Last week Maggie’s Toronto Sex Worker Action Project, a NSWP member org based in Ontario, Canada, issued a community action alert to raise awareness and support for Moka, a black trans woman currently being held in a men’s prison for defending herself against a violent client.
In early August, Moka was attacked by a client, who has a known history of physical and sexual violent behaviour, and defended herself. Following the attack, she called 911 for help. When local law enforcement arrived, they proceeded to harass and pepper spray Moka, while ignoring the client: “Upon arrival police pepper sprayed and handcuffed Moka, mocking her for roughly 10 minutes until they decided to check on the client. By that time, the client had succumbed to his injuries.”
Moka is being criminalised for defending herself and is being held in a men’s prison. “Moka is someone who was close to both Sumaya Dalmar and Alloura Wells in Toronto. She has seen, experienced and continues to resist violence against black trans women and sex workers in the city. The courts have made the decision to house her in a men’s prison in the city and she is now being held in the same facility as Bruce McArthur.” She is being tried for second degree murder. Her case was heard last week over the span of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and resumes this Wednesday, October 10th where both the defense and crown will give their closing statements. Maggie’s has issued an alert for friends and allies to join them at the court to show support for Moka.
Canadian sex worker activists/leaders are working with Moka and her social worker to advocate against Moka’s charges. “We are organizing to show Moka that her community loves and supports her, and that her life matters. Black trans lives matter, Black trans sex workers matter.” They are using the hashtag #JusticeForMoka to help raise awareness and spread the word about her situation.
“We stand in solidarity with Moka as her case moves through the criminal justice system. We stand with dozens of sex workers rights organizations across North America who condemn the role of the criminal justice system in penalizing and perpetuating violence on sex workers, specifically Black trans women engaged in sex work. United we will not be divided.”