[Eulogy] Remembering murder victims

December 27, 2007

by Julie Seabaugh

On the scene at the sex workers march

Only two are atop the Fremont Street Experience garage at the 7 p.m. meeting time, but both are wearing red in solidarity. By 7:30 the number has increased to seven, including organizer Susan Lopez, who also serves as assistant director of the Desiree Alliance and founded Sex Workers Outreach Project-Las Vegas. There were a few more participants when the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers memorial march was held at UNLV last year, but this year’s are a dedicated bunch. Former Texas madam Robin Head  did eight years in prison. A former-call-girl-turned-lawyer sports her red in the form of a Santa hat. General UNLV mover/shaker/activist Crystal Jackson, meanwhile, concerned that her jacket obscures her red “SLUTS UNITE” tee, notes, “I’ve got to make sure that the breasts and motto are showing.”

Lopez distributes 15 pieces of paper, each printed with the names of murdered sex workers, and participants affix them to the panels of the oversize red umbrellas emerging from her trunk. Down on the street, the umbrellas unfold and the group travels the Experience length, past a security officer on a bicycle, a gentleman passing out Christian literature in the guise of Santa-emblazoned “Christmas Cash,” a giant Christmas tree, the Chippendales booth, a scowling “Sexual Sin Leads to Hell” sign-holder, Carl “Safe Sax” Ferris and Glitter Gulch.

As Lopez reads three pages of murdered sex workers’ names, the rest silently hold candles. They answer questions from a dozen or so curious onlookers. (One puzzles,

“Are they pro-sluts or anti-sluts?”). The highlight of the night: a public defender looking for charity work to “balance my karma. I represent a lot of murderers, rapists, child molesters and wife beaters.”

Lopez takes his name and number and promises to be in touch. Umbrellas still aloft, they ascend to the top of the garage, return their names, bundle up over their red, and dissipate into the night.


Reader Discussion

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Power to these women for having the courage to stand up for these murdered sex workers. No one else sure is! I would have loved to come to this event myself – but have a very bad strep throat. So my thoughts and prayers are with them and those lost to a world where no one but us seems to care about them.


Jody Williams on Friday, 28-12-07 17:29


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