Sex workers protest, petition Amsterdam mayor

Sex workers protesting against Project 1012 in Amsterdam (Picture: Twitter/@Ymerehuurder). (Sex workers protesting against Project 1012 in Amsterdam (Picture: Twitter/@Ymerehuurder))

Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan received a petition from some 200 sex workers and sympathizers on Thursday, AT5 reports. The protest was organized by PROUD, the association for sex workers, against the closing of window brothels in Amsterdam

The sex workers occupied the Stopera just before the start of the council meeting in which Project 1012 was to be discussed. Mayor Van der Laan was received with drums, singing and shouting. "You always say that you care so much for sex workers and about what happens to us. This is what we want." one of the sex workers told the mayor before handing over the petition. "If you really care about us, you must prove it. We don't want any more kind words, we want change. People always talk about us, but never to us. So here's our list of requirements, from the sex workers. We want Project 1012 to stop. We don't want more windows to close."

The mayor accepted the petition and list of demands and promised to send the sex workers a written statement. "I work very hard to get your job normalized. To ensure that you can take out insurance, a mortgage, disability insurance. Those are not just nice words", the mayor said. He also said that the City Council plans to close fewer windows than was originally intended. Van der Laan left the protesters under loud cheers after answering a few more questions.

A number of sex workers also spoke in the council meeting. About 200 sex workers took part in the protest, which started at the Oudekerksplein in the Red Light District and ended at Stopera.