January 21st, 2010

bswing

New Orleans cops charge prostitutes as sex offenders

New Orleans city police and the district attorney’s office are using a state law written for child molesters to charge hundreds of sex workers like Tabitha as sex offenders. The law, which dates back to 1805, makes it a crime against nature to engage in “unnatural copulation”—a term New Orleans cops and the district attorney’s office have interpreted to mean anal or oral sex. Sex workers convicted of breaking this law are charged with felonies, issued longer jail sentences and forced to register as sex offenders. They must also carry a driver’s license with the label “sex offender” printed on it.

Via Dan Lyke/flutterby. Remember this story when you hear a so-called feminist organization claim that anti-prositution laws "help" women.

Posted via web from crasch's posterous

bswing

Are anti-trafficking organizations really anti-sex worker organizationsin disguise?

First of all, let me state that I find coerced labor of any kind abhorrent. It's part of the reason I'm so enthusiastic about open immigration. To the extent that coerced labor exists, it is made possible in large part because those coerced are often immigrants, who fear that if they leave their jobs, they will be turned into the police and deported. See, for example, this story:

http://www.state.gov/m/ds/rls/130528.htm

However, I'm convinced that many of the organizations theoretically fighting coerced labor/trafficking are really anti-sexworker organizations in disguise.

A friend of mine recently posted a link to an event entitled "Panel on Human Trafficking" sponsored by the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, in collaboration with San Francisco’s Collaborative Against Human Trafficking and in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The first speaker listed on their panel is Melissa Farley, Executive Director of Prostitution Research and Education. Follow the link, and you'll see that PEN is a virulently anti-sexworkers organization. They claim that prostitution is an intrinsically abusive institution, and that 60% of all prostitutes are literal slaves.

You will also find that another trafficking organization, "The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women" (CATW), submitted an amicus curie brief in support of Thomas Dart, Sheriff of Cook County Illinois, when he sued Craigslist, Inc. for pimping and trafficking of women and children on its "Adult Services" and "Erotic Services" sections of its advertising website.

Go to their website, and you will see that CTAW bluntly states All prostitution exploits women, regardless of women's consent.

So PEN and CATW, at least, have been actively working to limit the free speech rights and sexual choices of both women and men.

I haven't investigated this issue in great depth. There probably are organizations that are actually fighting against coerced labor without being anti-sex worker. But a surface review of some of the organizations involved suggest that their primary agenda is stopping sex work, not trafficking.

Posted via email from crasch's posterous

bswing

Haiti: Shades of FDR and the Jews by Jacob G. Hornberger

President Obama and other U.S. officials, who purport to be good and caring people through their delivery of U.S. taxpayer money to Haiti, have a message to the Haitian people. It’s the same message that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had toward Jews trying to escape Nazi Germany. The message is simple: No matter who much you are suffering, no matter how close to death you might be, don’t even think for a moment of escaping your conditions by coming to the United States.

Every day, a U.S. Air Force cargo plane spends 5 hours flying over Haiti broadcasting a recorded message, no doubt made at the urging of Washington officials, from Raymond Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador in Washington, stating: “Listen, don’t rush on boats to leave the country. If you do this, we’ll all have even worse problems. Because, I’ll be honest with you: If you think you will reach the U.S. and all the doors will be wide open to you, that’s not at all the case. And they will intercept you right on the water and send you back home where you came from.”

Via Econlog.

Posted via web from crasch's posterous