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Posts Tagged ‘surveillance’

When “decriminalisation” was formulated we were smoking indoors.  –  Cheryl Overs

Think of the Children! (Updates Galore)

In some parts of the Anglosphere, male teachers who do sex work can manage to keep their jobs:

…Gordon Parsons will still be allowed to teach at Queensland’s Ipswich State High despite allegedly making graphic sexual videos with his porn star girlfriend…Luci Power…Parsons was moved from Corinda State High last year after the Education Department discovered his extra-curricular activities…[and] now teaches under the name of James Parsons after allegedly agreeing to remove any sexual content he was involved in.  But…he…was reportedly spotted [by a deeply hypocritical parent while] at[tending] the Brisbane Sexpo with [his porn star girlfriend. Luci Power]…who was [making a paid appearance] at the exhibition…the [shockingly two-faced slimeball] wrote…a [poison pen] letter…to the school [to try to get Parsons fired despite the fact that he was at the same event]…

Apparently, hypocrisy rays are far less dangerous than sex rays.

So Close and Yet So Far

This could’ve been a decent article about why Filipino sex workers are afraid of cops and refuse to participate in their witch hunts and morality plays.  But instead the reporter insists on smearing them with the agency-denying prohibitionist slur “protituted women”; uncritically labels a prison with the authoritarian euphemism “safe house”; claims prohibitionists really want to help sex workers; and even used the insulting phrase “so-called ‘clients'”.  Not worth wasting your time on.

The Widening Gyre (#697) 

The NY Times is still pretending “Pizzagate” is about cranks, when actually it was a natural & predictable outgrowth of the “sex trafficking” hysteria they’ve aggressively promoted for two decades:

Four minutes into a video that was posted on Instagram last month, Justin Bieber leaned into the camera and adjusted the front of his black knit beanie…someone had posted a comment asking Mr. Bieber to touch his hat if he had been a victim of a child-trafficking ring known as PizzaGate…there [i]s no evidence…Bieber [saw] that message.  But…[fetishists] quickly uploaded hundreds of videos online analyzing…Bieber’s [casual] action.  The videos were translated into Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, amassing millions of views.  Fans then left thousands of comments on…Bieber’s social media posts asking him if he was safe.  Within days…the hashtag #savebieber started trending.  Four years ago…the [fantasy] that Hillary Clinton and Democratic elites were running a child sex-trafficking ring out of a Washington pizzeria spread across the internet, illustrating [the damage done by the] crackpot idea [called “sex trafficking”] with no truth to it [which was irresponsibly spread by mainstream] media — and how dangerous it could be…Facebook, Twitter and YouTube managed to largely [censor] PizzaGate.  But now, just months before the next presidential election, the conspiracy theory is making a comeback on these platforms — and on new ones such as [the Chinese-developed] TikTok — underlining the limits of their efforts to [censor] speech online…PizzaGate no longer focuses on…Clinton…its new targets…includ[e]…Bieber, Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey and Chrissy Teigen…

I Swear To God (#712)

US courts are happy to allow US censorship of non-Americans:

Foreign groups that receive American funding to fight HIV and AIDS must still pledge to oppose sex work…[even though] a similar requirement for U.S. nonprofits was struck down as unconstitutional in 2013…U.S. groups whose international affiliates must still abide by the rule sought to have it overturned, too, arguing that compelling anti-prostitution speech from these foreign affiliates was attributed to the American groups and therefore violated their First Amendment rights.  But in a 5-3 decision, the Court [said]…”plaintiffs…[get what’s coming to them for] affiliating] with [dirty] foreign[ers]”…

To Molest and Rape (#835)

Imagine how many others like him are still free:

Four decades after he started sneaking into homes, tying up victims, raping women and murdering couples, [typical and representative cop] Joseph DeAngelo pleaded guilty…to 26 charges, admitting…he was the sadistic Golden State Killer…He only stopped…when he got old and was no longer spry enough to overpower victims…he was responsible for more than 60 rapes…in…[all], but the statute of limitations expired on those crimes…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#995) 

Cheryl Overs on the erosion of the line between legalization and decriminalization in Australia:

…the Australian state of Victoria…is about decriminalise sex work after thirty years of disastrous legalisation…so I…[tried] to identify exactly which “ordinary business regulations” should apply to a decriminalised sex industry here.  Big mistake…In 2020 the regulatory framework of a wealthy country like Australia requires every business and service provider to apply for a dizzying number of permits and permissions; to pay various fees and taxes; to register their names in various places and to comply with a web of regulations including allowing access to authorities to inspect and enforce those regulations.  No one gets out this.  Some combination of these rules apply whether you are a large engineering plant or a self employed hairdresser working from home…most require the legal name of a “natural person”…When “decriminalisation” was formulated…we could walk into banks and open an account in whatever name we wanted…There were always regulations and records and cross checking of course, but analogue data collection and retention was expensive and limited…So I’m quite thrown by discovering that history has narrowed the gap between “legalisation” and “decriminalisation” in this way.  As Maggie McNeill says, “what we’re seeing here is less a sex-work-specific issue and more just government’s ever-expanding intrusion into all people’s lives and private affairs.  But that’s cold comfort to those who are targeted first as tyrants expand their reach”…

Quiet Genocide (#1002)

There are still some in the West who insist China isn’t trying to exterminate the Uighurs:

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities…even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children…an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with…ex-detainees…[demonstrate that China] is [carrying out] what some experts are calling…“demographic genocide”.  The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands…The…measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply.  Having too many children is a major [excuse Beijing uses] to [condemn people to concentration] camps…with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines.  Police raid homes…[to] search for hidden children…

Loose Cannons (#1005)

Apparently, Florida prosecutors don’t know when to stop digging:

Judges from the 4th District Court of Appeal heard arguments…on whether they should allow [illegal] surveillance video captured by [masturbating pigs]…to be…the evidence in the prostitution case against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others.  The controversial “sneak and peek” warrants [were illegally used by] Jupiter police to install hidden cameras that recorded all activities at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa…similar warrants and tactics were also used at spas in Martin and Indian River counties…[after cops lied, spouting] human trafficking [sex fantasies to judges]…there [was of course] no…human trafficking…[several] judge[s]…suppressed the videos…[but the state] argued…that the videos should be allowed…because [sex]…

Social Distancing (#1034)

A “No shit, Sherlock” headline from the ever-confused Vice:

In Spain, sex work employs an estimated 100,000 women and…like many other countries…legalis[ation includes a host of ridiculous laws which essentially trat sex orkers as tolrated criminals who must]…pay taxes, but aren’t recognised as employees.  When the country went into lockdown in March, sex work was not considered an essential service, and [was] therefore banned…after initially leaving sex workers completely in the lurch, on the 21st of April the Spanish government announced emergency measures [pre]tended to help [the minuscule number of] women forced into sex work…To qualify, workers had to [pretend] they were victims of exploitation by [lying to] social services, or [have an arrest record]…It’s a policy that excludes [the great majority of sex workers]…

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Police killing is not the work of vigilant warriors defending society…and sometimes going too far: it is the…petty tyranny of a taxpayer-funded bureaucratic lobby group.  –  Lyman Stone

The Proper Study (#652)

Another study proves what sex workers have been saying all along:

In a new study just published in The Journal of Sex Research…men…said paid sex offered them a space where they could overcome their insecurities and low self-esteem and sidestep their awkwardness in approaching women…paid sex allowed for a shared understanding of what was (and was not) going to follow sex.  Both the man paying for sex and the sex worker understood the nature of the transaction…with a sex worker, men said they did not worry about being sexually inexperienced…Some men indicated that through paid sex they actually could learn new sexual skills that they might use with other women in other circumstances…Paid sex was also described as giving some men a non-threatening context where they felt safe to engage in sex despite their sexual concerns, including the fear of being unable to have an erection…The findings further expand [academic] ideas of what it is that men are really buying when they pay for sex and suggests [amateurs]…underestimate the amount of emotional labor that goes into sex work…

I Spy (#958)

A politician claims that spying isn’t actually spying:

A secretive unit of the Maine State Police…gather[s] information about groups and organizations even when they are not suspected of crimes, including people who are participating in protests…Michael Sauschuck, the [chief pig] commissioner of…Maine…testified at a…legislative hearing about…a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed by a state trooper…[who] was retaliated against after reporting that the intelligence unit illegally used surveillance tools to monitor innocent citizens…Sauschuck refused to directly respond to the allegations in the lawsuit…but…acknowledged under questioning that the center does [spy] on citizens, including groups that organize public protests…[yet still claimed]  “We’re not spying on people”…the Maine State Police might be using powerful new technologies to scan your face and intercept your cellphone signals, and don’t have to tell the public because of an unusual provision in state law…the center…also…participated in the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, which involves [ratting out people they spy on]…to federal agencies [based on flimsy suspicions and]…racial profiling…

The Missing Word (#981)

If only there were a concise word for smuggling humans to sell them:

…Paul Petersen plead guilty to the offense of Conspiracy to Smuggle Illegal Aliens for Commercial Advantage and Private Financial Gain…Petersen…orchestrated the travel of several pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the Western District of Arkansas…to arrange adoption of their children by families living in the United States…[even though that’s illegal under a] 1983 [compact between] the United States…and…the…RMI…

The Monsters Are Due (#1040)

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

After a chaotic saga unfolded…centering around two missing teenage girls and a [Milwaukee house fantasized to be] a sex trafficking hub…police said…there is no indication the girls were ever there — or that the house was used for such activity.  The girls, ages 13 and 15, were found by one of their mothers more than three miles away…[but before that] three people [were] shot — including two 14-year-olds — plus…a house [was] set on fire twice and an unknown number of [people were] hurt by the tear gas and rubber bullets police fired into a scattered crowd…

Whimsical Notions (#1051)

Since the “trafficked slaves” myth isn’t getting results any more, the government is now claiming sex workers are actually spies:

Trafficked women in Bahrain, some working as prostitutes, are seeking to collect sensitive intelligence from U.S. sailors that they can later sell, according to [NCIS spook]…Joe Minucci…in [an indoctrination video]…“they sell that information, and that’s how they make more money in order to get themselves out of the [lucrative job] they’re in,” he said…

Bread and Circuses (#1051)

FOSTA just keeps splashing egg all over the feds’ stupid, violent faces:

For years leading up to the passage of FOSTA, we were told that Congress had to pass the law…because so many women were “at risk” due to trafficking….[on] Backpage…of course, the actual stats that were provided turned out to be fake and Backpage was seized before the law was even passed.  The charges against the founders did not include sex trafficking charges…with all of the moral panic around the need to pass FOSTA,…the DOJ had not used the law a single time to go after any “sex trafficking” site.  Instead, as we predicted, the law was being used in nuisance lawsuits…Finally…the DOJ made use of FOSTA in shutting down a website and arresting its operator…the DOJ conveniently mashes together sex work and sex trafficking, because that’s the kind of thing law enforcement likes to do…[so] plenty of…sex workers, who previously had relied on Backpage to remain safe and now relied on Martono’s sites, are again put in danger.  The Hacking/Hustling collective…put out a press release calling out what a stupid, counterproductive move this is…

The Cop Myth (#1052)

Even political conservatives are beginning to recognize the danger of police violence:

[Cops murder] about 1,700 Americans every year.  In other words, police killings have made up about one out of every twelve violent deaths of Americans between 2010 and 2018…including American military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere during that window.  Indeed, more Americans died at the hands of [cops] during that period (about 14,400) than died while on active military duty (about 9,400).  Police violence in America is…disproportionate to the actual threats facing [cops]…historically, police unionization has led directly to increases in police killings, but no change in crime…When incompetent DMV workers are not fired, when abusive teachers are reshuffled around schools, when bureaucrats use administrative gimmicks to thwart the electorate’s desire to rein in excessive spending, we conservatives are quick to (correctly!) identify the pernicious work of public-sector unions.  Whereas all workers should have some say in their employment conditions, such as via unionization, public-sector workers already get a say in their employment conditions without a union: they get to vote on who their boss is!  Public sector unions give the bureaucrats double the “votes” of the rest of us…The difference is that, unlike other public sector unions, police unions have military-grade equipment they can use to violently crush protests against their abuses, and they are legally immune from most consequences.  They’re teachers’ unions, but with tanks and endless get-out-of-jail-free cards…

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Collaborating with the police is not something…a mathematician should be doing.  –  Jayadev Athreya

Fallen Idol (#792)

These charges followed the accusations by almost three years:

Porn star Ron Jeremy has been charged with sexually assaulting four women on four separate occasions dating back to 2014…Jeremy…is accused of sexually assaulting two women at a bar in West Hollywood in 2017, and of forcibly raping another woman at that same bar during the summer of 2019.  He is also accused of forcibly raping a woman at a home in West Hollywood…In 2017…more than a dozen women had come forward accusing [him]…of sexual misconduct, including groping, inappropriate touching, nonconsensual digital penetration, and sexual assault.  Most of the women accusing him were in the adult industry…[one of them,] former adult performer Jennifer Steele, [said]…“[He] know[s] if someone’s a porn star and they say they’ve been raped, people aren’t gonna take it seriously”…

Lack of Evidence (#900) 

Removing excuses cops use to persecute people is always a good thing:

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously…to repeal the law [against “loitering” for the purpose of prostitution]…following a 2018 recommendation from a working group on reentry problems faced by people exiting incarceration.  “The prostitution loitering ordinance has a discriminatory legacy that impacted primarily people of color, women and our LGBTQ community,” said [politician Andrew] Lewis in a statement. “I’ve received hundreds of emails from constituents almost uniformly in favor of repealing these ordinances”…

Welcome to the Future (#916)

I’m afraid they’ve discovered their moral compasses at least 20 years too late:

…A group of mathematicians in the United States has written a letter calling for their colleagues to stop collaborating with police because of the widely documented disparities in how US law-enforcement agencies treat people of different races and ethnicities.  They concentrate their criticism on predictive policing, a maths-based technique…[that pretends to be able to] stop…crime before it occurs.  The letter, dated 15 June, is addressed to the trade journal Notices of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and…more than 1,400 researchers have now joined the call.  In recent years, mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists have been developing algorithms that crunch large amounts of data and [pretend] to help police reduce crime…the mathematicians write in the letter. “It is simply too easy to create a ‘scientific’ veneer for racism”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

To the state, facial recognition systems’ false positives aren’t a bug; they’re a feature:

On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit [cop shop demanding he] come to the station to be arrested.  He thought…it was a prank…[until] he pulled into his driveway…[and] a p[igmobile] pulled up behind, [vomiting out]…two [pigs who then insulted] and [brutalized] Mr. Williams…in front of his wife and two young daughters…[before dragging him] to a [cage and putting his biometric information into a database from which it will never be removed despite the fact that they were trying to frame him for grand theft based on]…a still image from a surveillance video…[which] was clearly not Mr. Williams…his case may be the first known account of an American being wrongfully arrested based on a flawed match from a facial recognition algorithm…

Working From Home

Most porn performers have long had to supplement film income with outside work:

…When COVID-19 shut down the adult entertainment industry, performers fell back on many of the things they were already doing, creating and selling content directly to their fans.  Realizing professional porn isn’t necessary for a lucrative career, many performers are now making even more money in a safe environment they control…the promise of [higher] payment may not be enough to entice performers back to set.  Three years after allegations of sexual assault enveloped the reputations of James Deen and Ron Jeremy, arguably the most iconic male performers of their generations, new alarms are being raised among female performers…women in the industry are speaking out on social media, exposing a rash of predatory behavior from companies, directors, and in some cases their agents.  Liberated from institutional misogyny, performers are creating content and cashing in on themselves for once, and not without a discernible sense of schadenfreude…

To Molest and Rape (#1047)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A…Harris County [Texas cop attempted to molest]…a teen girl he was assigned to investigate after she was reported as a runaway.  Aaron Isaac Mayes…went to the [girl’s] home…in March…to speak with the girl’s mother…[and] discovered the girl was at home and not missing…the mom [later] told investigators Mayes seemed interested in [her daughter], but [idiotically] believed he simply cared “beyond the scope of the law enforcement duties…in a healthy way”…[but her] daughter…[showed her] screenshots from Instagram conversations…[with] Mayes, which included [dick pics and]…an exchange in which Mayes offered her $80 in cash…[which] Mayes [claimed was] trying to…help her avoid…prostitution [by paying her for sex]…

The Cop Myth (#1047)

A few statistics to further dispel the myth of heroic cops:

…Americans have witnessed video after video of cops assaulting unarmed demonstrators and even bystanders unlucky enough to cross their path…Many try to explain away cases like these as “isolated incidents” carried out by “bad apples”…[but] if anything, most public discussions may be too narrow and myopic to capture how extreme, pervasive, and multifaceted police abuse of power actually is…So far this year, 481 civilians have been shot to death by police in the United States…Since 2015, cops fatally shot at least 352 people who were unarmed (that is, not even possessing a toy, blunt object, or other instrument)…hundreds more civilians are killed by cops every year with taserspepper sprayrubber bulletschokeholdspositional asphyxiablunt force trauma, [pigmobiles] and other causes…Deaths…only represent a small fraction of overall police violence…at least 985,300 Americans experienced non-lethal threats or use of force from police in a single year:…There are also widespread…rapes, sexual assault, and sexual harassment incidents [committed by] on-duty cops every year…many more cases likely go unreported…cops also regularly commit crimes, and carry out violence, when they are off duty.  For instance, rates of domestic abuse are as much as four times higher among law enforcement than in the broader population…The level of aggression cops deploy in an area seems to have no correlation with that area’s level of violent crime—nor does it seem proportional to the actual danger law enforcement agents face on the job…the overall line-of-duty law enforcement homicide rate…[is] 9.74 per 100,000 officers…the homicide rate for men…[in the general population is] 9.5 per 100,000.  That is, police officers were just a little more likely to be a victim of homicide in the line of duty than the typical American male living his day-to-day life…

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Men…want sex. And I want their money.  –  Maggie, a sugar baby

Whimsical Notions

It’s difficult to tease out what actually happened in this incident due to all the dysphemisms, racism, agency denial, “American exceptionalism” propaganda, and pretenses that healthy young men can be ordered to be asexual:  “While the [NCIS] investigated numerous sailors for crimes involving sex trafficking and prostitutes in Bahrain in recent years, Navy prosecutors have struggled at times to win criminal convictions…due to a recurring problem:  the [refusal of] the Thai prostitutes at the center of the cases…[to pretend to be] victimized women…

Drawing Lines

Amateurs’ attempts to draw lines between different “types” of pragmatic sexual behavior are even more absurd when the amateur in question has a PhD:

Although sex is indeed common in sugaring, not all sugar daddies seek such intimate relations.  Similarly, although most sugar babies engage in sugaring in order to meet their expenses, some are hoping for a serious relationship…Self-esteem can be a tricky issue for both sugar babies and daddies.  A sugar daddy does not want to feel like he is a john and a sugar baby does not want to feel like she is a prostitute.  Accordingly, sugaring aims for mutual respect between the partners.  This is reflected in the sugaring terminology of “partner” rather than “worker” and “client”…while people speak about “ordering,” or “going to,” a prostitute, they speak about “meeting” or “dating” a sugar baby.  Maren Scull (2020) has identified a range of sugaring types: at one end of the continuum there is sugar prostitution, and at the other end there is sugar friendship and sugar love.  Scull further claims that 40% of women who have sugared do not have sex with their benefactors—and that those who do often have genuine connections with the men…

“Ordering”.  Like a pizza, presumably.  The later parts of the article reveal that this dude seems to have derived most of his “information” about sex work from prohibitionist talking points rather than by consulting sex workers.

Bread and Circuses

The owner of CityGuide was a fool for not moving both his websites’ and his own domiciles to somewhere outside of the violently-prohibitionist US:

A Bay Area man is…awaiting extradition to Texas, where he is set to face federal charges that [describe ordinary escort advertising sites as “]sex trafficking websites on an international scale[” and include federal prosutors’ disgusting wanking fantasies about…“numerous child trafficking victims”…[Wilhan] Martono first purchased a CityXGuide domain in 2004, but in 2018…he…purchased a domain called “New Backpage”…The websites were set up with physical addresses listed in a Hong Kong apartment, and phone numbers that went back to a property management company there…[but the dumbass sent] wire transfers [back to the US, so]…the U.S. Department of Justice is moving to [steal] the contents of 12 bank accounts…[and] an undisclosed amount of silver bullion…

Business As Usual

All sex workers victimized by cops should sue if at all possible, especially now:

SWOP Behind Bars…caught up with Donah Sandford regarding her federal case against Missouri law enforcement, where [rapist cop] Leon Pullen eventually pleaded guilty to robbing and sexually assaulting escorts…Previously interviewed by FOX Files investigator Chris Hayes, Donah…shares the full story…of her 2009 experience with…law enforcement in St. Louis…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915) 

The word for authoritarian corporate/government “partnerships” is “fascism”:

…all-expenses paid [junkets] for [boss pigs and bureaucrats] is one of the ways Nextdoor has been looking to promote its network of online communities to government agencies.  It reflects a trend that’s worrying to civil rights and government accountability experts:  that local [cop shops] and other types of government officials are closely collaborating with private companies whose interests don’t…align with the public’s…Nextdoor and the [pigs, bureaucrats and politicians] it [colludes] with say that close ties between the social media platform and the government can help them [build a more pervasive surveillance system]…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#943)

It’s good to see a lockdown house getting some well-deserved pushback:

…a…lawsuit claims that Sheri’s Ranch misclassified its [legal prostitutes] as independent contractors, and should have instead classified them as employees and paid them in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The [petitioners] claim that Sheri’s Ranch owes unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation to them and…other[s] who join[ed] the case, as well as portions of their tips they were required to give to the Ranch.  Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Sheri’s Ranch filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that its business is not covered by the FLSA because it does not operate in interstate commerce.  The Court rejected this argument, finding the allegations in the complaint that Sheri’s Ranch’s annual sales exceed $500,000, and that its sports bar sells food and beverage products produced outside of Nevada, sufficient to bring the Ranch within the coverage of the FLSA…

Lack of Evidence (#991)

Where “rescued” means “arrested” and “safety shelter” means “deportation prison”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

Three addresses in Luton suspected of housing brothels…were [raided] by police…All of the women, who were from Romania, have been [infantilized] as victims of modern slavery and taken to a safety shelter…[pig] Jim Goldsmith, who led the [raid, admitted]: “It can take up to 10 e[pisodes of harassment by] the police…before [women break down and accept the label of] victim…[to make the persecution stop.  Cops] lie to, bully and exploit…sex [workers to destroy their livelihoods], all in the name of [“rescue”]…

You’d be traumatized too, if a gang of rapist thugs invaded your place of business, stole your money, and abducted you.

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Sex workers are not a thought experiment.  –  Kai Cheng

Monsters

Violence against trans people is getting mainstream attention:

The NYPD drone circling over the protest outside the Brooklyn Museum [on June 14th] must have only picked up a sea of white.  That’s the color protestors were asked to wear to rally and march silently in the wake of the deaths of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah MiltonTony McDade, and countless other Black trans victims of police brutality and civilian violence.  The event featured speakers from the Okra Project, the Marsha P. Johnson InstituteFor the GworlsGLITS, and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, as well as the family and loved ones of Layleen Polanco…Many of the people gathered had their own stories of police brutality to tell, but that didn’t stop them from showing up for the Black trans community…

Nothing To Be Proud Of

More queer sex workers are remembering that Pride commemorates a riot:

Sex work gave me a livelihood and autonomy…and…sex workers taught me resilience and self-worth.  Queer “community,” with its endless callouts and purity politics, has never come close to doing that…Maybe you came here expecting a congenial, well-reasoned article patiently defending the virtues of sex work as a profession and politely asking for solidarity.  This isn’t that article.  That article has already been written, several times, by several different authors.  That article should have changed all of your minds already about the fact that sex workers are human beings who deserve basic human rights, but apparently it didn’t, so here we are.  Still criminalized, still stigmatized, still by and large ignored by mainstream “LGBT community,” despite the fact that transfeminine sex workers such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are the reason that we have Pride in the first place.  People love the idea that sex workers need saving.  A lot of money, power, and attention goes into that idea – not to sex workers, but to our would-be saviors…In order to [really help], though, anti-sex work activists and police would have to actually care about sex workers’ actual lives, as opposed to their self-image as Real Life Heroes™ rescuing us from evil human traffickers…

Do Not Tolerate Domestic Violence

Government as domestic abuser is a very useful metaphor:

For ages the Democratic Party and its allies have been actively manipulating leftwardly-inclined Americans away from issues which might inconvenience the powerful — issues like economic justice, anti-imperialism, slashing the military budget, ending government surveillance and police militarization, and actually getting money out of politics…The powerful do not care if you have an abortion. They do not care how many bullets your gun can hold, they do not care if two guys get married or what gender pronouns you use, and they do not care if everyone is a racist or if no one is.  They care about maintaining and expanding their ability to exert control over other people…But…[now] people aren’t just out protesting racism, they’re calling for the complete dismantling of the entire police state…And the nice guy abusers are falling all over themselves to manipulate them back into their cage…Liberal narrative managers manipulated the people into understanding that they are only allowed to care about issues like sexism, LGBT rights, and racism.  The people responded by saying “Okay, well then we demand that you dismantle the entire police state because it is racist.”  Through all the confusion and fog of a lifetime of ingesting establishment propaganda, the people have still managed to find one solid strand of “no” that they know the nice guy abuser can’t actually forbid them from holding onto…

Quiet Genocide

Mainstream Western media are still largely ignoring China’s atrocities in Xinjiang:

…Formally an autonomous region of China, [Xinjiang] is today practically the largest internment camp in the world…Xi [Jinping] instructed the cadres of the Communist Party of China to “show absolutely no mercy” to its Uighur Muslim population.  The regime that now decries any allusion to the genesis of the coronavirus as bigoted then proceeded to describe Islam as a “virus”.  And its prescription for the eradication of this pathogen…was the swift “hospitalisation” of Muslims in indoctrination camps…up to 20 prisoners are packed into every cell.  Heads shaved, hands and feet bound at all times, they are permanently watched by cameras.  Their day begins at 6am and ends after midnight.  Their meals consist of gruel — except on Friday, the holiest day of the week for Muslims, when they are served pork, forbidden by Islam — and they are granted two minutes a day to relieve themselves in a communal bucket.  The remaining hours are devoted to the performance of rituals intended to purge them of their religious and ethnic identity.  They must master Mandarin, the language of their overlords; soak themselves in party propaganda; atone for who they are by confessing to their existence as a crime; and endlessly chant slogans pledging subservience to Han supremacy: I love China! Thank you, Communist Party! I love Xi Jinping!…Inmates are made to sit on chairs embedded with metal spikes, starved, and suspended from ceilings and flogged with electric truncheons; their fingernails are prised with pliers, their skin is pierced with needles, and their bodies are pumped with mysterious medicine.  “Good” behaviour cannot bring relief from this ordeal because it is impossible for the captives to know what defines “good” behaviour…All that stands between the inmates and the torture chamber is the mood of the prison guards…There is no emancipation even in death from the humiliations…in addition to destroying and disfiguring Muslim places of worship, [China] also razes their graves

Silver Lining

My answer to the titular question: “I certainly hope not”:

…the anti-trafficking community has been largely silent on the blossoming conversation on police brutality…While some organizations have put out blanket statements about Black Lives Matter and racism, these…have not addressed the field’s entrenchment with law enforcement, or the use of anti-trafficking to re-brand abusive police forces/tactics and expand the police statecan a field that relies on carceral penalties and approaches even be saved from its pro-police roots?  The history of the anti-trafficking field has revolved around the decision to take social justice problems and apply a criminal justice answer…This decision to…center…law enforcement and criminal justice-based interventions was concretized through legislation which incentivized joint approaches between service providers and law enforcement and primarily defined success as convictions…

Social Distancing (#1031)

The Japanese are much more sensible about sex than Americans:

…nightclubs across Japan are trying to come to terms with in the age of COVID-19, as they roll out a raft of anti-infection measures to shed their newfound notoriety as hotbeds for virus clusters.  The industry [was ready]…for the full lifting [last] Friday of Tokyo’s business closure requests, which…pave[d] the way for host clubs and hostess bars…to officially reopen for the first time in months.  In reality, a number of nightclubs had already resumed business to protect the livelihoods of employees.  But…many parlors [are now] taking a stab at the new safety guidelines issued by the government on how to coexist with the pandemic…

The Cop Myth (#1049)

A Reason interview with Reason alumnus Radley Balko:

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American policing is a thick blue tumor strangling the life from our communities.  –  A  Cab

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a man painting his house”?

A San Francisco woman who questioned a man writing “Black Lives Matter” on his own home has apologised for…[trying to get him beaten, abducted or murdered by] calling the police on him…In the video, shot by James Juanillo on his phone, [Lisa] Alexander is seen asking Mr Juanillo, who is Filipino, whether he lives in the house, saying that he is defacing private property as he uses chalk to write words on his wall…[luckily for] Juanillo…the [cop who came]…recogni[zed him and declined to brutalize him]…

Monsters (#949)

In which yelling “stop faking!” is described as “trying to wake her”:

New footage outside the Rikers Island [solitary confinement] cell…where transgender woman Layleen…Polanco died last June reveals that guards tried to wake her for approximately an hour and a half before calling for…medical care that could have saved her life…after an epileptic seizure…

Fallen Idol (#976)

I suspect this isn’t going to end well:

Ginger Banks…who co-starred in the 2018 Evil Angel documentary-style feature Cam Girls, has filed a police report for “sexual battery” with the West Hollywood Police Department against company owner and director John Stagliano for an incident while they were shooting a scene for that project in February 2018…Banks [also] posted a series of videos on social media describing her frustration with “the lack of accountability” she felt the adult industry dispensed to powerful stakeholders like Stagliano…Banks [said] that the recent decision to file charges now stems from a realization that what had happened to her and her co-star, cam model Jenny Blighe, was indeed a reportable offense under California law…

Choke Point (#1013) 

More fascism in action; don’t say sex workers didn’t warn you:

Covid Bail Out NYC, a group raising funds to get people out of jails during the…pandemic, has a list of hundreds of people waiting to be bailed out.  But because of constant security freezes and transfer limits imposed by PayPal and its mobile payment service Venmo, the group is only able to bail out around five people— $20,000 worth of cash bail—per week…In response to the pandemic, several grassroots bail out organizations popped up, using community outreach, social media, and payment processing platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App to raise funds quickly.  The crisis became even more urgent during the Black Lives Matter protests, as police a[bduc]ted and [cag]ed thousands of [citizens exercising their First Amendment rights] across the U.S…the…process starts to break down because of payment platform’s transfer limits…PayPal…users can transfer up to $60,000 a week, but may be limited to $10,000 in a single transaction …But unusual activity—like a mutual aid fund going viral on Twitter and having its account flooded with donations, for example—could trip PayPal’s fraud monitoring service.  Those holds can stay…for weeks…[while] PayPal [continues to collect interest on the balance]…

Social Distancing (#1042)

At their core, the Netherlands are still prohibitionist:

…Like other freelancers [Jeanet] applied for emergency government funding but…has not…received a penny,  [so she] works illegally as an escort…from home, usually with clients she has known for a long time. “I do not take too many customers, for safety reasons,” she says. But, even with the infectious disease spreading, there are still plenty of customers who are willing to pay for her services…Sex workers in the Netherlands have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic…[because] the government has [declared them “nonessential“, so many must]…work…illegally…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1048)

Oh look, Microsoft also wants to have its cake and eat it too:

Microsoft CEO Brad Smith declared during an online Washington Post event…that his company “will not sell facial-recognition technology to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place…that will [allow us to pretend we aren’t evil for developing] this technology.”  This follows Amazon’s announcement…that it is implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of the company’s …facial recognition platform…These moves follow IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s letter to Congress announcing that his company is getting out the facial recognition business…The digital rights group Fight for the Future has issued a statement calling Amazon and Microsoft’s moves “essentially a public relations stunt.”  The companies’ researchers will “spend the next year ‘improving’ the accuracy of their facial recognition algorithms, making it even more effective as an Orwellian surveillance tool…The reality is that facial recognition technology is too dangerous to be used at all…Congress should act immediately to ban facial recognition for all surveillance purposes”…

The Cop Myth (#1048)

Will you believe that there’s no such thing as a good cop if a cop tells you so?

I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard.  We all were…It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of.  It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt…Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer…so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.  But enough is enough.  The reforms aren’t working. Incrementalism isn’t happening.  Unarmed Black, indigenous, and people of color are being killed by cops in the streets and the police are savagely attacking the people protesting these murders…

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Fundamental[ly]…policing [is]…a state institution that’s predicated on the use of violence to fix problems.  –  Alex Vitale

What Were You All Waiting For? 

Is the ACLU finally beginning to do the right thing, at long last?

Sex workers aren’t always a part of [amateurs’] conversation about police brutality, but they should be.  Police regularly target, harass, and assault sex workers or people they think are sex workers…[and] usually get away with the abuse because sex workers fear being arrested if they report. If we lived in a world that didn’t criminalize sex work, sex workers could better protect themselves and seek justice when they are harmed.  Protecting sex workers from police violence is just one of the reasons we need to decriminalize sex work…

To Molest and Rape

A murderer is also a rapist.  Gee, what a surprise:

…one of three white officers accused in the death of Breonna Taylor…[also molested at least] two women [in the past.  Brett Hankinson]…is…a dirty cop [who has also carried out] vendetta[s by] arrest[ing people he dislikes on trumped-up charges]…the more recent sexual assault…[was] against…a woman [named]…Margo Borders w[ho reported that Hankinson]…”drove me home [from a bar] in uniform, in his marked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious”…In the second instance…Emily Terry…”began walking home from a bar intoxicated.  A [cop] pulled up next to me and offered me a ride home…He began making sexual advances towards me…As soon as he pulled up to my apartment building, I got out of the car and ran to the back”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#903) 

Amazon wants to have its cake and eat it too:

We’re implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon’s facial recognition technology.  We will continue to allow organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics to use Amazon Rekognition to [persecute sex workers] and [pass the information on to the cops]…

In other words, Amazon is adopting a cosmetic ban in order to take advantage of the anti-cop zeitgeist while simultaneously profiting from helping notorious fascist anti-sex organizations to persecute sex workers and pass the information along to their pig buddies.

Silver Lining

Another sign that the moral panic may be dying:

For the second year in a row, the number of federal human trafficking cases…has dropped after almost two decades of increases…Overall, federal p[er]secutions of [people using the excuse of] human traffick[ing] have dropped by about a third since 2017…The decrease came entirely from a drop in prosecutions of sex trafficking…which has consistently made up the majority of federal human trafficking prosecutions since the TVPA was enacted.  The number of labor trafficking cases has remained roughly the same, [because unike “sex trafficking” they are based in reality]…The number of new sex trafficking cases, meanwhile, dropped from 207 in 2017 to just 136 filed in 2019…

Working From Home (#1045)

Moloch (#1047) 

Contrast with Oregon and other states which are finally moving to protect students from police violence:

…thousands of small children who are led out of schools in handcuffs every year around the country.  Juvenile arrests in Florida have been steadily declining over the last decade, as they have been more generally across the U.S., but…the state embarked on an aggressive plan to “harden” its…[treatment of students], including putting at least one [armed, dangerous thug] in every K-12 school in the state…[the result is that] students, especially minorities and those with disabilities, are now bearing the brunt of new zero tolerance policies and heavy-handed discipline…In Minneapolis…the school board recently voted in favor of…ending a $1 million [cash cow for]…city police.  Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, announced…that he would disband the city’s school [pig herd]…Other states and cities appear to be considering similar measures.  [But] in Florida [police violence against students] increased…20%…[and] there’s been a spike in the use of involuntary psychiatric commitments against kids…thanks to an existing Florida…that gives police authority to temporarily lock up both children and adults against their will…

The Cop Myth (#1047)

Alex Vitale on what abolishing police would actually look like:

Five years ago, in the wake of the murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, we were told, “Don’t worry, we’re going to fix it. We’re going to give the police implicit bias training.  We’re going to hold some community police encounter sessions.  We’re gonna buy some body cameras”…what we often refer to as “procedural reforms”…[were] going to magically fix the problem.  But…the problem of overpolicing remains…Procedural justice folks…want to restore the public’s trust in the police…But this ignores the question of what they are policing, and whether they should be policing it.  We have [millions of] low-level arrests in the United States every year and most of them are completely pointless.  It is just a huge level of harassment meted out almost exclusively on the poorest and most marginal communities in our society…[true police reform must] go…hand in hand with decriminalizing sex work, drugs, homelessness, mental illness.  We don’t really need a vice unit, we need a system of legalized sex work that’s regulated just like any other business.  We don’t need school police, we need counselors and restorative justice programs.  We don’t need police homeless outreach units, we need supportive housing, community based drop-in centers, social workers…

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[US police] violence appears so widespread and consistent that you could…think…it’s coordinated at a national level.  –  T.C. Sottek

The Widening Gyre (#864)

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the “scrap paper” variant of the “sex traffickers marking cars” scary tale:

A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety said…post-it notes left on various cars throughout Lubbock were…not sex trafficking ploys…Lubbock Police…looked into the matter and found that the numbers were, in fact, from a legitimate hail damage repair company…three Facebook posts claiming the notes were sex trafficking ploys…had been shared over 3,000 times…

Hail causes sex trafficking!

You Were Warned (#926)

Australian politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

…The Court of Appeal for New South Wales has just dismissed an attempt by several Australian media outlets to overturn a 2019 ruling that they could be held liable for Facebook comments about [the state torture of a young man named] Dylan Voller…Voller…sued some of the media outlets that covered him—not because the news reports defamed him, but because other people writing on the outlets’ Facebook pages were accusing him of having committed various crimes.  Australian courts have not yet ruled on whether these comments defamed Voller.  This fight is about whether media outlets could even be sued for Facebook comments.  The outlets argue that…Facebook does not let them preemptively stop individual readers from posting comments on their page.  They do have the option to delete, hide, or report individual comments, but only after they’ve been posted…But the fact that these outlets have the ability to delete comments after the fact was enough for Judge John Basten to declare them publishers…Another judge suggested that a potential solution would be…censor[ing] content…If this ruling stands, it’s going to force Australian media outlets to monitor all comments and beef up their social media teams at a time when they’re having to lay off staff and even shut down newspapers

Censor Chic (#948)

It’s so convenient to outsource tyranny to computers:

…certain combinations of Chinese characters have been immediately removed from [YouTube] within a few short seconds…[without] warning or reason…The Hanzi Which Shall Not Be Named were merely 共匪  (“communist bandit”) and 五毛 (“fifty cents”)…the term 共匪…was used by Nationalist partisans led by…Chiang Kai-shek against…Mao Zedong and the reds.  Today, it is considered a slur against the CCP…五毛 is a cleverer anti-CCP troll.  It’s basically calling a pro-CCP commenter a paid shill, albeit a cheap one.  The joke is that human CCP NPCs get paid fifty cents for each pro-CCP post; ergo, the “fifty-cent army” or 五毛党…those terms would not disappear from YouTube comments if you typed them out in English or in Pinyin…only…in the original Hanzi…YouTube is already banned in China and can be a pain to access without a good VPN and strong desire to do so…We are asked to believe that YouTube’s pesky algorithm just happened to accidentally disappear these very particular Chinese anti-government phrases since at least October of 2019…Perhaps the fifty-cent army flagged these phrases enough to become automatic triggers that the algorithm would automatically pull.  But it is also possible that someone at YouTube manually added these terms to a blocklist…Pressure from politicians of both parties contributed to Google winding down its proposed “Dragonfly” Chinese search engine that would have been compliant with CCP censorship demands…

Panopticon (#1007)

FWIW, the DEA mostly conducts old-fashioned Stasi-type surveillance:

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd…Attorney General William Barr issued a statement…blam[ing the protests on]…“anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics”…He said the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be “deployed to support local efforts to enforce federal law.”  Barr did not say what those agencies would do, however…

Panopticon (#1030)

Pigs now routinely use spy drones for surveillance :

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is regularly flying Predator drones…above American cities for surveillance.  This includes cities farther than 100 miles from the border…In two instances last month, CBP…flew [a drone] either close to or directly above Minneapolis…[another] recently flew around half a dozen times above or near San Antonio, Texas, which is also outside the 100 mile border region.  In some cases the Predator drones circled above the cities for an extended period of time…

Social Distancing (#1041)

Australian sex workers are challenging crypto-moralism:

Sex workers in Australia could operate under a COVID-19-safe framework…according to the adults-only industry association.  The industry has been crippled by bans in all states and territories during the…pandemic.  As other industries are included in road maps for restarting, only the Northern Territory has given clear advice to sex workers on when they can return to work.  In a letter to Health Minister Greg Hunt…the Eros Association expressed concern that shutting down the sex industry was being “motivated by moral judgments…rather than any justified concerns regarding public health…strip clubs, escort agencies and brothels should be allowed to operate (with appropriate restrictions) at the same stage as other body work practitioners such as massage therapists…Attached to the letter were proposed guidelines for restarting the industry…

But for Video

Just a few choice selections of police brutality from the past week:

…A New York City [cop] tore a protective mask off of a young black man and assaulted him with pepper spray…New York City [cops]…rammed a crowd in a street…[cops] in Minneapolis marched down a quiet residential street and shot paint canisters at residents who were watching from their private porch…Police in Louisville raided a public square, [stealing] and destroying water and milk…used to counter irritants like pepper spray…Atlanta police [shot] two black people…with tasers and t[ore] them out of their car…A New York City [cop] used two hands to throw a woman to the ground…San Antonio Police used tear gas against people. So did Dallas policeSo did Los Angeles policeSo did DC police. The list goes on…A freelance photographer in Minneapolis…went permanently blind in her left eye after being [intentionally] shot [in the face with a rubber bullet at close range]…

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Sex work is becoming cool again.  –  Maggie McNeill

The Cop Myth

Cops are responsible for more violence than any other social group in the US:

Every time protests erupt after yet another innocent black person is killed by police, “reform” is meekly offered as the solution…The Minneapolis police implemented trainings on implicit bias, mindfulness, de-escalation, and crisis intervention; diversified the department’s leadership; created tighter use-of-force standards; adopted body cameras; initiated a series of police-community dialogues; and enhanced early-warning systems to identify problem officers…None of it worked…because “procedural justice” has nothing to say about the mission or function of policing.  It assumes that the police are neutrally enforcing a set of laws that are automatically beneficial to everyone…[but in reality,] over the last 40 years we have seen a massive expansion of the scope and intensity of policing.  Every social problem in poor and non-white communities has been turned over to the police to manage.  The schools don’t work; let’s create school policing.  Mental health services are decimated; let’s send police.  Overdoses are epidemic; let’s criminalize people who share drugs.  Young people are caught in a cycle of violence and despair; let’s call them superpredators and put them in prison for life.  Police have also become more militarized…The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight.  It is to dramatically shrink their function…

I Spy (#1001)

Violet Blue on protecting yourself from phone-based surveillance at protests:

…our phones are spying on us 24/7.  These little handheld sidekicks are…Big Brother’s most useful asset when it comes to tracking and surveilling anyone…The only way we can completely refuse to be tracked is not to use our apps, or leave our phones at home. But not using apps or going without a phone isn’t a realistic option…Smartphones leak your information and leave a trail of your information by design.  Your info can be discovered and your habits known by any bystanders who know how to look.  Hackers and developers have been trying to raise the alarm about phone security for years, but have gone practically ignored…

You Were Warned (#1007)

Basically the same thing Biden wants; now please tell me more about the “wings”:

Donald Trump [issued an executive order] in response to [Twitter]’s attempt to fact-check his tweets [which] proposes a radical modification of Section 230…The…order…“attempts to circumvent Congress and the courts in directing changes to long-established interpretations of Section 230….orders a review of alleged ‘unfair or deceptive practices’ by Facebook and Twitter”…and calls on the…FCC to “examine whether actions related to the editing of content by social media companies should potentially lead to the firms forfeiting their protections under Section 230″…Lawrence Walters, a First Amendment expert with extensive adult industry experience…[said] “Any order impacting Section 230 immunity will likely be challenged in court…Congress is the only body that can alter the broad protections granted by Section 230 but we are seeing some legislative activity in that realm as well — particularly the EARN IT Act“…

Surplus Women (#1010)

Government never, ever blames itself for the harm it causes:

On May 17, the RCMP charged a 17-year-old [who hacked Ashley Noelle Arzaga]…to death with a machete inside the Crown Spa with first-degree murder – terrorist activity…The parlour owner and another man were also injured in the February attack.  Police allege he carried out the murder in the name of the “incel” movement…but sex worker advocates say that while the RCMP is making a show of the case, the government is evading practical change to protect sex workers – namely, by decriminalizing their occupations.  “Laying a terrorism-related charge here…makes it look like we’re more concerned about sex workers’ deaths,” says international criminal law professor Heidi Matthews. “In reality that’s not true…We still have a whole matrix of criminal laws that make their existence and their work more precarious and less safe”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1039)

Far too little, far too late: “Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”)…Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (“CAASE”), Sex Workers Outreach Project Chicago (“SWOP-Chicago”), [et al]…bring this Complaint against Defendant Clearview AI, Inc. (“Clearview”) to put a stop to its unlawful surreptitious capture and storage of millions of Illinoisans’ sensitive biometric identifiers…”  The suit is based on “the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), which [is intended to] protect…people against the surreptitious and nonconsensual capture of their biometric identifiers, including faceprints.”  That’s well and fine, but other states are far less fastidious about how the collect information on unsuspecting citizens.  And as we’ve seen, cops freely and surreptitiously exchange facial recognition data without any permission at all, even lying in reports and committing perjury in court to cover up how they obtained any given data.  So even if this suit succeeds in banning facial recognition technology in Illinois or even destroying Clearview, the facial recognition djinni was released from its bottle years ago, and has no intention of going back in.  I do find it interesting to actually see a sex worker organization involved in a lawsuit like this, though, so kudos to SWOP-Chicago.

Working From Home (#1042)

I’m extensively quoted in this article about everyone suddenly joining OnlyFans:

While, as far as McNeill is concerned, anyone selling their own erotic labor is in fact a sex worker, she acknowledges that as online sex work becomes more popular, “some people [are] claiming the mantle of sex worker who really shouldn’t because they think it’s going to give them cachet…The criticism that those ladies are leveling at the newcomers is a correct one, but at the same time you kind of have to give them the side eye and say, ‘Yeah, honey, you were new at one time too’”…while McNeill agrees that celebrity interest in sex work…will probably “suck money from women who really need it,” she remains hopeful that mainstream exposure from celebrities may eventually have a positive effect on the progress of sex work destigmatization…

Social Distancing (#1042)

Like its neighbor the Netherlands, Belgium only pretends to respect sex workers:

A hotel where many sex workers receive their clients briefly opened its doors…despite the coronavirus regulations forbidding it, because the rules were not clear…Despite hotels being allowed to stay open…the[se were forced by government diktat]…to close their doors as they are mainly used by [human beings whom authoritarians deem “nonessential”]…“a lot of those hotel owners probably think that, based on the measures for hotels, they are also allowed to open again,” [said] Daan Bauwens of UTSOPI, the Belgian union for and by sex workers…“We strongly advise sex workers to…stop working [and live on happy thoughts, sunshine and pixie dust]” said Bauwens…

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To tell you the truth, erotic services could have resumed earlier.
–  Alain Berset

Secret Squirrel (#715)

For every weapon, there is a defense:

YouTube has plenty of videos on how to fake your GPS location, and teens are doing it…[spokespig] Grady Thigpen [oinked a lot of ridiculous nonsense about how privacy from intrusive surveillance]…can actually be really dangerous for teens.  [He infantilized]…young adult[s as]…child[ren and pretended that total violation of their privacy and trust is]…about their safety…

Choke Point (#723)

[sex worker] Sophie Ladder noticed that different…platforms had different notions of what they considered “restricted content.”  So [she]…decided to compile the variations in the form of a shareable spreadsheet…“It was interesting to see how different types of sites are, as a whole, more or less restrictive.  The free tube sites overall are the most open, banning few things.  The clip stores are somewhat restrictive.  And the live camming sites are the most strict”…One challenge…was determining exactly what a particular site’s rules actually are….“many of these sites’ rules are vague to avoid the crackdown from their payment processors that would come with explicitly allowing X, Y, Z content, so instead their rules just don’t really mention X, Y, Z”…

Social Distancing (#1037)

Scotland out-Herods Herod, not only refusing relief money to sex workers but giving it to prohibitionists:

A sex worker charity [w]as…excluded from a Scottish Government pledge of £60,000 to support women affected during the Covid-19 pandemic…the government [instead gave the money]…to…nine [prohibitionist] organisations…[activist] Molly Smith…said…”That the Scottish Government sees organisations which campaign to harm us as appropriate vehicles for our ‘support’ during this crisis shows just how screwed up policy-making on sex work is in Scotland”…

Robocops

One of the greatest legal abominations ever conceived:

The Supreme Court created qualified immunity in 1982.  With that novel invention, the court granted all government officials immunity for violating constitutional and civil rights unless the victims of those violations can show that the rights were “clearly established”…th[is]…is a legal obstacle that’s nearly impossible to overcome.  It requires a victim to identify an earlier decision by the Supreme Court or a federal appeals court in the same jurisdiction holding that precisely the same conduct under the same circumstances is illegal or unconstitutional.  If none exists, the official is immune…in February, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that a Texas prison guard who pepper-sprayed an inmate in his locked cell “for no reason” did not violate clearly established law because similar cited cases involved guards who had hit and tased inmates for no reason, rather than pepper-spraying them for no reason…In the last year alone…courts have granted qualified immunity to [cops] who stole $225,000;  a cop who shot a 10 year old while trying to shoot a nonthreatening family dog; prison officials who locked an inmate in a sewage-flooded cell for days; SWAT team members who fired gas grenades into an innocent woman’s empty home; medical board officials who rifled through a doctor’s client files without a warrant; county officials who held a 14 year old in pretrial solitary confinement for over a month; a cop who body-slammed a 5-foot-tall woman for walking away from him; and police who picked up a mentally infirmed man, drove him to the county line, and dropped him off at dusk along the highway, where he was later struck and killed by a motorist…

Social Distancing (#1042)

Compare to the contrived prohibition in Australia & the Netherlands:

Swiss politicians have decided that sex workers can soon get back to business while activities and sports involving close physical contact such as judo, boxing and wrestling will remain prohibited.  Prostitution …can resume from June 6, along with cinemas, nightclubs and public pools…Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset [said]…“To tell you the truth, erotic services could have resumed earlier.”  Switzerland has dramatically slowed its Covid-19 infection rate while avoiding the strict confinement imposed in neighboring countries…It was among the first countries in Europe to reopen shops, restaurants and schools earlier this month…The [good sense of the] Swiss…contrasts with [the official whore stigma of]…the Netherlands…

The Course of a Disease (#1043)

German sex workers answer the ugly lies of prohibitionist politicians:

The coronavirus ban on sex work, including the closure of brothels must be lifted, said Germany’s Federal Association of Sex Services (BSD) in an open letter…to 16 [prohibitionist] members of Germany’s parliament who recently [demanded imposition of the Swedish model]…The sex work industry must also be able “to generate income again and to offer customers a good service that is human and grounding for them,” states the letter [which] presents a “hygiene concept” that outlines how sex work could continue while minimizing infection…German states [have begun] to ease restrictions such as reopening restaurants, swimming pools and non-sexual massage parlours.  Yet the blanket ban on all types of sex work remains in place…

Like Houses (#1043)

It’s just to keep people SAFE!

Despite the mayor’s claim that police have enforced social distancing equally across Chicago…almost all arrests and citations for congregating have been issued on the city’s South and West sides.  All 13 arrests and 11 of 13 citations have been issued in majority-Black and Latino neighborhoods…Between March 20 and May 21, 13 people were arrested for violating the stay at home orders.  Ten were Black, one was white and two were juveniles whose race and arrest reports were withheld…

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