Purple Rose Day 2015: Women’s Resistance Key to our Existence

For Immediate Release

NATIONAL – Now in its sixteenth year, the Purple Rose Campaign continues to be a rallying cry against the trafficking of women and children. We in AF3IRM persist in our fight against trafficking and in the struggle against sexual violence and the commodification and fetishization of women, especially women of color.

We know this fight never ends – with more than 11.4 million women and girls estimated to be trapped in forced labor and trafficking and women and girls making up 70 percent of trafficking victims worldwide. Living in the United States, we recognize that we are in the belly of beast, generating demand and fueling the industry’s profitability as 18,000 women are trafficked into the United States every year. This country holds the dubious distinction of being the second highest destination in the world for trafficked victims.

We again renew our commitment to resist and to organize against trafficking, sexual violence and exploitation. We see the many levels of oppression at work, where even the exploited turn around and exploit women and children. From the farm fields to military bases, from the streets of Oakland, CA and Queens, NY, trafficking is a daily activity that cannot be ignored. As transnational feminists, we continue the fight against trafficking and the fight against prostitution, pushing for the breakdown of these systems of sexual slavery and commoditization. We stand for the decriminalization – not the legalization – and abolition of prostitution, because we can not support protecting the rights of pimps and traffickers and the customer’s right to sexual access over the lives  of those trafficked and prostituted. In our struggle for the liberation of all women and not the few, we remain steadfast  in defeating the exploitation of women in all its forms.

In honor of Purple Rose Day, AF3IRM has hosted educational discussions on the campaign nationally and locally. Los Angeles screened the documentary Justice for My Sister, on a Guatemalan woman’s struggle to find answers to the murder of her sister,  with filmmaker Kimberly Bautista on February 12th, while San Diego will show the short film Truth by Alex “Magik” Rice about the world of young women in the city’s sex trade on February 14th. On the same day, the Orange County (CA) chapter will host a radio show on Radio Santa Ana focused on bell hooks’s All About Love and redefining love. Boston is offering social justice valentines as an alternative to the commercialized versions peddled by capitalism and South Bay (Los Angeles) will do a banner drop. In New York, supporters of the campaign have been also been raising funds online.

Even as we move beyond Purple Rose Day on February 14th, chapters of AF3IRM across the country are engaged in effecting real change in our communities, by conducting social investigations and building local campaigns around  prosti-tuition, businesses that are fronts for brothels, and creating trafficking-free zones including ones focused on anti-trafficking and prostitution. On an international level, 2015 will bring the next phase of #JusticeNotCharity, our joint project with NAPIESV, as we do skill-sharing and training with women in the Philippines. This second phase, which will occur later in the year, will focus on providing trainings on trafficking identification and prevention, reproductive justice, and livelihood.

AF3IRM calls on all to join us in the Purple Rose Campaign! As transnational women we understand that gender-based violence,  particularly against women of color, is tied to our legacy of colonialism and the imperialism imposed upon our ancestors’ countries of origin.

AF3IRM refuses to accept the commodification of our bodies and we resist the exploitation of our lives for someone else’s pleasure and profit! We will continue to fight against these systems and conditions that exploit women – that make violence against women acceptable, that attempts to make our lives disposable, that tries to erase our very existence.

If there is one thing we have learned, it is that we as women are on the wave of radical change and we know that we as women belong at the head of this struggle for liberation. In the current climate of increased violence against our communities, we must be resilient. We must rise up. We must resist. Our very existence depends on it.




Donate to AF3IRM: Click on the link and consider a monthly contribution! 

A Social Justice Valentine: http://www.gofundme.com/purplerosecampaign

Purple Rose Campaign on GOFUNDME: http://www.gofundme.com/purplerosecamp



February 12th, 2015 – Thursday
Los Angeles | Purple Rose Film Screening of ‘Justice for My Sister’ and Q&A with filmmaker Kimberly Bautista
6:30PM to 9:30PM | SEIU 721 Auditorium, 1545 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Facebook Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/936920789659503/

February 13th, 2015 – Friday
Central Coast | Purple Rose Educational Discussion on Ending Sex Trafficking
For more info, contact [email protected]

February 14th, 2015 – Saturday: PURPLE ROSE DAY!
San Diego | Purple Rose Film Screening of ‘Truth’ by Alex “Majik” Rice
12 Noon to 2:00PM | Digital Gym, 2921 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
Facebook Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/1602900126591941/

Orange County | Redefining Love, Reclaiming Community: Purple Rose Discussion on bell hooks’s All About Love on Radio Santa Ana
7pm | Stream online: http://radiosantaana.org
Facebook Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/687454844706014/

About #JusticeNotCharity: http://www.af3irm.org/af3irm/campaigns/justicenotcharity/