I originally posted about the November 16th protest at the Village Voice here. It was co-sponsored by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Prostitution Research and Education and intended to protest the trafficking that takes place on backpage.com which is owned by the parent company of the Village Voice. Only 50 people showed up. That’s disappointing to me.
I guess too many people in New York City were too busy with the Occupy Wall Street movement to give a rat’s as about the children and women that are being trafficked on backpage. If you think about the OWS crowd is basically there to bemoan the fact that they don’t have a piece of the millionaires’ pie. They basically want free money. Instead they could have put their tent pitching asses to a good use by helping more people aware of the modern-day slavery that is taking place on backpage. Village Voice Media has a CEO and I would lay odds that he’s a millionaire and he’s making his money in way that in my opinion is much worse than the financiers on Wall Street.
It’s disgusting the amount of people who don’t care about the sexual slavery of women and children that is happening in this country.
Last week a small group of anti-backpage protesters showed up at the office of the Phoenix New Times which is a Village Voice Media owned propaganda arm…I mean media outlet. At the protest were people claiming to represent the Frederick Douglas Foundation and the National Organization of Women. Of course VVM used this as an opportunity in the New Times to try to discredit anyone who believes that Backpage promotes the sexual trafficking of women and children.
One of the protesters — who previously protested Craigslist.com over similar “sexual-exploitation” complaints — admits that shutting down Backpage.com will not put an end to human trafficking. He goes on to say that VVM isn’t directly making money from human trafficking but is profiting from the ad revenue generated by the website.
Notice that there is no name attributed to that quote, just ‘one of the protesters’. In a group of only 15 to 20 people you think they would have gotten a name.
VVM also issued a memo to their employees which contained this little gem…
In their announcement of the protest, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women stated that there have been 50 cases of trafficking identified by law enforcement in the last three years.
What CATW neglected to mention is that in the period of time Backpage.com ran nearly 100 million classified ads, of which approximately 14 million were adult.
We can only hope that CATW will respect the First Amendment rights of the millions who use Backpage.com
Once again Village Voice Media is draping themselves in the Constitution. But while they’re busy claiming that running ads for prostitution is a first amendment right they conveniently forget about the 13th Amendment which was supposed to abolish slavery in the United States.
Then again being defenders of the 13th Amendment won’t make them any money will it?
And again VVM is using their ‘journalistic’ outlets to defend their horrible business practices. I think that is what’s known as a conflict of interest and shows that whatever integrity VVM had is now non-existent.
Normally I don’t like to post press releases but this is an important one.
In some of my past posts with the ‘Occupy’ movement going on I asked why hasn’t someone occupied the offices of Village Voice Media for their blatant disregard of the trafficking of women and children that goes on within backpage.com. Now some one will.
This is a blog post from Conchita Sarnoff at the Huffington Post about the human trafficking protest that took place at the office of craigslist last week in San Francisco. She goes over a lot of things that have already been discussed here but she brings up two great points.
The first is that she points out that my friends over at Geebo.com have operated a profitable classifieds site for the past 10 years without having to resort to ‘adult services’ or ‘casual encounters’ so it can be done.
The other great point she brings up is that craigslist is an industry leader and shouldn’t have to be protested to have them do something about the human trafficking that is being facilitated on their site. They should be socially responsible enough to do it on their own.
By the way as an aside the above picture is another picture taken by Kathleen Bowers from Geebo who was an active participant at the protest. It shows the sign that craigslist painted over so their name wouldn’t appear in media stories about the protest. To me that shows what cowards they are at craigslist.
And did I mention they did not respond to Ms. Sarnoff for comment? Typical.
Peter M. Zollman is one of the founders of the AIM Group. They’re the ones who determined how much craigslist makes off of its sex ads.
While he does not think that craigslist should remove its adult services ads he has issued a challenge to craigslist CEO Jimk Buckmaster at this Thursday’s protest.
So, here’s a challenge, Jim: When the protesters show up at Craigslist’s offices this Thursday, step outside. Meet with them; have a photographer there to show how responsive you are, and listen. Listen carefully.
So will Jim show at the protest? That’s a great question. If history is any indicator I don’t think he will. I think he will send his PR lackey in his stead who will regurgitate the same lines that we’ve already been fed.
The article I linked to has some more details about the human trafficking protest that is set to take place outside of the office of craigslist on 7/8.
Craigslist is at 1381 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122. The protest is set to take place noon local time and speakers will be from noon to 2pm.
There may be a speaker loosely affiliated with this website there but I can’t get into that too much right now.
I urge any of my readers from the Bay Area to please attend the protest. And if you are attending the protest please be respectful of the rights and properties of others while you’re there, that includes the rights and property of craigslist.
The article I linked to is a press release about a human trafficking protest that is scheduled to take place on the front steps of craigslist’s office in San Francisco. Let me just hit you with the highlights.
On July 8, 2010 at noon the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), Prostitution Research and Education (PRE) and our over 75 Co-Sponsors will protest Craigslist’s facilitation of sex trafficking at Craigslist’s office, 1381 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122.
A large portion of Craigslist’s profits come from the sale of commercial sexual exploitation, much of it trafficked, all of it prostituted. Craigslist normalizes and facilitates online pimping – providing an outlet and incentive for sex traffickers to reach buyers of human beings. “By providing traffickers and johns with a virtual red light district, Craigslist is aiding, abetting and enormously profiting from sex trafficking,” says Norma Ramos, Executive Director of CATW.
Our protest is co-sponsored by 75 leading human rights and anti-trafficking organizations and prominent individuals including Equality Now, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA), Center for World Indigenous Studies, Soroptimists International of the Americas, Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence, Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and Gloria Steinem, author Victor Malarek, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
We are calling upon Craigslist to close the euphemistically named “Adult Services” section of their website and set a sex industry-free standard which would help to eliminate human trafficking on the internet.
If I had the money I would be at that protest myself. If I have any readers in the Bay area who have some free time on the 8th I would ask that you please attend this protest.
However my advice to the CATW and PRE is craigslist isn’t the only player in this game. I would recommend that they hold a similar protest at the main offices of Village Voice Media who own backpage.com who also run prostitution ads on their website not to mention in their publications as well.
You know, I’ve been trying to stay away from politics because there is no real political discourse anymore. It’s usually just one side yelling at the other for whatever reason.
However when you read about what’s going on in Iran you can’t help to wax political. However my post isn’t about Iran per se but more about the Western world.
First let me preface this by saying that I hope the people of Iran do gain their freedom. I know somebody will misconstrue my post somehow as support for the current regime in Iran.
Next I want to address all the people who are changing their Twitter icons to green to show support for the Iranians. That’s great, whatever floats your goat. However don’t get down on somebody who hasn’t, like me. I know you’re trying to bring awareness to the plight of Iranians but to me it’s like the ribbon craze of the 90’s when everybody felt it was necessary to wear a colored ribbon for whatever cause. I didn’t need to wear a red ribbon then to show that I was concerned about AIDS. Conversely I don’t need a green Twitter icon to show I’m supporting the Iranian people. Not to mention the so-called awareness factor. You’d have to be living under the proverbial rock to not know what was going on in Iran right now. If there are people who are that ignorant then they can’t be of any help anyway.
Now on to my main point. I would lay odds that the majority of you who are supporting the Iranians could have not given a rat’s ass about the freedom of the Iraqi people back in 2003. Forget why you think the war in Iraq was started. I don’t care if you think it was about oil or not the fact remains that the people of Iraq no longer live under a dictator who made Mahmoud Ahmadinejad look like Abraham Lincoln. I already know what you’re thinking though. You’re thinking that while the Iranians are trying to gain their freedom from within we ‘interfered’ with the ‘sovereign’ government of Iraq. To that I say we would have waited a long time before an internal revolution would have happened in Iraq. While Iran may not be as free as say the U.S. or Canada they obviously have a lot more freedom than the Iraqis did prior to the toppling of Saddam Hussein.
I know what else you’re thinking too. You’re thinking that this all started in Iran because of a fixed election. Then I guess you don’t remember the countless elections that Saddam Hussein won with 100% of the vote. Where were you then?