Sex workers marched in Amsterdam on Thursday to protest plans to move them from the famous red-light district to a huge “erotic center” on the outskirts of the city.
Wearing masks to conceal their identities and waving red umbrellas and banners containing “Save the Red Light,” dozens of demonstrators walked to city hall, where they confronted the mayor.
Amsterdam authorities have said they want to relocate sex workers to reduce crime and nuisance in the city, and this week launched a campaign to keep rowdy British tourists away.
“We don’t really agree with the solutions they’re offering, the solutions they’re imposing. They’re not even negotiating with sex workers’ organizations,” said sex worker Sabrina Sanchez at AFP. told to
Sex workers were also protesting plans to shorten closing hours in entertainment districts when the municipality announced in February it would ban cannabis smoking.
“We don’t want to move to an erotic center or anywhere else,” said another sex worker wearing a hood and sunglasses who requested anonymity.
“Do something about the drug traffickers, the disrespectful people,” he added as he read the petition in front of Mayor Femke Halsema.
– “Away” –
Mayors have long opposed the centuries-old red-light district known as De Wallen, where neon-lined windows line the canal-side houses where prostitutes wait for clients.
“It’s not your fault, it’s the result of excess tourism, crime and other problems,” Halsema said.
“But the situation in the city center is becoming very problematic and we have to find a solution.”
The Amsterdam City Council has designated three potential sites for erotic centers with 100 rooms for sex workers and rest spaces for work and other activities.
Residents near the red-light district have long complained about the quality of life in the area, which draws large numbers of tourists.
But the European Medicines Agency has been outraged after revealing that one of the possible locations of the erotic center is near its headquarters, citing the potential impact on the safety of people working late in the office. expressed.
The agency that approves Covid vaccines for the EU has moved from London to Amsterdam after the UK leaves the EU, against the backdrop of a major bidding war by the Dutch capital.
The latest step in Amsterdam’s efforts to transform its image as a party capital came on Tuesday when it launched a ‘stay away’ campaign to discourage stag nights and heavy drinking tourists.
The campaign caused controversy in the UK after the council announced it would start by targeting young British men between the ages of 18 and 35.
This includes showing people searching for stag parties and pub crawls video ads that have a negative effect, such as drunkenness or imprisonment.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/amsterdam-sex-workers-protest-red-light-closure-plans-566292/ Sex workers in Amsterdam protest red light closure plan