Occupation of Holy Cross Church, King's Cross 1982
On 17 November 1982, the ECP took sanctuary in the Church of the Holy Cross in the red-light area of King’s Cross, London for 12 days to protest “police illegality and racism” against sex workers. Our banner read ‘Mothers Need Money; End Police Illegality & Racism in King’s Cross’.
The occupation drew widespread support including from Andaiye (Guyana’s Working People’s Alliance), Labour MP Tony Benn, Black and Immigrant women’s organisations, Greenham Common women’s peace camp, Sappho, the lesbian women organisation and gay men who brought food and blankets.
The ECP’s occupation followed in the footsteps of sex workers in France who in 1975 occupied churches across the country to protest police arresting and fining them while doing nothing to stop rape and other violence including a number of brutal murders.
Together they mark the beginning of the modern sex workers’ rights movement.
Hookers in the House of the Lord (40th anniversary edition) By Selma James
An account of the 1982 occupation of Holy Cross Church by the English Collective of Prostitutes to protest police Illegality and racism, with photos and press coverage from the time.