the film shine as it should. Every cent raised via this campaign will be poured back into the film’s production.
In 2009 after she was sentenced to more than two years in prison for prostitution, Marcia Powell was locked in a metal cage in the desert sun at an Arizona prison. Four hours later she collapsed in the 107-degree heat, and by day’s end she was dead after being removed from life support by the Department of Corrections. Even though an internal investigation revealed that guards had denied her water and ridiculed her when she pleaded for help, no one was ever charged. The documentary NO HUMAN INVOLVED investigates the circumstances of Marcia’s death, exposing the system that has lead to the death of scores of others in facilities across Arizona, and documents a movement that has formed seeking justice in her name. Marcia’s story motivates audiences to question the system that justified her incarceration, as viewers empathize with her humanity realizing that what happened to her, can happen to anyone.

Filmmaker and advocate PJ has been working on NO HUMAN INVOLVED since 2010. The film is now being edited and she seeks finishing funds to make the film shine as it should. Every cent raised via this campaign will be poured back into the film’s production.

In 2009 after she was sentenced to more than two years in prison for prostitution, Marcia Powell was locked in a metal cage in the desert sun at an Arizona prison. Four hours later she collapsed in the 107-degree heat, and by day’s end she was dead after being removed from life support by the Department of Corrections. Even though an internal investigation revealed that guards had denied her water and ridiculed her when she pleaded for help, no one was ever charged. The documentary NO HUMAN INVOLVED investigates the circumstances of Marcia’s death, exposing the system that has lead to the death of scores of others in facilities across Arizona, and documents a movement that has formed seeking justice in her name. Marcia’s story motivates audiences to question the system that justified her incarceration, as viewers empathize with her humanity realizing that what happened to her, can happen to anyone.

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Help tell Marcia Powell’s story by donating

In 2009 after she was sentenced to more than two years in prison for prostitution, Marcia Powell was locked in a metal cage in the desert sun at an Arizona prison. Four hours later she collapsed in the 107-degree heat, and by day’s end she was dead after being removed from life support by the Department of Corrections. Even though an internal investigation revealed that guards had denied her water and ridiculed her when she pleaded for help, no one was ever charged. The documentary NO HUMAN INVOLVED investigates the circumstances of Marcia’s death, exposing the system that has lead to the death of scores of others in facilities across Arizona, and documents a movement that has formed seeking justice in her name. Marcia’s story motivates audiences to question the system that justified her incarceration, as viewers empathize with her humanity realizing that what happened to her, can happen to anyone.
Filmmaker and advocate PJ has been working on NO HUMAN INVOLVED since 2010. The film is now being edited and she seeks finishing funds to make the film shine as it should. Every cent raised via this campaign will be poured back into the film’s production.

All donations are tax deductible because of the auspicing of Women Make Movies.
Jul
22nd
Sun
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Sex workers and their allies staged a protest during a press conference held on the opening day of the International AIDS Conference. More than 20 protesters rushed to the stage during the press conference chanting, “No drug users, no sex workers, no I… A… C…” Many sex workers and drug users have been unable to enter the United States due to immigration restrictions on anyone who may have used drugs or engaged in sex work.
Here activists walk through the halls of the conference after the protest. 

Sex workers and their allies staged a protest during a press conference held on the opening day of the International AIDS Conference. More than 20 protesters rushed to the stage during the press conference chanting, “No drug users, no sex workers, no I… A… C…” Many sex workers and drug users have been unable to enter the United States due to immigration restrictions on anyone who may have used drugs or engaged in sex work.

Here activists walk through the halls of the conference after the protest. 

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Sex workers and their allies staged a protest during press conference held on the opening day of the International AIDS Conference. More than 20 protesters rushed to the stage during the press conference chanting, “No drug users, no sex workers, no I… A… C…” Many sex workers and drug users have been unable to enter the United States due to immigration restrictions on anyone who may have used drugs or engaged in sex work.
After the action protestors carried their signs to other parts of the building to inform arriving participants of the lack of representation at the 2012 International AIDS Conference. 

Sex workers and their allies staged a protest during press conference held on the opening day of the International AIDS Conference. More than 20 protesters rushed to the stage during the press conference chanting, “No drug users, no sex workers, no I… A… C…” Many sex workers and drug users have been unable to enter the United States due to immigration restrictions on anyone who may have used drugs or engaged in sex work.

After the action protestors carried their signs to other parts of the building to inform arriving participants of the lack of representation at the 2012 International AIDS Conference. 

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Sex workers and their allies staged a protest at a 4 pm press conference held on the opening day of the International AIDS Conference. More than 20 protesters rushed to the stage during the press conference chanting, “No drug users, no sex workers, no I… A… C…” Many sex workers and drug users have been unable to enter the United States due to immigration restrictions on anyone who may have used drugs or engaged in sex work.

Sex workers and their allies staged a protest at a 4 pm press conference held on the opening day of the International AIDS Conference. More than 20 protesters rushed to the stage during the press conference chanting, “No drug users, no sex workers, no I… A… C…” Many sex workers and drug users have been unable to enter the United States due to immigration restrictions on anyone who may have used drugs or engaged in sex work.

Jul
19th
Thu
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Sex Workers and Allies Protest Efforts to Shut Down Backpage from PJ Starr on Vimeo.

On June 20, 2012 people against sex work protested in front of the Village Voice, demanding that they shut down Backpage’s Adult Services Section. SWOP-NYC and SWANK—local organizations representing sex workers and their allies—counter-protested noting that closing Backpage would increase marginalization of people in the sex trade and make anti-trafficking efforts more difficult. SWOP-NYC and SWANK’s action caps off a full week of stories and posts on the swop-nyc.org website talking about the importance of online advertising to different communities and the dangers of increasing criminalization.

Jun
26th
Sun
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Didn’t think that my heels were high at all but after more than 40 blocks of marching, glittering, signing and umbrella twirling for sex worker rights at NYC Gay Pride I needed a box of bandaids. More at: www.flickr.com/photos/pjstarr/sets/72157626931673017/

Didn’t think that my heels were high at all but after more than 40 blocks of marching, glittering, signing and umbrella twirling for sex worker rights at NYC Gay Pride I needed a box of bandaids. More at: www.flickr.com/photos/pjstarr/sets/72157626931673017/

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I adorned a friend’s legs because she did not have a costume.

I adorned a friend’s legs because she did not have a costume.

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Last year we were followed by “16 pound balls.” This year we were stalked by a giant penis. It was pretty difficult not to have it in the photos.

Last year we were followed by “16 pound balls.” This year we were stalked by a giant penis. It was pretty difficult not to have it in the photos.

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The feedback from the crowd is so wonderful at Pride. Sex workers and allies from the audience jump up and yell when they see us: one young man climbed up a lamp-post to yell out his support and wave a flag. Many women who saw the “outlaw poverty, not prostitution” sign warmed to the statement. “That’s what I am talking about!” called out one woman with kids. “Keep holding up that sign.” We have more community support than we know. We have to keep on moving forward for rights.

The feedback from the crowd is so wonderful at Pride. Sex workers and allies from the audience jump up and yell when they see us: one young man climbed up a lamp-post to yell out his support and wave a flag. Many women who saw the “outlaw poverty, not prostitution” sign warmed to the statement. “That’s what I am talking about!” called out one woman with kids. “Keep holding up that sign.” We have more community support than we know. We have to keep on moving forward for rights.

Mar
18th
Fri
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86 the Violence

Sex worker rights advocates gathered in Union Square at 2.30 pm today for a public art action in support of recommendation 86 which was recently accepted by the US government as part of the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Recommendation 86 requires the that US government ensure sex workers’ access to public services and actions to prevent violence and human rights abuses of sex workers.

We prepared for the event once we managed to placate an anxiously Parks and Recreations official that we would not be doing any public tattooing (????)) by symbolically gagging three activists. They then stood silently in perilously high heels for 86 minutes beginning at 3 pm.

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The main event. Three activists standing bound and gagged to highlight the oppression faced by sex workers.

The main event. Three activists standing bound and gagged to highlight the oppression faced by sex workers.

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At first many people thought that we we protesting against prostitution (rather than against the human rights abuses of sex workers). The bound and gagged “targets” needed some more explanation. We scribbled some political messages on some cardboard and the “targets” stood on them to keep them from blowing away in the wind.

At first many people thought that we we protesting against prostitution (rather than against the human rights abuses of sex workers). The bound and gagged “targets” needed some more explanation. We scribbled some political messages on some cardboard and the “targets” stood on them to keep them from blowing away in the wind.